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. FiveF

    So do you Anderson Pooper!

    October 19, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
  2. FiveF

    What the F** ! kind of debate was that. Ron Paul went 40 minutes without saying a word! F^^k You CNN!!

    October 19, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • johnborg

      The problem is that Ron Paul, Gary Johnson, and Jon Huntsman are the only "realistic" ones. The media likes the crazies. Political races are now, in the 21st century, more about popularity and ideology than politics.

      October 19, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • MikeInCarolina

      How can you blame CNN if Ron Paul doesn't aggressively get into the debate?

      October 19, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • MykeTheVet

      I have a Fact Check for you: Anderson Cooper in the beginning of the debate: "All candidates will have equal time and equal questions."

      Verdict: FALSE

      Ron Paul is all we have left. Maybe Rand Paul 2016, 2020?

      This message is to the Yellow Stream Media: The American people want their real news back.

      This message is to Ron Paul: Thank you.

      RON PAUL 2012

      October 19, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Steveo


    October 19, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  4. skytag

    A Michele Bachmann statement that's misleading? *gasp* Misleading is standard operating procedure for her.

    October 19, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steveo

      In all honesty, I am noticing that no matter the question, she has been at the forefront of the issue being asked about. Really? Every single issue?

      October 19, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
  5. conoclast

    Perry seemed absolutely unhinged! He obviously has a thought-process challenge, compounded by an inability to speak the English Language in complete sentences. How did this cardboard-figure ever rise to governor?? (try not to mention Sarah Palin in your answer, hmm?) He has now officially shot himself in BOTH feet!

    October 19, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • j-tho

      well, you have to remember that he's from the same state that gave is the bush baby ~

      October 19, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • trinity

      Yea my thoughts were we already had 1idiotic mumbling president from Texas. I think that's enough no?

      October 19, 2011 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • mikaman3000

      So if he has a thought-process issue and has been able to reach the levels of success that he has, what's your excuse ?

      October 19, 2011 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • mikaman3000

      I love it when people question someone's intelligence and at the same time misspell simple words like us, and don't punctuate correctly.. Maybe we shouldn't be so quick to judge others, no.

      October 19, 2011 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Mazzy

    CNN and the other networks are embarrassing themselves by creating these long introduction opening for the debates. Last night was like a friggen game show or Survivor with that idiotic opening with cards and each presidential hopeful. It is time for real debates between candidates. No negotiations between the candidates' people, just basic debate rules.

    October 19, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • trinity

      Hey when you have a bunch of clowns on a stage already why not make it a full blown circus, least then it's entertaining to watch.

      October 19, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
  7. skytag

    As far as I'm concerned, if Huntsman wasn't in it it wasn't worth watching. He's the best candidate the GOP has.

    October 19, 2011 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • mikaman3000

      Why ? Please explain yourself.

      October 19, 2011 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nah

      milk: "Why ? Please explain yourself."

      Because liberals think they're being "neutral" or "centrist" or "intelligent" when they say they'll support a Republican. The fact is, sadly, that they'll only support a Republican when, like Huntsman, that Republican is pro-drug and pro-abortion. That is to say, when the Republican looks more like a Democrat than a Republican.

      It's like a Nazi saying "I'd like that guy if he weren't so Jewish."

      October 19, 2011 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
  8. jrod

    What is amazing is how clearly Ron Paul is sandbagged by ALL media and yet we ALLOW it!! Even the other candidates were clearly affected by his no-nonsense concise answers to our problems. He SCHOOLED them and they promptly kissed his backside with their follow-up replies of agreement.

    October 19, 2011 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Paul


    Look up "thalidomide". That's "ONE THING".

    Now, please think before you comment.


    October 19, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
  10. o

    One thing that's clear from these candidates that I have never seen before is the disdain they have for average working Americans and the outright contempt they have for the poor. In the past, at least Republicans have paid lip service to working folks, even if they really felt differently.

    October 19, 2011 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brian

      Where did you get that impression? You seriously you need to get a grip on reality.

      October 19, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Edy

      You are so right! You think America has troubles, now–if one of these egocentric, unempathic Publican "cndidates" is elected, there will be no healthcare plan, no jobs plan, only self-aggrandizing schemes dictated by corporate "advisors", leaving the poor and middle class (what middle class?) to sowly die. That's why I'm a "Yellow Dog Democrat"; at least the Dems care about all of us.

