A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

N.H. Debate: The Dems’ Turn

Summary
During the Democratic portion of the Jan. 5 New Hampshire debate:

Obama claimed we are "back where we started two years ago" in Iraq. Actually, all indicators of violence show dramatic improvement compared with two years ago.

Clinton repeated a misleading claim that the 2005 energy bill was "larded with all kinds of special interest breaks" for the oil industry. Actually, the bill resulted in a net increase in taxes on the oil industry,

N.H. Debate: The GOP Field

Summary
Republican and Democratic candidates participated in double-header debates in New Hampshire Jan. 5 in advance of the state's first-in-the-nation primary. Republicans were up first, and they got a little wild with their swings:

Romney claimed that the 47 million Americans who lack health care are not covered because they say "I'm not going to play. I'm just going to get free care paid for by everybody else." Experts say that very few who are offered insurance turn it down and that the uninsured get worse care.

Stuck in Iraq

Summary
The latest Democratic presidential debate brought into sharp focus the candidates’ disagreements on how quickly the U.S. can disentangle itself from Iraq. Long-shot candidate Dennis Kucinich stood by his promise to bring all troops home within three months, and Bill Richardson said he could do it in a year – even at the cost of leaving some military equipment behind. But Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama said they might have to keep some combat troops there in a counterterrorism role for more than four years,

Twisting Facts in Spanglish

Summary
The Sunday night debate, complete with interpreters, produced a few flubs or fibs from the Democratic field, including these:

Rep. Dennis Kucinich gave a figure for health insurance company profits that was vastly overstated. He also made a much-disputed claim about NAFTA.
Former Sen. John Edwards made his health care plan seem cheaper than it would actually be. He assumed it was in effect right now, rather than the soonest it could possibly be implemented,

Some Old, Some New

Summary
The Republican candidates aired their views, claims and criticisms in yet another debate. We found a few mistakes and questionable pronouncements:

Rudy Giuliani said 2,000 illegal immigrants was the most the federal government deported from New York City during any of his years as mayor.  That doesn’t square with Department of Homeland Security figures. Giuliani also took a little too much credit for a drop in New York’s welfare rolls.
Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas tried to link gay marriage with an increase in children being born out of wedlock.

GOP Candidates Debate, Round 2

Summary

Claims, facts and figures flew at the second GOP presidential debate of 2008. Not all were true. For example:

Mitt Romney claimed he didn’t raise taxes when he was governor of Massachusetts, failing to note that he increased government fees by hundreds of millions of dollars and shifted some of the state tax burden to the local level.
Rep. Tom Tancredo of Colorado claimed scientific reports on whether humans are responsible for global warming are split 50-50,