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. s kel

    Steveo= another blind ,deaf republicant.

    October 19, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steveo

      You failed to answer my question, instead you have dazzled me with your brilliant name calling. Maybe YOU should run for public office! You'll fit right in!

      October 19, 2011 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steveo

      For your info, I am independently minded. I believe there are good people and good ideas in BOT parties. I also believe there are too many sleep walkers (such as yourself) in the electorate!

      October 19, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steveo

      Do you plan to answer my question? When was the promise to close down GITMO made?

      October 19, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  2. If I had a penny for every stupid Republican

    So much for the truth not squad.

    October 19, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
  3. dscon


    October 19, 2011 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • israel

      i love oil and vinegar on my italian combos....yummmmmmy

      October 19, 2011 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Ret

    Too bad the "truth squad" doesn't spend some time fact checking the non stop LIES tripping over the lips of Barrack Hussein Obama.

    October 19, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  5. HHR

    Everybody is just concerned about whether their party if winning or not. D(*& the parties. I don't care which party a person is. I want to know that the individual running for president has basic skills for governance, money management, and some basic common sense. Out of both parties the only two I would consider is Hillary Clinton and Herman Cain.

    October 19, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  6. mike

    Why doesn't CNN fact check the loser that is office now and see what they come up with,.............

    October 19, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • frank

      You have it all wrong. The "loser in office" as you so patriotically put it, was actually the winner. The loser was McCain/and the soccer mom maverick.

      October 19, 2011 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Saboth

    As usual, full of half truths and outright lies. Romney, Perry, Cain = GW2. No thanks. I'd consider voting for RP, despite disagreeing with him on several key points. Otherwise, I'm voting for Obama again. The last thing we need is Republicans running the Executive and Congress again, like they did for the 8 years that lead up to the financial meltdown. More tax cuts for corporations and rich? Some of them pay zero or nearly zero now, while posting record profits and cutting pay/jobs.

    October 19, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • slider

      Last two years of Bush's term the democrats controlled congress. Seems like during those two years the democrats managed to bring down the DOW from over 14,000 to around 7,000. Many many more policies they enacted really damaged the economy. Liberal policies leaning heavy toward socolism.

      October 19, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steveo

      The great thing about America is you canvote for whomever you please. Keep in mind the GOP did not have the Congress during the entire Bush Administration! In saying that, Barney Frank and Chris Dodd (both dems) had much to do with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac failing! No President gets anything done without the approval of Congress. As the leaders, Presidents (yes to include President Obama) gets the blame BUT Congress writes the laws and is a huge contributer to a President's failure or success. That applies to BOTH parties!

      October 19, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  8. slider

    Did CNN fact check where all the 57 states were that Obama said he had visited? Of course not, of course not, of course not.

    October 19, 2011 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • frank

      Get used to it, Obama won in '08 and will win re-election in '12. Power to the people!

      October 19, 2011 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • slider

      Thank you Frank...I missed today's daily DNC talking point.

      October 19, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
  9. InfiniteDice

    Perry, bachman, romney bahmann, pairy, romknee, perry, buckman, perr, bah, mutt, blahh... Cain... Abel... rom... ahhhemm!

    Who cares what they say. They all lose their arguements when Ron says something. In fact it was funny how they all couldn't do anything to Paul in the whole discussion; it was pretty nice to actually see some of them agree with Ron for once.

    Then they cut off Ron before he could make a closing statement, what a farce.

    Go Ron!

    October 19, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Saboth

      I'm intrigued by RP, and would even consider voting for him. There may be millions more like me out there that do not blindly follow a party. However, the media blackout of RP is startling imo. He wins straw polls and people that aren't even running for President get more media coverage (ahem Palin). He introduces a plan to cut spending, and not a peep from the media, while they all repeat "9-9-9" ad infinitum. Even non-players like Bachmann get more coverage. He is dead-even with Obama in certain polls, but no mention of that anywhere.

      October 19, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • RML

      Anyone too far to the right doesn't have a chance of winning against Obama. The majority of the country is either centrist or leaning left. Romney and Cain seem to understand that the best. Rick Perry has my support for now, but last night Romney came across the most presidential in stature.

      October 19, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  10. RML

    Whichever candidate will (1) stop sending foreign aid to other countries to feed, clothe, house and provide medicine for foreigners, and instead start using that money to feed, clothe, house and insure our own poor and unemployed, and (2) come up with a valid and workable jobs plan, will get my vote. Alarming news article this week ... some companies and agencies will not consider hiring anyone who has been unemployed for more than six months. Another alarming trend ... banks charging horrendously high new fees for services. Any next president needs to fix these problems, as well as repeal Obamacare. Go ahead and bring the soldiers home - what job awaits them here? At least in the military they get a paycheck. The candidate who can fix these problems is the best next president.

    October 19, 2011 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • frank

      I know you like to criticize Obama, however, GW Bushs' biggest supporter was MBNA, and MBNA re-wrote the current bankruptcy law which hurt many military families. What do you repubs think of that fact? Banking de-regulation got us into the financial mess we're in now, and what do you repubs think of that?

      October 19, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  11. s kel

    Bob in NOLA and Steveo are both delusional right winger , even when they (or at least one ) claims to be independent. We start wars in where??? Ron Paul didnt want any help going to US disaster areas in this country??? Lol OMG save this country from people like those I refered too.

    October 19, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steveo

      Still not gonna answer my question? It's ok to be scared! BTW Ron Paul is a libertarian! Keep showing up and I will "learn" you a thing or two! In addition, since you don't know me from Adam, you'll just have to take my word for it when I say I am independenty minded. Unless you can prove otherwise!


      October 19, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  12. s kel

    57 states??? People thats an example of Tea party home schooling. Shame.

    October 19, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steveo

      I know this hurts your heart but THEN candidate Obama claimed to have visited 57 states! Look it up!

      October 19, 2011 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Marten

    CNN: there are defining moments during elections when candidates (inadvertently) reveal something about their character that provides a window into what kind of people and leaders they are. Yesterday there were two of those moments! Romney's "“I’m running for office, for Pete’s sake.” and Cain's "I misspoke" (again) moments. Wake up America...start looking at the guys with 1 or 2% of the poll numbers, they look pretty good!

    October 19, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  14. JSH

    Obama is going to win so big in 2012! You can feel the desperation that rightist like Bob in NOLA and Steveo have. None of the GOP goons running for POTUS has a chance outside of Dixie. Sorry conservatives...you will lose...again!

    October 19, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steveo

      Think for yourself! Stop repeating s kel's lame accusations! Rightist? Perhaps right of you but extremism on both sides stinks. Repeat after me ..Steveo is independently minded! He blindly follows NO party!

      October 19, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Bill

    "CNN Truth Squad"

    oh man.. that's rich.

    October 19, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
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