October 19th, 2011
04:17 AM ET

Truth Squad: Fact checking the GOP debate

CNN's Truth Squad fact-checked some of the claims made at Tuesday night's Republican presidential debate in Las Vegas.

We'll take a look at some of the questions posed to the candidates, then share with you how they answered the question. The topics include whether Herman Cain's "9-9-9" tax plan include a value-added tax, did Mitt Romney hire illegal immigrants a year after a newspaper report, Michele Bachmann's claims that the Obama administration try to repeal part of its own health care plan and whether Rick Perry's energy plan can create over a million jobs.

Was Romney's Massachusetts health plan a "budget-busting" model for a national plan? 

In one of the most contentious exchanges among the candidates at Tuesday night's GOP presidential debate in Las Vegas, former Senator Rick Santorum lashed out at former Governor Mitt Romney's Massachusetts health care reform program as a budget-busting model for the Obama administration's health care plan. Romney insisted he never suggested it should be a model for the rest of the country, and maintained it remains popular in his home state.

The statements: "I was asked, 'Is this something that you would have the whole nation do?' And I said no this is something that was crafted for Massachusetts. It would be wrong to adopt this as a nation. " - Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney

"You've blown a hole in the budget up there, and you've authored in Obamacare which is going to blow a hole in the budget of this country. " - Former Senator Rick Santorum, R-Pennsylvania

"The people of Massachusetts like it by about a 3 to one margin. " - Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney

Truth Squad verdict: A mixed bag

Read why

Does 9-9-9 add up to a value-added tax?

Now that he's running in the top tier of national polls, Herman Cain's "9-9-9" tax plan came under immediate criticism from his rivals at a GOP presidential debate in Las Vegas on Tuesday night. Rep. Michele Bachmann, a onetime Internal Revenue Service lawyer, charged the plan's 9% federal sales tax would amount to a value-added tax similar to those assessed in European countries.

The statement: "Because at every level of production you have a profit, and that profit gets taxed," Bachmann said. "Because you produce one portion at one level, and then you take it to the next supplier or vendor at the next level, and you have an exchange. That is a taxable event. And ultimately, that becomes a value-added tax. It's a hidden tax."

Truth Squad verdict: Incomplete

Read why

Perry's Texas two-step on TARP

There may be no more foul four-letter word in the Republican presidential race than TARP, the Troubled Asset Relief Program passed in 2008 to bail out the tottering U.S. financial system. And former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, who runs far at the back of the GOP pack in most polls, dropped it on the front-runners in Tuesday night's CNN debate in Las Vegas.

The statement: "The problem is, in the first place, is that several people up here - the, quote, businesspeople - supported the TARP, supported the bailout," Santorum said. He included former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Texas Gov. Rick Perry among its supporters, prompting Perry to interject, "Wrong."

Truth Squad verdict: True, but incomplete

Read why

Was Romney employing illegal immigrants a year after report?

In one of several heated exchanges during Tuesday night's Republican presidential debate in Las Vegas, Nevada, Texas Gov. Rick Perry revisited a claim that was made against former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney during the 2008 presidential race: that Romney had hired illegal immigrants to work at his home.

The allegation starts with a 2006 Boston Globe report that illegal immigrants were part of a crew that would landscape the then-Massachusetts governor's lawn. On Tuesday, Perry alleged that a year later, those illegal immigrants still were working on Romney's property. Perry said this made Romney unfit to claim that he is strong opponent of illegal immigration.

The statement: "People who hire illegals ought to be penalized. And Mitt, you lose all of your standing from my perspective, because you hired illegals in your home, and you knew about it for a year. ... The newspaper came to you and brought it to your attention, and you still, a year later, had those individuals working for you." - Texas Gov. Rick Perry

Truth Squad verdict: Misleading

Read why

Did the Obama administration try to repeal part of own health care plan?

At Tuesday night's GOP presidential debate in Las Vegas, Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann suggested that opposition to President Obama's health reform law prompted the administration to repeal part of it.

