A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Gingrich Spreads Conspiracy Theory

Newt Gingrich claimed that a Democratic National Committee staffer “apparently was assassinated” after “having given WikiLeaks something like … 53,000 [DNC] emails and 17,000 attachments.” But there’s no evidence for his claim.

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,

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 —

Obama Wanted Higher Gasoline Prices?

Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich have repeatedly lifted several quotes out of context to allege that President Barack Obama and his administration actually wanted to drive up the price of gasoline, and have succeeded.

Gingrich said Obama wants gasoline prices to get to the European levels of $9 or $10 a gallon, but that “he just wants it to be gradual.” But that’s not what Obama said. Rather, when asked in 2008 about then-$4 per gallon gasoline prices,

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.

Fact-Mauling in Mesa

The four remaining GOP presidential candidates met in Mesa, Ariz., for another debate, and mauled a few facts. Rick Santorum claimed earmarks were done in an “open” process during his time in Congress. Mitt Romney said dispensing morning-after pills to rape victims was “entirely voluntary” for Catholic hospitals in Massachusetts. Newt Gingrich kept on claiming he balanced federal budgets that Congress approved after he resigned.
The debate was carried live by CNN on Feb. 22, and this time the candidates were seated.

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 —

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?

Gingrich’s Inflated Gasoline Claim

Newt Gingrich exaggerates when he says the Environmental Protection Agency has a proposal “that would raise the price of gasoline by 25 cents a gallon.” Gingrich’s cost estimate comes from an oil industry study of “clean gasoline” recommendations made by U.S. automakers. The EPA has yet to issue a proposal, and a top agency official says the oil industry study is based on proposals more stringent than those being considered by the EPA.
In addition, there are competing studies that show the possible EPA rule changes would have far less of an effect at the gasoline pump.

McCain’s Erroneous Earmark Attack

Sen. John McCain incorrectly claimed that earmarks nearly doubled from $7.8 billion to $14.5 billion in Newt Gingrich’s first two years as House speaker. Actually, the increase was about half that.
Furthermore, earmarks first peaked, then declined under Gingrich. By the final year of his speakership, earmarked spending was 20 percent higher than before, not double.
McCain is a longtime opponent of earmarks, which are pet projects added to annual appropriations bills at the request of members of Congress.