A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

9/11 Hijackers and Student Visas

Lawmakers on both sides of the immigration debate have falsely claimed that “some” or “all” of the 9/11 hijackers were in the U.S. on student visas. Only one of the 19 hijackers came to the U.S. on a student visa. The rest arrived here on tourist or business visas.

Rand Paul Exaggerates His Filibuster ‘Victory’

Sen. Rand Paul says it “took 13 hours of filibuster” to finally force the Obama administration “to say, no, we won’t kill noncombatants in America.” In fact, Attorney General Eric Holder said “no” at a Senate hearing shortly before Paul began his filibuster.
“After much gymnastics I am very glad to hear that it is the opinion of the Department of Justice that it would be unconstitutional to kill a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil if that individual did not pose an imminent threat,”

Cruz, Paul: A Menagerie of Misinformation

Sens. Ted Cruz and Rand Paul got laughs at the federal government’s expense at the recent Conservative Political Action Conference, but the facts don’t jibe with the jokes.

Cruz accused the EPA of “trying to use a lizard to shut down oil and gas production” in West Texas to set up a one-liner about lizard boots. But the jab — an old campaign joke — no longer has any basis in fact. The federal government decided against listing the Dunes Sagebrush Lizard as “endangered”

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.

Rand Paul’s Bin Laden Claim Is ‘Urban Myth’

In two recent statements, Sen. Rand Paul made the unsubstantiated claim that the U.S. government once “armed” and “funded” Osama bin Laden. The CIA and several of its top officials deny that the U.S. ever recruited, trained, armed or funded bin Laden during the Afghan war over Soviet occupation in the 1980s. Bin Laden himself has denied it. …

Playing Politics with Gasoline Prices

Democrats and Republicans disagree on energy policy, but this they share: Both shade the facts on the complex issue for political advantage. Republicans say repealing oil industry tax breaks will drive up costs at the pump. However …

Wisconsin’s Baffling Budget Battle

The budget battle in Wisconsin has generated much confusion and misinformation, as we have seen in e-mails from our readers in recent days: The state is not on track to end this fiscal year with “a slight surplus.” It is facing a $137 million deficit …

FactChecking Republicans at CPAC

Republicans at the Conservative Political Action Conference this past weekend strayed at times from the facts, although for the most part, they stuck to expressing their low opinions of the current administration and its policies. …

Health Care Repeal, Tea Party and Political Discourse

In episode 44 of our podcast, we talk about the misleading claim from Republicans that the health care law is a job-killer. Plus, we caught Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid offering his own exaggerations on the economy and the tea party, and Sen. Rand Paul distorting a well-worn quote from Rahm Emanuel.

For more on the claims discussed in this episode, see:
A ‘Job-Killing’ Law? Jan. 7
Reid Wrong on Jobs, Tea Party Jan. 10
Bum Rap for Rahm Jan.

Bum Rap for Rahm

Sen. Rand Paul distorted an old quote from Rahm Emanuel during an appearance on Fox Business, as he disparaged the reaction of liberals to last weekend’s shootings in Tucson.
The Kentucky Republican, who took office just this month, was asked on Wednesday by Fox host Andrew Napolitano how pundits (Paul Krugman, a liberal columnist for the New York Times, was mentioned) could "get away with blaming murder on political discourse." Paul responded:

Rand Paul,