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. trex

    If elected,.............I will make sure gasoline is 50 cents a gallon, free health care for everyone,free college for anyone, and ZERO TAXES...!!!!!!!!!!!.....What you say?........How?.......Well, there you go again...............being lead by the lame stream media , dontchno. Tea party FOREVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 19, 2011 at 7:05 am | Report abuse |
  2. Wildone

    Here's a fact you can check concerning the Obama Administrations efforts to curb illegal immigration:

    "U.S. deportations reach historic levels
    Nearly 400,000 people were deported from the United States in the past fiscal year." (CNN headline)

    October 19, 2011 at 7:07 am | Report abuse |
    • rain0x01

      I'm still waiting to hear about Obama's uncle's deportation.

      October 19, 2011 at 7:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Doledart

      So that's two illegal relatives for the President. Nice way to lead by example.

      October 19, 2011 at 8:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike in SA

      400,000 deported...a decent start, now...only 12,000,00+ to go.

      October 19, 2011 at 8:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Julie

      More like "long, lost relatives". Many of us have them, have no clue who they are or where they live, and only come out of the woodwork when you win the lottery.

      October 19, 2011 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wildone

      It's a start. Better that they are deported than offered in-state college tuition rates.

      October 19, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
  3. quagmire

    Jobs and illegal aliens. Those are the most important issues to me.

    October 19, 2011 at 7:21 am | Report abuse |
    • malcolmscott


      October 19, 2011 at 8:09 am | Report abuse |
    • mb2010a

      Why would you be concerned about jobs for illegal aliens? Oh, wait...never mind.

      October 19, 2011 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    Philosophically, I'm a Republican, but my party has no good presidential candidate this time.
    There is one Republican waiting in the wings, but he's not running.
    Maybe they're saving him for next time.

    October 19, 2011 at 7:25 am | Report abuse |
  5. Shawn Irwin

    Some of these candidates need to get their lies straight. I thought they had candidate managers to help them do that!

    October 19, 2011 at 7:34 am | Report abuse |
  6. EVN

    These half-truths and misleading statements need to have some serious consequences. How about if every outright lie cost the speaker's campaign fund a million dollar fine, the misleading statements and the half truths net a half a million dollar fine. Also require the candidate to separately and publically correct their lies and half-truths. Just those two changes should put a dent in the deficit while also taking away funding to curtail future playing fast and loose with the facts, and clear the field of politicians. It could spell the end of both the democratic and republican parties, although the elephant group does typically have much less of an aquaintance with the truth and would be the first to go.

    October 19, 2011 at 7:45 am | Report abuse |
    • groundhog

      Why not have all candidates be given lie detector tests during these debates? Personally, I wouldn't give a plug nickle for any of them. Why not have an area on the ballots indicating "None of the above"?

      October 19, 2011 at 8:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Bob in NOLA

      We can't even get the federal election commission to enforce its own rules regarding financial fraud regarding campaign contributions and you somehow think the liars and politicians (oops same thing) would agree to be held to a level of public scrutiny on the honesty of their statements? You truly are delusional!

      October 19, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • mb2010a

      The Republicans would be broke...

      October 19, 2011 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  7. fare

    I will take ANY of these Republican candidates over the moron in the White House now! Even Newt looks good when compared to the big B.O. I will say this though...when the Republicans take back the White House and the Senate, they'd better take that supermajority and do something with it. The last time they had a supermajority they were too timid and failed to ram their agenda through, even though most of the country wished they had. Now is the time for the Republicans to take over and shrink government, cut spending and straighten things out. Obama, Reid and Pelosi have shown that they're all way too wacky liberal for the average American. Look where they've taken us. It's time to take the country back from their ilk.

    October 19, 2011 at 7:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Katie

      When voters vote with their biased hearts instead of with an open mind, we end up with people who think sending people off to war to avenge their daddy is the best use of the people in this country. Obama has, in his almost three years in office: 1) enacted a law making millions of Americans insurable despite what the insurance companies wanted to do 2) found, caught, or killed nearly twenty high-ranking Al-Quaeda operatives, including the elusive bib-Ladin 3) NOT started any MORE wars 4) LOWERED YOUR TAXES 5) deported more illegal aliens than any other president in their entire eight years of office 6) offered again and again to COMPROMISE with his opposition, who have at every turn refused to budge from their narrow-minded, crippling stand.

      We have already had the worst, most damaging president in US history: Bush II. If you die-hard GOP can't come up with a GOOD candidate, you shouldn't bother to vote.

      October 19, 2011 at 8:31 am | Report abuse |
    • artsamson

      Katie you have no idea what you are talking about. Just because you have memorized what CNN says about Obama doesn't mean it is true.

      October 19, 2011 at 9:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Julie

      Absolutely true, all of it. There are none so blind as those that will not see.

      October 19, 2011 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • RR

      Where have they taken us? Please explain the free fall of th US economy prior to the Obama taking office and the relative but slow recovery we are now in. Blinders on,talking points, bias........ that is the only things thats comes from your statement. Back it up with some empirical evidence.

      October 19, 2011 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • mb2010a

      Katie, you are right on the money.
      After the 2012 election, Obama will be re-elected and both houses of Congress will be solidly Democratic. Then we will see the country return to normal. I feel so sorry for the Republican / tea party people who are going to be very surprised at their losses in 2012...

      October 19, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob in NOLA

      Obamas wars: Pakistan, Yemen, Libya, Uganda – how do you define this as not starting any wars ? I guess the same way the p[eople Said Bill Clinton never started any wars like Kosovo or Somalia !

