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. StopTheMadness

    They all will say anything to get elected, Democrats and Republicans should be a thing of the past. We need to move past the ridiculous party lines and start thinking for ourselves versus listening to the news story all the biased media sources keep putting out.

    October 19, 2011 at 5:13 am | Report abuse |
    • peick

      So, in other words, change human nature?

      October 19, 2011 at 5:30 am | Report abuse |
    • michaelfury

      Why won't CNN's "Truth Squad" fact-check these claims?


      October 19, 2011 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
  2. mmi16

    Stop trying to put the toothpaste back in the tube and figure out how to use it.

    October 19, 2011 at 5:19 am | Report abuse |
  3. AZpatriot

    It looks like nothing they said was true.

    October 19, 2011 at 5:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Brian

      Where did you see FALSE in this article? Oh could you believe they gave incomplete answers in a time limited debate? Shocker…

      October 19, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  4. stupid

    a good example of why we will get the same crap in Washington..... the candidates that are not the "same old politicians" get no coverage. where is coverage of Newt or Ron paul? CNN is a democrat!!

    October 19, 2011 at 5:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Peace

      Just as Fox is Republican....!!!

      October 19, 2011 at 5:54 am | Report abuse |
    • mb2010a

      Because neither of them stands a chance in getting the nomination...why bother.

      October 19, 2011 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
  5. dtbart

    Whose to blame? The Republicans or Democrats? I venture to say that it is us, the electorate. Politicians always say stupid and misleading things and outright lie to the public. Yet so many believe their crap without any further research or opinion. We're getting what we've asked for and it won't change until intelligent people start making intelligent decision and taking control.

    October 19, 2011 at 5:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Jim in Georgia

      These intelligent peoples... Where are they comming from? They don't live here.

      October 19, 2011 at 7:37 am | Report abuse |
  6. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    @ dtbart:
    "...it won't change until intelligent people start making intelligent decisions?"
    The system is not set up that way.
    Everybody gets one vote.

    October 19, 2011 at 5:57 am | Report abuse |
  7. Jambalaya

    I don't care who the Republicans nominate. All Obama does is divide the country and blame the bad economy on everybody else. Obama is this generation's Jimmy Carter.

    He's outta there in 2012.

    October 19, 2011 at 6:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Wildone

      Sure. Just like your boy Bushie....."I'm a uniter, not a divider!"

      October 19, 2011 at 6:55 am | Report abuse |
    • CluelessLib

      In Texas Bush WAS a uniter. DC simply is not open to compromise no matter which label sits in the White House.

      October 19, 2011 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Steve in Denver

      Really, clueless lib? You are implying bush didn't work hard to divide the country? How about "you are with us or you are with the terrorists" as he lied us into attacking a country that posed no threat to us? Bush, chenney, and rove are the most divisive group of politicians to ever set foot in the white house.

      October 19, 2011 at 10:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve in Denver

      Jimmy Carter? The most honest man to be in the White House since Eisenhower (until 2009)? the one who brought peace to Israel and Egypt? The man who has a nobel prize for that accomplishment? You obviously meant that as a compliment.

      October 19, 2011 at 10:48 pm | Report abuse |
  8. underachiever

    This is a joke. Wake up! Vote Ron Paul.

    October 19, 2011 at 6:09 am | Report abuse |
    • mb2010a

      Ha, ha, ha, ha...

      October 19, 2011 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve in Denver

      Supporing Ron Paul is a joke.

      October 20, 2011 at 12:29 am | Report abuse |
  9. Truth Squad Regulator

    "Truth Squad" indeed! Main page – cnn.com. There it is, main story, top of the page, centered, with a video ready to go, with a caption, "5 Things We Learned From the Debate". It shows all FOUR candidates at the Las Vegas debate: Romney, Perry, Gingrich, Bachmann. The problem is, there were SEVEN candidates at the debate, not four.

    So, is the CNN trying to determine the winners and losers, by attempting to make some candidates appear more "top tier", "mainstream", and "electable", and others less so? Is this a "Truth Squad" or just another flavor of Agitprop? They distort. You decide.

    October 19, 2011 at 6:11 am | Report abuse |
    • michaelfury


      October 19, 2011 at 9:13 am | Report abuse |
    • mb2010a

      Obviously not since Gingrich and Bachmann are in the picture...neither one of them could be considered "top tier" and Perry is questionable...

      October 19, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • FiveF

      Couldn't have said it better. Nice job Truth Squad Regulator. I was scared thinking I was the only one who noticed this. Whew! Nice "Unbiased News" CNN. Boy the media sure does suck these days.

      October 19, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • lori

      Fact check is not that reliable, I went to check on some stats for 2011 (concerning illegals) and it gave me stats from 2006. Fact check is not the holy grail on accuracy, I think they lost interest. It might make you feel better, but don't use that as your only source, look up what you need and check several responses.

      October 19, 2011 at 8:42 pm | Report abuse |
  10. M Margolin

    How about what Bachmann said about Obama's aunt and uncle being illegal aliens? Is that true or false? I would love to know the turth on that one and, hopefully, have Bachmann eat crow on that!

    October 19, 2011 at 6:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Rod

      Bachmann is the DUMBEST candidate out there. She is already irrelevant and says the same crap over and over!

      October 19, 2011 at 6:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Hard Thought

      His aunt and uncle came on tourist visas and have overstayed them by years. This means they are illegal aliens.

      October 19, 2011 at 7:22 am | Report abuse |
  11. NJ Pilot

    After about 10 minutes, I switched to "The Big Bang Theory", which was at least *intentionally* funny. Everyone in that "debate" looked like they were running for Court Jester. I'm pretty open-minded and not fixated on one party; I intend to vote for the person I think will do the best job as president. I'd be happy if 2012 looked like a better "horse-race" but the Republicans are pathetic. I'd have preferred they put up Bloomberg, or Colin Powell or even Boehner. It would have been far better. Right now that looks like I'm voting for Obama

    October 19, 2011 at 6:28 am | Report abuse |
  12. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    After reading underachiever's 6:09 AM comment, I once again read the political positions of Ron Paul.
    While I agree with Dr. Paul on some points, I disagree with him on so many important points that I would not vote for him if he maintains his current positions.
    The site where I found Ron Paul's positions presents them with careful wording that many readers will not be able to understand fully.

    October 19, 2011 at 6:35 am | Report abuse |
  13. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    The best thing about Bachmann is that she's too stupid to hide her true intentions and lack of knowledge.
    I'm still going to vote for Obama again.

    October 19, 2011 at 6:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Hard Thought

      Now THAT's stupid! And racist.

      October 19, 2011 at 7:24 am | Report abuse |
    • CluelessLib

      ...which proves you are as stupid as she.

      October 19, 2011 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  14. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    I will admit that Romney does have a perfectly "presidential" appearance.
    Photographs of Romney with other world leaders would be an asset to the USA.
    Still–OBAMA 2012!

    October 19, 2011 at 6:50 am | Report abuse |
  15. Wildone

    Debate? All I saw was a pizzing contest. If this is the best the Republican Party has to offer, then President Obama has nothing to worry about.

    October 19, 2011 at 6:52 am | Report abuse |
    • brin3m

      where is the like button?! I really like your comment!

      October 19, 2011 at 7:24 am | Report abuse |
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