A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

More Baloney at ABC/Yahoo! Debate

False and misleading claims were flying again at the latest Republican presidential candidates’ debate in Iowa. Romney falsely claimed that no president before Obama had cut Medicare, and that Obama favored pre-1967 borders for Israel. Gingrich said he opposed cap-and-trade, even though …

Debate Watch

The six Republican presidential candidates who are set to meet and debate again on Dec. 10 have all made some claims that don’t line up with the facts. Will they repeat this shopworn spin, or have they tired of these talking points? Here’s what to watch and listen for when they gather in Des Moines for the latest debate — sponsored by ABC News, Yahoo! News, the Des Moines Register, local WOI-TV and the Republican Party of Iowa:

Gingrich: Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has boasted several times that he “helped balance the federal budget for four straight years.” But he was in Congress for only two of those years.

Lazy Rhetoric

Republican presidential candidates Rick Perry and Mitt Romney both claim President Barack Obama said that “Americans are lazy.” He didn’t. To the contrary, Obama has consistently and repeatedly praised American workers as the “most productive in the world,” a bit of boosterism he has repeated dozens of times. His recent words — “we’ve been a little bit lazy, I think, over the last couple of decades” — actually referred to collective efforts to promote foreign investment in the U.S.,

Super PAC Polishes Huntsman’s Resume

A super PAC backing Jon Huntsman for president makes three misleading or false claims in a TV ad now running in New Hampshire:

The group, which calls itself Our Destiny, suggests President Obama is to blame for a volatile stock market — saying “the stock market is a wreck,” even though the Dow Jones is up more than 50 percent since Obama took office in January 2009.
The ad boasts that Huntsman is “consistently conservative,” citing an op-ed in the Boston Globe.

Friends Lumped with Foes in Foreign Oil Debate

Republican presidential candidates Rick Perry and Jon Huntsman this week both exaggerated the extent to which the U.S. relies on imported oil from countries “hostile” or “unfriendly” to the U.S.
Warning about over-reliance on foreign oil from countries that “don’t like us very much” is a bipartisan refrain. And it is true that some of the oil imported by the U.S. comes from countries that are arguably (and in some cases undeniably) unfriendly to the U.S.

Perry’s Dubious Tax Promise

In his speech unveiling his proposed “flat tax” overhaul of the tax system, Rick Perry promised that “taxes will be cut across all income groups in America.” But a newly released analysis of his plan by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center concluded that many lower-income persons and families would see their taxes go up.
In his Oct. 25 “Cut, Balance, Grow” speech, Perry said a beefed up standard deduction assured lower- and middle-class residents would see a tax break.

Romney Didn’t OK New Benefits for Illegal Immigrants

Texas Gov. Rick Perry is claiming that Mitt Romney “OKd health care for illegal immigrants” by signing Massachusetts’ 2006 health care overhaul law. But the law didn’t give illegal immigrants anything new. It merely continued and renamed a state program that had long allowed low-income, uninsured residents, including those in the country illegally, to get care at community health centers and (as in all other states) hospital emergency rooms.
Perry’s campaign seized on an Oct. 23 Los Angeles Times story that said the law Romney signed “includes a program known as the Health Safety Net,

Romney v. Perry in a YouTube Slugfest

Mitt Romney and Rick Perry are hammering each other with dueling — and distorted — YouTube ads. Romney’s ad says “unemployment has doubled on Perry’s watch” as Texas governor. That’s true. But it’s also true that Texas has bucked the national trend and now has a lower jobless rate …

Romney’s ‘Magnet’ Charge Attracts Scrutiny

Mitt Romney claims that Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s support for an in-state tuition program has acted as a “magnet” to draw illegal immigrants to Texas. But there is strong evidence to the contrary.
Romney, GOP debate, Oct. 18: You put in place a magnet to draw illegals into the state, which was giving $100,000 of tuition credit to illegals that come into this country, and then you have states — the big states of illegal immigrants are California and Florida.

Las Vegas Smackdown

Republican candidates hammered each other for two hours in a lively Nevada confrontation — and often strayed from the facts.

Cain denied that his tax plan would boost taxes for 84 percent of Americans, or fall heavily on those with lower incomes. A new study by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center says just that.
Santorum and Bachmann denounced Cain’s 9 percent “business flat tax” as a European-style “value-added” tax, which Cain also denied. The TPC study agrees with Santorum and Bachmann.