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. Wilks

    Never state the facts to a republican. He (she) has already made up their minds, and you'll just confuse them.

    October 19, 2011 at 6:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nah

      Never state the facts to a democrat. He (she) has already made up their minds, and you'll just confuse them.

      Oh dear me! Conclusory statements and empty assertions are fun!

      October 19, 2011 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
  2. noemi

    Its time the republicans start using there heads....Its that thing that sits 3 feet above there a–hole.I know they r void of this act(thinking) but please ppl try let's see if u ppl can be half honest.tee hee never happen.

    October 19, 2011 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob in NOLA

      funny that your blinded by partisan rhetoric, thinking there is any difference at all between parties or politicians – you only show your lack of critical thinking skills and how your entire political position is defined by how you "feel" about somthing instead of the facts!

      October 19, 2011 at 7:55 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Lori

    CNN refuses to say anything about Perry's Dream Act, and half his states Hispanics are Mexican illegals, instead they keep ranting on about Romneys 2nd hand gardner illegals. Not that Romney escapes, I think his state is a Sanctuary state, this should be checked out. So far Newt is looking better and better.

    October 19, 2011 at 7:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Its not half of hispanics. Its like 10% of hispanics are illegals.

      October 19, 2011 at 8:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • lori

      to John, do you know that for a fact wit 60% growth. Guess you don't live along the border. Also, Romney said the growth of illegals in FL and CA has not increased in 10 years. I guess he lives in the world where there are only 11,000,000 illegals in the USA. They are all lying through their teeth, because they have no way of counting. Bauchman lied about how much illegals are costing the country. All you have to do is research the computer and find there were around 20million illegals here back in 2008 before Obama promised amnesty.

      October 19, 2011 at 8:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve in Denver

      Really, Lori? A man who twice committed adultery, once while his wife was sick in the hospital, while simultaneously saying Clinton was unfit for office because he was . . . having an affair?

      At least Edwards had the sense to withdraw from public life.

      October 19, 2011 at 10:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • gay repub


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

      What about Ron Paul? He's the ONLY candidate who doesn't get any accusations of being a flip-flopping hypocrite. He's probably the most radical, if you want to use that term, but he's easily got the most common sense. His ideas are solid and hands down, he's been the most consistent with his beliefs for YEARS. In fact, he was predicting these financial bubbles would occur years and years ago but no one listened. It's about time you do.

      October 20, 2011 at 12:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Steve in Denver

      Uh, gay repub, Operation Fast and Furious was a bad operation, no doubt. Two people have been fired for it, and the investigation continues. You do realize that the shrub's administration had operation Gunrunner, the same operation with similar results? The difference is Obama holds people accountable. How many of the shrub's administration were fired after the terrorist attacks in 2001 that we were warned about, or the "intelligence errors" (more like flat out lying) that sold the Iraq invasion (death toll 4,500 US Armed Forces, 100k iraqis)?

      October 20, 2011 at 12:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Steve in Denver

      Stu: Not flip flopping? THat might have been true until the summer of 2008, when he was solidly against the Iraq war. Then he pulled out of the race, and full on backed John – I don't care if we stay in Iraq 100 years – McCain. Can't flip flop much more than that.

      October 20, 2011 at 12:26 am | Report abuse |
  4. cdlynn

    Here is the border fence:stop legalizing babies, offering welfare, school k-12, college, no jobs, repeal Morton/Obamas amnesty and no medical unless life threatening for visitors only. Mexico brings their most expensive cases up here for free operations and medical care, make them pay. Politicians who say they will build a fence knows it will take years to accomplish, from getting up the money to getting it done will take 15 years. In the mean time illegals are having a field day. Laws first and NOW. Obama and Cain are the worst offenders. One term senators, congressman, govs. one term Presidency for 6 years.

    October 19, 2011 at 8:01 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Mike

    Well, I learned that Anderson Cooper is no indecent reporter. I honestly never dreamt that a supposed journalist would so openly work for Obama. What a disgrace. If I saw that, and I'm not even a Republican, just imagine what they think!

    October 19, 2011 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
  6. kwiebke

    Where's the truth watch for all of the garbage that comes out of Obama and his cronies? Oh yeah, no one's allowed to be honest about those folks. CNN has become such a pawn.

    October 19, 2011 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve in Denver

      What is it you'd like to know, bozo? Nobody is hiding anything Obama has done. THis liberal media is such a joke. Had the "liberal media" asked 10 questions in late 2002, the shrub's lies about Iraq would have been exposed. The media isn't in Obama's pocket; he is an honest man who puts his policies out for public review, and has very few minor scandals in his administration.

      October 19, 2011 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      Stev in Denver. You must live in a cave. If you would say that you'd vote for Obama no matter what because you like his politics, I would respect your statment and your right to your opinion. But saying that Obama "is an honest man who puts his policies out for public review" when all the Obamacare talks were made in back room deals and Pelosi has the balls to say that "we have to pass the bill so we can tell you what in it." Honestly, you're an idiot with no original thought of your own.