      October 19, 2011 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • mikaman3000

      so Edy, do you think that the current president, who mind you, received more money from Wall Street than any president before him, the same president who also helped structure the Solyndra loan so that one of his biggest campaign funders, George Kaiser, would be paid back before the taxpayers would, even though we "stimulated" them to the tune of 535 million.The same president who claims he is for the average American citizen, but just last June had a campaign fundraiser, for Wall Street execs, at 35,000.00 a plate. That's the president that you think has the American citizens back. The only thing you prove, is how naive you truly are. Democrats get busted not paying their taxes all the time. If they truly cared about all of us as you believe, would they ever allow that to happen. The truth as painful as it may be for you to admit, is that the Democrats are just as beholden to Wall Street as the Repubs are, the only difference is the Dems are better liars.

      October 19, 2011 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nah

      o: "One thing that's clear from these candidates that I have never seen before is the disdain they have for average working Americans and the outright contempt they have for the poor."

      Right because believing the government has no right to take what belongs to one person - in order to give it to another - is contempt for the average person.

      Much less, Republicans, whether you agree with them or not, hold their positions precisely because they believe that lower taxes and freer working environments promote economic prosperity and *gasp* therefore help the poor.

      Please stop being so blindly partisan.

      October 19, 2011 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Giampaolo

    My sentiments exactly. What a bunch of tripe. Journalists need the courage to speak truth to power. I suspect had the "truth squad" had analyzed Hitler's policy proposals they would have deemed it a "mixed bag."

    October 19, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ryan

      Well, that's what happens when news organizations go corporate. This is no longer a public service, this is entertainment. If you want serious news, read the Guardian UK. They actually research subjects, provided balanced commentary, and by and large perform a public service.

      CNN has gone the way of FOX News.

      October 19, 2011 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve in Denver

      No, cnn is not the PR arm of the Democratic party. They don't make stuff up, as faux does. They don't have several of the "movers and shakers" of the Democratic party on their payroll. There is no comparison. CNN ain't perfect, but it starts with news. Faux starts with republican and koch talking points.

      October 19, 2011 at 10:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • gay repub


      October 20, 2011 at 12:29 am | Report abuse |
    • gay repub

      Thats MEXICANS

      October 20, 2011 at 1:40 am | Report abuse |
    • gay repub

      If u want to know what KING HUSSEIN OBAMA has been up to (and his thugcrats) go to newsmax, u will see all the scandals KING HUSSEIN is involved in, which include murder of AMERICANS IN FAST AND FURIOUS, HE KNEW ABOUT THAT, HE KING HUSSEIN OBAMA IS EVIL AND CRAZY, UNBRAINWASH UR SELVES AND GO TO NEWSMAX OR NEWSMAXTV TO LEARN THE TRUTH

      October 20, 2011 at 12:23 am | Report abuse |
    • amalasan

      Yeah any thing that challenges your fragile house of preconceived illusions and all of a sudden its hitler this nazi that....seriously you republicans have a real problem with reality

      October 19, 2011 at 6:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • gay repub


      October 20, 2011 at 1:35 am | Report abuse |
  12. j-tho

    doesn't anyone at cnn know grammar and spelling anymore?

    October 19, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
  13. bezerkur

    FUBAR! its unsolveable. only time america is prosperous is after a world war or when we were the leaders of oil production. fund more research for science.

    October 19, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
  14. HR

    WHERE IS THE TRUTH SQUAD for the idiot Obummer????? He tells more lies than anyone in history – where is his truth squad CNN or do you expect us to believe him since he is your boy?????

    October 19, 2011 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • patricia

      What Truth Squad? CNN is a joke. Truth is something they know nothing about. CNN = Communist National News.

      October 19, 2011 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pravda

      Can you provide examples?

      October 19, 2011 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • mikaman3000

      to pravda
      These are just a few of the examples of the lies told by CNN
      Willful ignorance is no longer tolerable in the age of the Internet Pravda. Please wakeup !!

      October 19, 2011 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Brian

    Truth and GOP in the same sentence? This reminds me of old Tricky Dick Nixon. Oh, pardon me. By the way, this country hasn't had a real journalist since Edward R. Murrow.

    October 19, 2011 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • FiveF

      Hey BRIAN, before you reply on something which you obviously know nothing about, how about doing some research on Ron Paul. He has never lied and does NOT flip flop like the rest of the politicians out there. Ron Paul has written or co-sponsored as many bills with Democrats as he has with Republicans. He is and has always been looking out for the American people. Its people like you, CNN, FOX and Anderson Pooper who follow like sheep into the mouths of wolves. Get some knowledge of your own instead of following the lies of the media and corporate corrupts alike. It shows America is doomed because too many people are like you, sheep. At least Ron Paul is a real non-partisan candidate who is truth!

      October 19, 2011 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
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