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. marty

    I would have loved to see Perry and Romney go to blows right in the middle of the debate when Romney out his hand on Perry's shoulder. What a total bunch of nitwits

    October 19, 2011 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Greg

      Well now, that was really funny, and to think that these people want to be President of the United States. They can't even keep a debate civil. I don't think any one of them could run this country.

      October 19, 2011 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
    • kimmiers

      Funny you talk about civil...since your president seems to know that concept. Maybe since you are an expert you should teach him

      October 19, 2011 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
  2. Maude

    Pray for Allah, he will save the US.

    October 19, 2011 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Gene McC

      I would pray for Allah, but I think she can take care of herself.

      October 19, 2011 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
    • kimmiers


      October 19, 2011 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
  3. Jack

    Yet again not one word on Ron Paul...

    October 19, 2011 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Gene McC

      Ron Paul does not stir sensationalism like media outlets demand. Common sense just doesn't make the headlines.

      October 19, 2011 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
    • jecd

      Maybe folks don't like the idea that people without health insurance should just die if they get sick.

      October 19, 2011 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
    • HenryPat

      People tire of listening to someone who's against everything.

      October 19, 2011 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
    • CluelessLib

      Well if he is against everything like the spending and the propping up of "friendly dictators" in foreign countries then I would say that he is right on target.

      October 19, 2011 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Skyler

      Really? "Clueless Lib." Please people, can we at least show a little class between each other. That's would be beneficial.

      October 20, 2011 at 1:59 am | Report abuse |
  4. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    @ Retired Military in San Antonio:
    You're right. It's more complex than what I suggested, education.
    I, too, was guilty of trying to simplify.
    There are many causes of this cognitive swamp.

    October 19, 2011 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
  5. JoePekoe

    The CNN truth squad got it WRONG in their analysis of Michelle Bachmann's CLASS statement. Their analysis only reiterates and confirms exactly what Bachmann said, that government cannot support the program. The fact that it is self-funding from premiums provided by participants is exactly the point she was making. Social security is ALSO "self-funded" by participants but cannot support itself. The bottom line is that Obama's government recognized that the premiums for CLASS would not provide enough income to offset the expense of the program, AND participants would likely not be able to afford high premiums. That means if implemented the government would have to pick up the difference in cost of providing the service. Bachmann's statement "government can't afford that part (of obamacare) and has to throw it out" is exactly correct and TRUE.

    October 19, 2011 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
    • blah blah blah

      right on point – thanks!

      October 19, 2011 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
  6. winona terrograd

    Strange that republicans all want a president that believes in jesus as long as he doesn't act like jesus.

    October 19, 2011 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Russell

      I remember Jesus beating the Hell out of some money changers (bankers) at one time...

      October 19, 2011 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Some People...

      It's people like Russel that make me wonder what happened to America...

      October 19, 2011 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
    • CluelessLib

      Jesus would not be able to work well with congress as he was not known for compromising his principles.

      October 19, 2011 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
  7. Russell

    Looks like a media blackout on Ron Paul to me

    October 19, 2011 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
  8. Jonathan Calloway

    If we took Perry's energy plan and ran with it, we would be spending all the money we made, at our new jobs, on health care. The way they extract natural gas is worse for the environment than the way they drill for oil or blast off mountain tops for coal. He is right about one thing though, we do need to get rid of all the regulations on oil, coal and natural gas and we should do that by banning their use.

    October 19, 2011 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
    • booyah1

      you are a total idiot. Its people like you that put this country in the position it is today

      October 19, 2011 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
    • CluelessLib

      Jonathan, with all due respect, you don't know what you are talking about.

      October 19, 2011 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
  9. kimmiers

    you people are ridiculous. this is so hypocritical. Though I do see the point when is ANYTHING Obama says fact checked. CNN is one obviously VERY one sided and I wish the candidates wouldn't give them or their liberal audience the time of day. The candidates are disappointing, but only oblivious people want four more of Obama, he's ruining our counrty and loving it

    October 19, 2011 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Dan5404

      I have seen CNN do fact checks on many politicians including the president, They dom't pull punches and have criticized both sides for incomplrte, exaggerated or false claims. Seems pretty non-partisan to me. Since it's the GOP getting all the free television time, it is natural that there is more occasion to analyze what they say in these endless debates.

      October 19, 2011 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
  10. Jackson

    Funny, I don't remember CNN ever having a "Fact Check" on Obama during the campaign nor in the past three years.
    Got bias?

    October 19, 2011 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
    • GJSII

      They did quite frequently. Try tuning into something other than fox when you got that Obama-bash itch Jackson

      October 19, 2011 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
  11. como1

    I would love to see CNN do this with Obama in the interest of fair reporting and nonpartisanship.

    October 19, 2011 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Dee

      um they have.. many times.. and if you want to see the facts. go to POLITIFACT.. check all of the things our great PResident has done before criticizing..

      October 19, 2011 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
    • kimmiers

      Ms. Intelligence...we are talking CNN being one sided on their fact cheking with the "squad" not your beloved website

      October 19, 2011 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
    • GJSII

      They do kimmiers.

      October 19, 2011 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Skyler

      Kimmers...Ms. Intelligence? Was that supposed to be an insult? That's just downright unfortunate. However, politifact is indeed a wonderful website, and I do encourage you to use it for your information.

      October 20, 2011 at 2:04 am | Report abuse |
  12. banasy©

    After pausing and reflecting on your question, I can give you an honest answer:
    No, I would *not* like to be POTUS.

    October 19, 2011 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
  13. Dee

    the truth about Obama.. see the good things he has done haters...

    October 19, 2011 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
    • kimmiers

      also one sided.....closed minded makes you blind

      October 19, 2011 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
    • AreWeTherYet

      Does that mention "No lobbyists in my cabinet"?
      Does that mention the public comment period on every bill ?
      Does that mention the budget balanced by the end of his first term?
      Does that mention the economic turnaround from TARP?
      Does it mention his "Shovel Ready Jobs"?
      Does it mention the 6% unemployment that his brilliant plan would briing us down to?

      I'm sure he's kept a LOT of campaign promises – to his corporate sponsors.
      You know, like GE – 14 billion in profits, ZERO taxes, exporting job after job....
      Like Solyndra... make something that costs $6, sell it for $3 – Revolutionary! Lets give them over $500 million...

      Bottom line is you cannot spend your way out of debt. You need more income and more responsible spending, but there has to be cuts and there has to be taxes paid by everyone – including the corporate "Fat Cats" he supposedly wants to pay their fair share (except his campaign contributors of course).

      Politicians are all crooked, sad examples of humanity. Obama is really no different than most. But stop rabidly defending his lies, please. That's right up there with the other fnatics defending Palin and Bachmann. Sheesh....

      October 19, 2011 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
    • kimmiers

      checked it out and as thought....no fact checking of what Obama SAYS....SAYS is the point here

      October 19, 2011 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
  14. Working Joe

    Never have I seen a bigger group of losers in one place at the same time very sad for this country. CNN stop flip flopping on your facts and try telling the truth you are not Fox News so stop acting like them.

    October 19, 2011 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
  15. s kel

    As our friend RUFFNUT (EVIL ELF SLAYER/TROLL SMOKER) pointed out in a earlier blog, hermiicanes 9-9-9 plan is really his 6-6-6 plan. Out to DESTROY US ALL!

    October 19, 2011 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
    • kimmiers

      WOW! You are right since our economy is so stellar with your president right now

      October 19, 2011 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
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