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. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    Just write in "groundhog."
    See if you win.

    October 19, 2011 at 8:32 am | Report abuse |
  2. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    @ Katie:
    Voting is based on bias.
    It's not perfect, but it's the best system available.

    October 19, 2011 at 8:35 am | Report abuse |
  3. Jj

    @jif ditto im a big time pub but damn im on the fence here. my good friend is a big supporter of ron paul. the more i talk to her the more i like him. on the other hand i dont want to throw my vote away on someone that i know surely wont win. it sounds like ross perot all over again.

    October 19, 2011 at 8:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Festinger

      Ron Paul would destroy Obama. He is possibly the ONLY candidate who would attract Independents and all of those Democrats who were disappointed by the lack of "change", including anti-war Democrats.

      October 19, 2011 at 9:08 am | Report abuse |
    • banh

      @ Jj... when will our mentality go from "throwing our vote away" to "doing the right thing and intelligent thing?" Do you think we have another 50 years to waste, waiting for our Duopolistic dictatorship to take form and completely turn us into a Communist, Fascist, Corporate-run colony????? I would SUGGEST you think about this mindset of "throwing your vote away". Spend your free time doing the same exact thing your friend is doing... get the word out to your friends and family about Ron Paul.. It's your responsibility as an adult to participate, not just observe the political process and take what's fed to you Jj...

      October 19, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Rosalie Bhatnagar

    I would like to see some questions in these debates that require a YES or a NO answer and make them stick to it.

    October 19, 2011 at 8:36 am | Report abuse |
  5. Rich

    One of the first requirements for the tea baggers is 1/2 truths and a person who can't string a full sentence togather...W & Rick
    come to mind...

    October 19, 2011 at 8:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Strider

      Rich, you do wonders to advance your point of view. Teabaggers? Really? Rather than debate someone on the merits of their ideas, you resort to name-calling and defamation. I love people like you, because you show all of those people out there who haven't made up their mind yet just how vapid and misinformed the opponents of the tea party can be. I honestly believe I could have a more lively and substantive debate with my 10-year-old than someone like you. You can't argue for bigger government, because no one wants it, so you call a tea party member a "teabagger". You can't argue for higher taxes because no one wants those, so you call any wealthy or successful person or business thieves or liars and try to promote envy and class warfare. You can't argue against the idea of individual freedom and personal responsibility because most believe in those, so you call a conservative or tea party member a nazi. Thank you so much. You and your ilk are winning the argument for us, one inane post at a time......

      October 19, 2011 at 9:11 am | Report abuse |
  6. Jack

    When is the last time CNN did any fact checking on the Democratic Party. For 4 years CNN has been lining up along with thousands of other losers to drink the Obama, Pelosi, Reid Kool-Aid

    October 19, 2011 at 8:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Ted

      Geez Jack, do you suppose it's because Dems aren't having presidential debates right now?
      Go back and look at the last election, and see if fact checking was not done between Obama and Hillary.
      You'll have to eat crow, buddy. There was plenty of fact checking. Is the REAL problem you have really that you don't like to think your candidates would lie?

      October 19, 2011 at 9:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Antonio

      Jack you really are drinking the Tea. CNN were doing fact checks during the Democratic debates. stop with the lies already, it's amazing how Repubs always cry about how they think they get treated but tout how tough they are. sounds like baby need a blanky.

      October 19, 2011 at 9:01 am | Report abuse |
  7. Dwight

    Sorry that CNN and Anderson are still not taking Ron Paul seriously....especially for not letting him have a closing statement. Typical CNN politics.

    October 19, 2011 at 8:44 am | Report abuse |
    • SiriusVH

      That's simply because nobody, except a fringe of lunatics, can take RP seriously. I guess that had not occurred to you.

      October 19, 2011 at 9:17 am | Report abuse |
    • CluelessLib

      It is hard to take Obama seriously either, but you nitwits elected him.

      October 19, 2011 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
    • tannim

      Actually, that one was because of CNN's broadcast time constraints and the fact that Perry and Romney wouldn't STFU over old stuff from two debates ago. Santorum didn't get a closing statement either.

      October 19, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • banh

      RON PAUL causes these Corporate-OWNED media foot soldiers to wet themselves. He represents a new program in Washington and the gradual END to corruption in American national politics and MEDIA.

      RON PAUL will "educate" Americans on how we've been taken to the cleaners by the Corporate/Media/Lobby/Federal Reserve/Dem-Rep/Socialist/Neoconservative Duopoly scam for many decades, and you can ONLY imagine how these guys fear Ron Paul...

      It IS up to the grass roots population to take control of this election in 2012. The INTERNET is the new media, so we need to put it to it's best possible use!!

      RON PAUL 2012!!

      October 19, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Lou

    In other words, Republicans can't even be honest with themselves.

    October 19, 2011 at 8:46 am | Report abuse |
  9. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    The best system would be a benign monarch, if one were always on the throne.
    I think that Solomon would have made a good POTUS–but then, there's the Middle East to consider.
    It's hard to get away from democracy, and bias is everywhere.

    October 19, 2011 at 8:48 am | Report abuse |
  10. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    To somewhat misquote Mark Twain, "There are Lies, D***ed Lies, and Republican Presidential Debates"

    October 19, 2011 at 8:51 am | Report abuse |
  11. zoozie

    Romney – Cain ticket please!!!!!!!!

    October 19, 2011 at 8:52 am | Report abuse |
  12. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    @ jj,
    I think the same way you do, and I really don't think Ron Paul could win.

    October 19, 2011 at 8:53 am | Report abuse |
  13. Kerry

    The winner in this election is not going to change anything drastically enough to really make a difference. The country will continue to limp a long regardless of who is in office. We like to have the illusion that we are in charge and can make a difference but it is all out of our control. To the disdain of most, the 1% run the world.

    October 19, 2011 at 8:55 am | Report abuse |
  14. Jack

    The only candidate that actually stated the absolute truth was Ron Paul, but I see that CNN's fact checking didn't include that. Where is the Fact Checking for CNN???

    October 19, 2011 at 8:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Ted

      Is FOXNews doing ANY fact checking on these guys at all? And you know they don't say much about Ron Paul there! They'd probably have to hire some new people who are not biased in order to do a legitimate job of truthful fact checking.

      October 19, 2011 at 9:05 am | Report abuse |
    • trixie

      The purpose of the article seems to be to point out only 'misleading' or 'incomplete' statements made. Maybe the author(s) think that Mr. Paul didn't say anything that falls in either of those categories. (and, no, I'm not supporting Mr. Paul and am not going to vote for him. I'm just trying to look at this objectively and without being rude to my fellow commenters. Hope I was successful.)

      October 19, 2011 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |
  15. Rod M. Chicago

    The republicans lie so much in public, in the open and they have no remorse or accountability for it. Herman Cain says, "It was a joke or I misspoke" to EVERYTHING he says that becomes controversial or wrong, Bachman looks like a fool willing to say ANYTHING to get attention, Perry is a stiff who seems just like Bush, Romney looks and sounds like a robot that is CHANGING its programming with popular opinions...the only one with a sense of truth, seemingly, is Ron Paul. At least he seems driven to speak the truth as he sees it whether it is popular or not. Cain is the worst - he's like a court jest, uncle Tom and egotistical blowhard all wrapped in one.

    October 19, 2011 at 9:00 am | Report abuse |
    • SiriusVH

      GOP mantra:
      1. if you don't know the facts, make them up
      2. if you know the facts, distort them

      October 19, 2011 at 9:19 am | Report abuse |
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