      October 19, 2011 at 10:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve in Denver

      Uh, Mark, would that be the 2000 page Affordable Care Act that was debated for MONTHS? Surely you remember, all the tea baggers shouted down any discussion all through the summer of 2010? Health care reform was a major piece of his platform, he delivered it.

      October 20, 2011 at 12:13 am | Report abuse |
    • gay repub

      Oh Steve, u are a brainwashed fool or just a hugh liar trying to protect your KING HUSSEIN BUT HE HAS RUINED AMERICA OVER THE LAST 5 YEARS, COUNTING THE DEM CONTROL OF CONGRESS,FOR THE LAST ( 5 YEARS ) Please follow ur KING BACK TO MUSLIM KENYA, IN 2012 u wont have a choice because KING HUSSEIN OBAMA IS OUTTA HERE, THANK GOD ALMIGHTY

      October 20, 2011 at 12:56 am | Report abuse |
  7. truth seeker

    Truth Squad ??? or more like Obama defender and Repub destroyer (CNN is just the opposite of Fox, each defending their idealogy parties)

    October 19, 2011 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve in Denver

      CNN is NOT the opposite of faux. I've never seen CNN run a twenty minute piece that had no basis in fact (LA Police buying $100 million in jet packs), then a one sentence retraction in the next hour. Faux did that. Faux had beck openly promoting his 9/12 rally. Faux had people running for president on it's payroll.

      There is no comparison, even if CNN were presenting a liberal bias – which it isn't.

      October 19, 2011 at 10:36 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Sean

    This is so boring I can't even read it.

    October 19, 2011 at 8:28 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Nick

    This is a terrible article. Most of the conclusions aren't really conclusions (True or False). The data is out there on many of these "incomplete" subjects. Frankly, CNN's entire coverage of this is terrible. How about you actually report facts, and then let us decide what is true or false? And I don't mean by polling us. Report FACTS. End of story. We can think for ourselves. Thanks.

    October 19, 2011 at 8:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • gay repub


      October 20, 2011 at 1:19 am | Report abuse |
  10. gordon atl

    I saw some of the debate and will finish when I get home from work. I am by no means a republican, but I thought michelle bachmann was doing well in the beginning that I saw. I saw about 45 mins of it and she was running circles around hermain cain. Cain is a real dummy to lthink he can go toe to toe with an ex tax lawyer lol.

    October 19, 2011 at 10:10 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Eric

    Steve, I also respect the way Obama has pursued his presidency. He campaigned on increasing access to health care and delivered. The bill is flawed because Republicans thought they had the votes to block it. Had they not been so disingenuous, they had every opportunity to craft a bi-partisan bill that would have been better for America. Keep in mind, this is all smoke and mirrors, so multi-millionaires don't have to pay a little more in taxes, and a few extraordinarily rich families can keep their club closed to the public.

    October 19, 2011 at 11:32 pm | Report abuse |
  12. s kel

    Ok im back, my zombie movies went off.

    October 19, 2011 at 11:48 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Frank Pierce

    About the fence for illegals – it's probably not ever going to be effective. If you have had some exposure to other news sources you will read about: Iran and their continued efforts to shore up hezbolla in South America, and Iran's continued successful attempts to gain new allies the like of Venezuela, Brazil, Chile and others. Muslims in France and how they refuse to become a part of French society but, rather passively / actively aggressively attempt / succeed in living their preferred islamic lifestyle and spread this lifestyle in pockets of not just France but, also in Spain. Iran also has allegedly aided Mexican Drug Cartels in the building of tunnels under the US which have similar sophistication / characteristics of Hizbullah tunnels on the Israel / Lebanon border. My points? Illegal Aliens present minor problems to the US. A fence is just another layer on our security onion. Far bigger problems are out there than illegal aliens.

    October 19, 2011 at 11:52 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Frank Pierce

    How real can CNN come off as being? This is supposedly a left outfit so, to have this fact check addition (insert) in this article seems strange. We cannot really get facts from your news organization nor, can we do that with the likes of Fox. Both of your organizations will to "your liking and needs" bend the facts as needed to effect your desired message to your audiences. Three constants in our world: 1) Mankind always seeks to control. 2) Mankind will always lie to bend his audience to see the world in the light that he wants us to. 3) The international church of Corruption – when it is formed, it will have the largest following in the world.

    October 20, 2011 at 12:00 am | Report abuse |
  15. Stu

    What about Ron Paul? He's the ONLY candidate who doesn't get any accusations of being a flip-flopping hypocrite. He's probably the most radical, if you want to use that term, but he's easily got the most common sense. His ideas are solid and hands down, he's been the most consistent with his beliefs for YEARS. In fact, he was predicting these financial bubbles would occur years and years ago but no one listened. It's about time you do.

    Let these candidates sling mud at each other all day while Ron Paul actually gets the important things done.

    October 20, 2011 at 12:16 am | Report abuse |
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