A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Obama’s Drilling Denials

In a tense exchange during the Oct. 16 debate, President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney sparred over domestic oil and gas production on lands and in waters under the Obama administration’s control.
The facts, for the most part, are on Romney’s side.

Obama was wrong when he denied Romney’s claim that the Obama administration cut in half the number of new permits and new leases for offshore oil and gas drilling. The decrease is actually more than half.

Planned Parenthood and Mammograms

At the second presidential debate, President Barack Obama said that women “rely on” Planned Parenthood for mammograms. Actually, mammograms are not performed at the clinics; Planned Parenthood doctors and nurses conduct breast exams and refer patients to other facilities for mammograms. Individual clinics sometimes provide more than referrals, arranging for mobile mammography vans.
Obama said: “When Governor Romney says that we should eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood, there are millions of women all across the country who rely on Planned Parenthood for not just contraceptive care.

FactChecking the Hofstra Debate

The second Obama-Romney debate was heated, confrontational and full of claims that sometimes didn’t match the facts. Obama challenged Romney to “get the transcript” when Romney questioned the president’s claim to have spoken of an “act of terror” …

Will Romney Increase Defense Spending By $2 Trillion?

Paul Ryan insisted in the Oct. 11 debate that Mitt Romney will not increase defense spending. Joe Biden interrupted Ryan twice to say Romney will increase it by $2 trillion. Who’s right? The answer depends on another question: compared with what?
Romney would spend $2 trillion more than Obama over the next 10 years on the Pentagon’s base budget — which excludes war funding. But Romney won’t increase total annual defense spending as a percentage of gross domestic product compared with fiscal year 2012.

Warren’s Role in Asbestos Case

Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown and challenger Elizabeth Warren are accusing each other of “not telling the truth.” Brown says Warren worked to “restrict payments” to asbestos victims, while Warren says she worked to “get more money” for them. We find Warren is correct; Brown’s ad is a distortion.
It may seem counter-intuitive that Warren’s work on behalf of an insurance company that covered an asbestos manufacturer could be work on the same side as the victims of the case.

Veep Debate Violations

The Biden-Ryan debate was marked by some spirited claims that didn’t always match the facts. Ryan said Obama’s proposal to let tax rates rise for high-income individuals would “tax about 53 percent of small-business income.” Wrong. Ryan is counting …

What’s Romney’s Plan for Preexisting Conditions?

The Obama campaign has repeatedly said that Mitt Romney was wrong when he claimed at the first debate that “preexisting conditions are covered under my [health care] plan.” We mostly agree. Romney’s comments implied that he would keep the provisions of the Affordable Care Act that guarantee coverage for all, regardless of preexisting conditions. But the campaign has given different explanations for what Romney meant, saying at first that he would leave it to the states and then saying he would expand federal law for those with “continuous coverage.”

Romney’s $4,000 Tax Tale

Mitt Romney falsely claims in a series of TV ads that President Obama “will raise taxes on the middle class by $4,000.” That’s nonsense. The ads cite a conservative group’s study, but even the group itself doesn’t say Obama will raise taxes on middle-income taxpayers. It says his budget could result in a “potentially higher tax burden” over the next 10 years.
In fact, the group’s study considered two other budget scenarios —