The statement: "Obama-care is so flat-out unpopular that even the Obama administration chose to reject part of Obamacare last Friday when they tried to throw out the CLASS Act, which is the long-term care function. The Secretary Sebelius, who is the head of Health and Human services, reported that the government can't even afford that part and has to throw it out. And now the administration is arguing with itself. When even the Obama administration wants to repeal this bill, I think we're going to win this thing. We're going to repeal it. And I will. "Obamacare is so unpopular even the Obama administration wants to repeal part of it..." - Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minnesota)

Truth Squad verdict: Misleading

Read why

Can Perry's energy plan create 1.2 million jobs?

Gov. Rick Perry touted part of his plan to boost the economy at Tuesday night's Republican presidential debate in Las Vegas, Nevada, saying his energy strategy would create 1.2 million jobs. Last week, Perry said his plan would focus on tapping unexplored domestic sources for oil and gas. To do this, he said, regulations on oil and gas producers would need to be changed. Fewer rules would free up drilling in Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico, and expand clean-coal technology resources, he said.

The statement: "1.2 million jobs could be put to work." - Texas Gov. Rick Perry, referring to his energy plan.

Truth Squad verdict: True, but incomplete

Read why


Filed under: Politics • Republican Party
soundoff (456 Responses)
  1. Brian

    Why bother measuring the truthfulness of GOP candidates? Truth has never mattered to the Republicans: only the degree of fear and anger that their lies can engender.

    October 20, 2011 at 12:18 am | Report abuse |
  2. M.K.

    To begin with, in order for you to be judging whether or not the "debate" was factual or not, you must have a debate. What went on Tuesday night was anything but a debate. it was a shouting match and a he said, she said, finger pointing contest. CNN needs to get a qualified person to moderate the next one. The cat doing this one was out in left field somewhere.

    October 20, 2011 at 1:06 am | Report abuse |
  3. Juanito

    Where was the truth squad with Bill Ayers and Rev Wright?

    October 20, 2011 at 1:12 am | Report abuse |
  4. gay repub


    October 20, 2011 at 1:45 am | Report abuse |
  5. gay repub


    October 20, 2011 at 2:03 am | Report abuse |
  6. InsiteFX

    After this election debate they will have to!

    1) Rename the White House – RINGLING BROS.
    2) Rename Congress – BARNUM & BAILEY.


    October 20, 2011 at 2:08 am | Report abuse |
  7. gordon atl

    I still think debatewise, bachmann did well. But the two that did the best was paul and gingrich. Santorum was probably 3rd, followed by romney. Really, Perry and Cain were the dummies on the stage. I like all of Mitt's comebacks to Perry lol. Perry was getting mad he couldn't get to Mittens.

    October 20, 2011 at 3:35 am | Report abuse |
  8. bsauce

    http://www.blackTHISout.com – The media isn't talking about the elephant in the room, also known as Ron "the 13th floor in a hotel" Paul. Well, his supporters raised over $2.2 mil in a day on 19 Oct 2011. Fact check that. I bet none of the donations came from Central Banks (cough, cough Romney cough).

    October 20, 2011 at 4:39 am | Report abuse |
  9. eyesofnewt

    Truths: Single laregst contributor to current debt are Bush Tax Cuts to wealthy. TARP was a Bush plan. Six years of full GOP control created the current crisis.

    Myths: Tax cuts boost economy and create jobs. Social Security is a broke Ponzi scheme. 50% of Americans pay no taxes.

    October 20, 2011 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jamey Carothers

    The Truth Squad must have to add people and work Overtime for these debates!

    November 13, 2011 at 8:10 am | Report abuse |
  11. Jamey Carothers

    @gayrep: Please take some spelling lessons- and fact lessons for that matter.

    November 13, 2011 at 8:12 am | Report abuse |
  12. las vegas bail bonds


    November 24, 2011 at 6:40 am | Report abuse |
  13. seg58

    Ok the way I see it if the GOP doest.t get it together soon Obama will win in 2012. Come on GOP quit acting like childern.

    December 15, 2011 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
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