A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Rick Perry’s Talking Point on Defense Cuts

Rick Perry says the U.S. is at risk because “our spending on defense has declined 21 percent over four years.” But that includes war funding, which has sharply declined now that U.S. combat troops are out of Iraq and leaving Afghanistan.

Aiken’s Attack Ad Is Off-Key

Clay Aiken’s latest attack ad against incumbent Republican Rep. Renee Ellmers hits a couple of bad notes.

Hagel Shifts Sequester Blame to Congress

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel blames Congress — and absolves President Obama — for the automatic budget cuts known as the sequester. But Obama supported and signed the bill that triggered the cuts.

Is Obama to Blame for Lockheed’s 123,000 ‘Layoffs’?

Q: Is Lockheed Martin going to lay off 123,000 workers because of President Obama’s downsizing of the military?
A: No. Lockheed gave a “very rough” estimate of 10,000 potential layoffs (not 123,000) due to automatic spending cuts triggered by a 2011 bipartisan deficit-reduction bill. Obama and Congress are negotiating to avoid the cuts.

Obama Inflates Defense ‘Cut’

President Obama's claim "that we've already cut" $400 billion in defense spending is misleading. The president was referring to a Defense Department report that identified $178 billion in "efficiencies" over five years — which the administration says will save $400 billion over 10 years. But only $78 billion of the $178 billion represents actual cuts; the rest of the identified efficiencies will be reinvested in other Pentagon programs.
The president more than once has claimed he cut defense spending by $400 billion,

Schumer Exaggerates Proposed Defense Cuts

Democratic Sen. Charles E. Schumer of New York exaggerated Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ plan to cut military spending during an exchange with Bob Schieffer on “Face the Nation.”
Schumer criticized a group of conservative Republicans for proposing a bill to cut non-defense federal spending by $2.5 trillion through fiscal year 2021:

Schumer, Jan. 23: But for instance, they leave the military totally out. … But everyone knows there’s waste and inefficiency in the military budget. Defense Secretary Gates has proposed cutting a hundred fifty billion dollars out of it.

Pesky Proper Nouns

Out on the campaign trail, John McCain has been criticizing Barack Obama for proposing cuts in defense spending. But his criticism relies on a potentially misleading quote. And we found that McCain is dinging Obama for reducing spending on a program that McCain plans to eliminate entirely.
CNN and MSNBC both report that McCain told supporters in Lee’s Summit, Mo., that:

McCain, Sept. 8: …during the primary he told a liberal advocacy group that he’d cut defense spending by tens of billions of dollars.

Democratic Debate Part 3

We caught a few candidates off base at the third debate among Democratic contenders for the 2008 presidential nomination.

Context Goes AWOL in Tennessee

Tennessee Senate Candidate Bob Corker joined forces with the NRSC to produce an ad asking Tennessee voters who Democratic Representative Harold Ford, Jr. is “kidding” on national security.