A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Wrestling with the Truth on Santorum’s Lobbying

The Mitt Romney campaign lifts a Rick Santorum quote out of context to level a charge that Santorum is being untruthful about his lobbying history.
The Romney campaign claims to have caught Santorum being “at odds with the facts” when he told CNN, “I was not a lobbyist.” The Romney camp points to press reports that say Santorum was a lobbyist in Pennsylvania in the late 1980s. However, Santorum’s statement to CNN came in response to a question about his post-Senate career.

Democrat-on-Democrat Attacks in Ohio

Ohioans are getting a healthy dose of misinformation in a nasty congressional primary in Ohio, which pits incumbent Democrats Marcy Kaptur and Dennis Kucinich against each other. Only one can survive the March 6 vote.
Though Kaptur and Kucinich — both 65 and pro-union liberals — were longtime political allies, that changed with a Republican remapping of zones that put them in the same congressional district.
Kaptur has dominated the TV air wars with ads the Kucinich camp calls “dishonest,”

The ‘Bailout’ Santorum Denies

Rick Santorum says, “I didn’t vote for a steel bailout.” But in fact, the former Pennsylvania senator voted in 1999 for the Emergency Steel Loan Guarantee Program, which was dubbed a “bailout” by multiple news organizations at the time.
The loan guarantee program Santorum supported was much smaller than the auto bailouts he has regularly criticized on the campaign trail. Only three steelmakers ever tapped the program, and all money has been repaid. But it did underwrite more than $400 million in loans,

Did ‘Elite Media’ Ignore ‘Infanticide’?

Newt Gingrich was wrong when he accused the “elite media” of failing to ask Barack Obama during the 2008 campaign about his votes “in favor of infanticide.” In fact, there were reams of mainstream media reports about Obama’s votes as an Illinois state senator on the “born alive” legislation to which Gingrich refers.
Gingrich made his accusation during the Feb. 22 Arizona debate, trying to turn the tables on debate moderator John King’s question about the birth-control issue.

Slaloming Through Olympic Facts

With Rick Santorum attacking Mitt Romney for “hypocrisy” regarding his requests for Olympic earmarks, competing claims about taxpayer support for the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics are flying from all sides. But when it comes to presenting the facts, none of them stick the landing.

A Romney spokeswoman downplayed Romney’s efforts as “seeking money for post-9/11 security at the Olympics.” But there was a lot more to it than that. The Salt Lake City Organizing Committee under Romney requested —

Establishing Facts

New radio ads boosting Newt Gingrich urge conservatives to reject the GOP “establishment” that nominated Bob Dole and John McCain. But in 1996, Gingrich announced that he had voted for Dole over Steve Forbes and Pat Buchanan in Georgia’s Republican primary. And in 2008, he made statements supportive of McCain’s candidacy while Mike Huckabee was still vying for the Republican nomination.
The five ads from pro-Gingrich super PAC Winning Our Future (which you can listen to here) are running in three states —

Romney vs. Santorum: A Misleading Contrast

Pro-Romney forces are looking beyond Michigan, hammering Rick Santorum in four other states with a new TV ad making some misleading claims.

The ad claims Mitt Romney turned around Massachusetts’ finances without raising taxes, when in fact he raised hundreds of millions in new government “fees” when he was governor.
It also rehashes a boast that Romney issued 800 vetoes, but fails to mention that more than 700 were overridden.
It attacks former Sen. Santorum for “voting for billions in waste,”

Gunning Down the Truth in Michigan

With Rick Santorum polling well in Mitt Romney’s birth state, a high-stakes TV shootout has broken out in Michigan. But some shots are off the mark. An amusing Santorum ad features a Romney look-alike machine-gunning mud at a cardboard cutout of Santorum. But …

What’s the ‘Real’ Jobless Rate?

As the Obama administration basked in the news that the unemployment rate in January dipped to a three-year low of 8.3 percent, Republicans Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich threw a wet blanket on the announcement. Romney said the “real unemployment rate” was actually 15 percent, and Gingrich said that when you include people who have simply given up on trying to find a job, the rate “jumps up to about 12 percent.”
Is the unemployment rate not the real unemployment rate?

Is Santorum the Biggest (Senate) Loser?

Entrepreneur Donald Trump dismissed the surging candidacy of Rick Santorum by claiming that Santorum lost his Senate seat in 2006 by a wider margin than any incumbent senator in history. He’s wrong.
In fact, there have been two dozen incumbent senators who have taken worse beatings than Santorum did in 2006. Trump need only have checked back as far as the 2010 midterm elections — when Democrat Blanche Lincoln lost her Arkansas seat — to find an incumbent senator who lost by a bigger margin than Santorum did.