      October 19, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • memyself

      @Bob in NOLA
      How many American Soldiers have died in Pakistan, Yemen, Libya, Uganda? In what way did we "start" any wars in these countries? Using military assets is not the same as "starting a war". We use military assets all over the world, all the time, mostly for what are deemed "police actions". Don't you think our VERY limited military action in Pakistan, Yemen, Libya, and Uganda is VERY different from what have done in Afghanistan and Iraq?

      October 19, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • lori

      Obama, and head of Homeland Security Morton passed this law behind everyones back this last July it erases all the good he has done because he is still pushing the Dream Act whether we like it or not.
      Government officials have now been given a list of 19 factors to use when deciding whether to use "prosecutorial discretion" in deportation cases.
      Essentially, what is going to happen now is that illegal immigrants are going to get to stay in the United States if any of the following apply....
      -arrival in the U.S. as a young child
      -actively "pursuing an education"
      -serving or served in the U.S. military
      -spouse of someone in the U.S. military
      -18 years old or younger
      -pregnant or nursing
      -victim of a "serious crime"
      -serious disability or health problem
      -caring for a family member with a serious disability or health problem
      As you can see, these categories are so broad that almost all illegal immigrants will be able to fit into at least one of them.
      Now we are not only going to have "anchor babies", we are also going to have "anchor pregnancies". 

      October 19, 2011 at 8:08 pm | Report abuse |
  8. AZpatriot

    If these people couldn't lie, they wouldn't have any thing to say.

    October 19, 2011 at 7:56 am | Report abuse |
  9. ATL Guy

    I thought I was watching the Ringling Bros Circus on CNN last night. Those Republicans are all clowns.

    October 19, 2011 at 8:00 am | Report abuse |
    • nukepower

      Anyone would be better than the fool in the Whithouse now

      October 19, 2011 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
  10. ounceoflogic

    Just wondering... does this "truth" squad review statements and claims made by Obama and his administration?

    October 19, 2011 at 8:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Katie

      Go to factcheck.org or snopes.com and you will find your answers. But be prepared- you probably can't handle the truth. If you want to validate your scorn and disrespect of the president, go to fox news. They've never met a fact they couldn't twist into something ugly to suit their needs.

      October 19, 2011 at 8:35 am | Report abuse |
    • lori

      I went to fact check and it was using 2006 stats for 2011 info. Not very dependable. Snops is about as reliable as its source which is probably fact check. Look up the info yourself, may take longer but you get a better view of a topic.

      October 19, 2011 at 8:37 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Justen beiber

    It's all George bushs's fault. The debate priced that the rest of the world can attack the USA. Our govermwnt and potential new president tell lies and don't listen to the average American. America are brainwashed. Please attack America, show them that they will never be the number 1 country.

    October 19, 2011 at 8:04 am | Report abuse |
  12. TomInRochNY

    I think one of the key words from the above article is "misleading".

    October 19, 2011 at 8:09 am | Report abuse |
  13. reckonso

    I'm amazed that cnn & foxnews wont even give Ron Paul any repect, he's the only canidate that will help this country,lies about poll results and pretending he's not revalant wont matter,his plan is sound and the american people better listen,the system we have now is broken but can be repaired,cant you put down your bs political agenda and admit he's a front runner.

    October 19, 2011 at 8:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Katie

      Ron Paul's plans would lead to high unemployment, a complete lack of regulation and oversight for businesses who need it most, and chaos. You're right – CNN and NPR and even FOX should expose the damage this man could do if elected.

      October 19, 2011 at 8:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Lou

      True, Ron Paul's plan will lead to unemployment of soldiers and bureaucrats, but as he points out, these people are not productive. They burn money and produce nothing.

      October 19, 2011 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob in NOLA

      Katie: Either your a partisan fool or a paid shill for the democrats, everything you spout is anti-GOP, anti- Ron Paul and basically anti freedom. We don't need more regulation or more taxes, those two policies have brought us to where we are right now. If you proposing more of the same will change the course of this country then you should own it. What has huge regulatory agencies and one of the higher levels of taxes in the world gotten us so far ? Crony payoffs, insdier corruption, too big to fail and TARP all came from the government you love to love and the one I choose to hate.

      Ron Paul is our only hope, any of the others will continue business as usual until the dollar collapses but then you wouoldnt understand that since liberals like you live and die by how they feel instead of logic.

      October 19, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • memyself

      @Bob In NOLA
      You have a romantic notion of freedom. Your strong FEELINGS about this keep you from recognizing the danger of unregulated capitalism. You say liberals "live and die by how they feel", yet your post does not make any factual or logical argument. It is simply an emotional appeal. Phrases like "live and die", "you love to love and I chose to hate", "partisan fool or paid shill", and "anti-freedom" are mere demagoguery.

      October 19, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Johnson

    How can anyone possibly believe what Romney says. He has lied repeatedly over the past 20 years he has been running for one office or another. The man is a hypocrite who would say and do anything to get into the White House.

    October 19, 2011 at 8:17 am | Report abuse |
  15. J.D.

    Wow, the CNN fact checkers found the candidates statements either "misleading" or "incomplete"? SHOCKER! Have they turned their fact checkers loose on Oblame-a?

    CNN is enjoying their BEST RATINGS of the year because of these debates. As soon as these debates are over CNN will be back to battling MSNBC for hind teet once again.

    October 19, 2011 at 8:24 am | Report abuse |
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