A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Democratic Disinformation from Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — We heard a number of dubious or misleading claims on the first night of the Democratic National Convention:

The keynote speaker and others claimed the Republican presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, would raise taxes on the “middle class.” He has promised he won’t. Democrats base their claim on a study that doesn’t necessarily lead to that conclusion.
The keynote speaker, San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, also said there have been 4.5 million “new jobs”

Is Romney to Blame for Cancer Death?

A grieving widower in a new pro-Obama TV spot says his wife contracted cancer and died “a short time after” Mitt Romney closed the steel plant that employed him and left “my family” without health coverage. That’s not quite so.
We find this ad from Priorities USA Action to be misleading on several counts.

Steelworker Joe Soptic’s wife, Ranae, died in 2006 — five years after the plant closed.
She didn’t lose coverage when the plant closed.

Bain: Still ‘No Evidence’

The Obama campaign says a new Associated Press story backs up its claims that Mitt Romney “did not leave [Bain Capital] when he says he did,” and that he’s responsible for “American jobs that were outsourced” by Bain-controlled companies after February 1999. We don’t think so.
Some impressive reporting by the AP and others recently has shown that Romney retained ownership and corporate titles at Bain for a time after he took a hurried leave of absence on Feb.

Romney’s Bain Years: New Evidence, Same Conclusion

New reporting cites strong evidence that Mitt Romney wasn’t actively managing Bain Capital while he was running the Olympics, despite what the Obama campaign (and some news reports) would have voters believe.
Dan Primack, a senior editor at Fortune Magazine, reports on previously confidential “offering documents” that Bain circulated to potential investors in June 2000, September 2000 and again in January 2001. And he says that in each of those three documents Romney’s name is conspicuously absent from lists of senior investment managers at Bain.

FactCheck to Obama Camp: Your Complaint is All Wet

The Obama campaign complains that we got a key fact wrong in our June 29 article, “Obama’s ‘Outsourcer’ Overreach.” We strongly disagree. We find the Obama campaign’s evidence to be weak or non-existent, and contrary to statements Romney has made on official disclosure forms under pain of federal prosecution.
The Obama complaint claims we erred in saying Mitt Romney gave up active management of Bain Capital in early 1999 to run the 2002 Winter Olympics,

Obama’s ‘Outsourcer’ Overreach

Obama accuses Romney in a series of TV ads of being a “corporate raider” who “shipped jobs to China and Mexico,” asking if voters want to elect an “outsourcer in chief.” But some of the claims in the ads are untrue, and others are thinly supported. Bain Capital, the …

Gillespie Twists the Facts on Bain Capital

A letter Bain Capital sent to its investors is now becoming a talking point for Mitt Romney surrogates. But once again the company letter, which boasts of Bain’s success, is being misrepresented — this time by Ed Gillespie, a senior adviser to the Romney campaign.

Gillespie claimed that “less than 5 percent” of Bain’s investments “ended up in bankruptcy.” But that’s what Bain claims occurred over its entire 28-year history. The Wall Street Journal reported that 22 percent of companies “Bain invested in while Mr.

Sununu Misfires on Bain ‘Jobs’ Claim

John H. Sununu, a top surrogate for Mitt Romney, wrongly claimed Bain Capital was “able to save jobs … about 80 percent of the time” at companies in which it had invested. Sununu was misreading or misrepresenting a Bain statement on revenues, not jobs.
Sununu, a former governor of New Hampshire and an early supporter of Romney, spoke to reporters May 22 on a conference call. When addressing Bain Capital, the private-equity investment firm founded by Romney,

Lemon-Picking Bain Capital, Obama-style

President Obama and a super PAC that supports him are stealing a page from Newt Gingrich and Ted Kennedy in running TV ads and web videos that slam Mitt Romney for his years at Bain Capital. And, like Gingrich and Kennedy before him, Obama is lemon-picking — that is, highlighting the venture capital firm’s failed businesses and ignoring its successful ones.
Both Obama and the super PAC Priorities USA Action spotlight two businesses — Ampad and GS Industries —

Liberal Union Joins Attack on Romney in Florida

Newt Gingrich is getting help from a surprising ally: the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees. The liberal-leaning labor group is running a TV ad in Florida slamming Mitt Romney for profiting personally from a company later convicted of Medicare fraud while he was a director. The ad began airing just before a new poll showed Gingrich in a dead heat with Romney to win the Jan. 31 Republican primary.
The ad, called “Greed,”