A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

FactChecking the GOP Response

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul made misleading or exaggerated claims in their responses to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address. Rubio claimed that the federal health care law was causing people to lose “the health insurance they were happy with,” but that glosses over the fact that 27 million uninsured Americans are expected to gain coverage. Paul claimed the federal government borrows “$50,000 every second,” but the true figure is about $30,000.

Gingrich Spanish Radio Ad Pulled

Before we got a chance to write about it, Newt Gingrich yanked a Spanish-language radio ad off the airwaves in Florida. The reason: No, it wasn’t a stellar fact-checking by journalists. Rather, it was Republican Sen. Marco Rubio’s complaint that the ad’s criticism of Mitt Romney was “inaccurate, inflammatory, and doesn’t belong in this campaign.”
Gingrich’s ad had called Romney “the most anti-immigrant candidate,” a claim to which Rubio strenuously objected. He told the Miami Herald: “The truth is that neither of these two men is anti-immigrant.

Rubio Inconsistent on Medicare

Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida offered a wildly inconsistent view of what constitutes a "cut" from Medicare. Rubio claimed that Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget plan "doesn’t cut Medicare" but that the federal health care law does.
Actually, Ryan’s plan leaves in place many of the Medicare "cuts" in the health care law. And over the long-term, Ryan’s plan would "cut" or "save" (we’ll leave the word choice to our readers) even more by requiring future beneficiaries to pay a higher percentage of health care costs.

Sunday Replay

This week, we find guests on the Sunday public affairs shows making false statements about disclosure of political funds, whether a Senate candidate pushed to have terrorists tried in his home state or favored letting states ban private health insurance, and whether middle-income families would pay more if the Bush tax cuts were extended for everybody.
Rove’s Lame Claim
Republican strategist Karl Rove misled viewers of CBS’ "Face the Nation" with a false claim that labor unions aren’t disclosing where they get the millions they are spending in the 2010 elections.

Sunday Replay

On this week’s Sunday talk shows, we found false claims on the debt, discretionary spending, foreign-funded attack ads and polling data.
Wrong on Debt
On ABC’s "This Week," Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell made a false claim about the federal debt — a claim that we debunked in January, when Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, a Republican, made a similar statement. The debt situation has worsened since then, but not enough to make this GOP talking point true.

Rubio Misfires on Crist’s Health Care Shift

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist’s position on the new federal health care law has shifted, but not as much as Marco Rubio’s latest ad says.

In the highly competitive race for the U.S. Senate, Rubio — the presumptive GOP nominee — released an ad July 22 titled “The People,” which claims: “Charlie Crist now says he supports Obamacare.” That’s not true.
The Rubio campaign cites a July 20 Wall Street Journal article describing how Crist has tempered his positions since deciding to drop out of the Republican primary and run in the general election as an independent.

Shady Deals in the Sunshine State?

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist has launched another ad attacking GOP primary opponent Marco Rubio — and the ethics and legality of his past dealings. They’re campaigning to get the Republican nod for a Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Mel Martinez. The primary is in August.
Crist’s ad draws parallels between Rubio, a former state House speaker, and Ray Sansom, Rubio’s budget chairman when he was speaker and, until recently, a state representative. The ad claims both were known for "preposterous deal-making,"

Crist, Rubio Ad War

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist once looked like he’d surely get the GOP nomination in the race to replace outgoing Sen. Mel Martinez. But it’s the former Florida state House speaker, Republican Marco Rubio, who’s currently positioned as the front-runner.
With several months to go before the August primary, Crist released his first TV ad last week hitting his chief opponent for having been a "registered lobbyist" and using "Republican political donations on his lavish lifestyle."

It’s true that Rubio was a registered lobbyist in Florida’s Miami-Dade County for several years —

Extras: Palin, Rubio, Apps and Chain E-mails

From time to time we come across bits of political malarkey or other items that don’t quite rate a full article. Starting today, we’ll collect these tidbits in a new, occasional feature we call "Extras."

Palin: "Who makes a decision like that?"
In a Nov. 6 appearance at a no-cameras-allowed fundraiser, Sarah Palin criticized moving the words "In God We Trust" onto the edges of some new $1 coins: "Who calls a shot like that?