A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Double Whopper, No Beef

The Romney campaign crams two howling falsehoods into a very few words:

It accuses President Obama of being personally responsible for actions by the Federal Reserve Board, which is independent.
It claims Obama is “spending your tax dollars” in the Fed’s latest move to buy mortgage-backed securities, when in fact the Fed is turning a big profit for the Treasury, reducing the deficit.

Romney campaign manager Matt Rhoades committed both these whoppers in an appeal for donations that was emailed Sept.

Romney’s Economic Exaggerations

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney claims that his plan would balance the federal budget in eight to 10 years. But so far, he has not made public the details on how he would be able to do that, and one neutral budget expert calls it “an unrealistic goal.”
Also, Romney and running mate Paul Ryan exaggerate when they say “five different studies” prove that all of the stated goals of Romney’s revenue-neutral tax plan could be accomplished without raising taxes on middle-income taxpayers.

Romney Gets It Backward

Mitt Romney claims the Obama administration issued an “apology for American values” after U.S. embassies were attacked. Not true. Romney refers to a statement issued before mobs attacked either in Egypt or Libya, and faults U.S. diplomats for failing to condemn actions that hadn’t yet happened.
Furthermore, the word “sorry” or “apologize” doesn’t appear in the statement. Under the headline, “U.S. Embassy Condemns Religious Incitement,” the embassy in Cairo said, “Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy.”

Bill Clinton: Give Me a Break

A new Romney ad would have viewers believe that former President Bill Clinton was commenting on President Obama’s handling of the economy when he said, “Give me a break. This whole thing is the biggest fairy tale I’ve ever seen.” That’s false. Clinton’s 2008 comment was aimed at Obama’s portrayal of Hillary Clinton as supporting Iraq war policies.
The ad comes on the heels of Clinton’s rousing endorsement of Obama during the Democratic National Convention, a speech more people considered to be the highlight of the Democratic convention than Obama’s own speech.

Day 2: More Convention Canards

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — On the second night of their convention, Democrats misled viewers with claims about Republican economic and social policies. Among the convention canards:

Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy said the Republican platform would “take away a woman’s right to choose even if she is a rape victim.” The GOP platform strongly opposes abortion, but is silent on exceptions — leaving that up to the states.
The president of Planned Parenthood said Romney and Ryan “are committed to ending insurance coverage for birth control.” That’s not true.

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”

Romney’s Sorry ‘Apology’ Dig

TAMPA, Fla. — Mitt Romney revived a favorite attack from early in his campaign, accusing President Obama of beginning his presidency on an “apology tour” in foreign countries. Although it has been a consistent applause line, the claim doesn’t hold up when matched with Obama’s actual words.
Here’s how Romney put it in his speech accepting the presidential nomination at the Republican National Convention:
Romney, Aug. 30: I will begin my presidency with a jobs tour.

Romney’s Big Night

TAMPA, Fla. — In a speech heavy on anecdotal history but short on policy details, Mitt Romney avoided major falsehoods in making his case to the American public while accepting the presidential nomination at the Republican National Convention.
Even a key Democratic strategist, Bill Burton, a former press secretary for President Obama, tweeted shortly after the speech ended: “Romney actually avoided almost all of the lies from Ryan’s speech.” That was a reference to Rep. Paul Ryan’s address the night before,

Again with the Wheelchair

First the Republicans claimed President Obama’s health care law taxes “sick puppies,” and now Mitt Romney’s campaign claims the law taxes “wheelchairs.” Wrong again.
At issue is a new 2.3 percent excise tax on certain medical devices. The tax is set to kick in next year to help offset the cost of expansion of health coverage for the uninsured in the new health care law. According to the Romney ad, the law will mean “taxing wheelchairs and pacemakers.”

Medicare’s ‘Piggy Bank’

Republicans claim the president’s $716 billion “cuts” to Medicare hurt the program’s finances. But the opposite is true. These cuts in the future growth of spending prolong the life of the Medicare trust fund, stretching the program’s finances out longer than they would last otherwise.
Mitt Romney has claimed that President Barack Obama has “robbed” Medicare. Rep. Paul Ryan, Romney’s running mate, said Obama “turned Medicare into a piggy bank to fund Obamacare,” promising to “stop the raid on Medicare.” And the Republican National Committee is promoting on its website a feature it calls “Obama’s Countdown to Medicare’s Bankruptcy,”