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. s kel

    Hey KIMMERS is your visa to stay in MY country up yet??? Why dont you go back to your own country?

    October 19, 2011 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
    • kimmiers

      boy you are smart! just because I don't claim this hateful president doesn't mean I was not born here, it means I care about what is happening in this country an my pocket book more than his pretty speeches

      October 19, 2011 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
  2. s kel

    I find it apalling to have a loud mouth non US citizan like you spouting off all negitive things about MY president be he/she be a democrat, republican, or independent.

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

      well time to go to work....because I have a job though Obama would prefer I don't

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

    foreigners (though I am not) get what is going on in this country obviously more that than you big guy

    October 19, 2011 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
  4. The Joker

    My vote: None of the above.

    One question not asked: "Is God a Republican or a Democrat?" At least 4 of the contestants would have said "Republican and he speaks directly to me". What hypocrites!

    October 19, 2011 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Jerry

      So, let me get this straight. You put words in the candidate's mouth that they NEVER said. And then you pronounce them hypocrites for what they never said?

      Only on CNN...

      October 19, 2011 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
  5. bob in LA

    Part of the problem with our debate system for candidates is they are designed to touch on too many topics and thus not allowing for full answers. Just look at how many incomplete and misleading scores these facts have. I don't want a President to govern in soundbites so let them answer questions to their fullest

    October 19, 2011 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      Too many topics? Hardly. All we heard about was 9-9-9 and Obamacare once again. Occasionally we brought up other topics, more deeply whether a state should have a right against the federal government (brought up by Ron Paul I might add) – which was a principle and not a gut answer. Every other candidate responds by what he/she should say to get elected instead of thinking about the broader policy issue.

      Good Job Ron Paul for thinking big instead of small.

      October 19, 2011 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
  6. Mea Joey

    Here's a summary of this article: REPUKES LIE.

    October 19, 2011 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
    • CluelessLib

      Ooh, catchy. ... and short enough for a Democrat to understand.

      October 19, 2011 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Jerry

      Anyone who uses words like REPUKE or Teabagger is only proving that they cannot argue the facts so they must resort to name-calling and personal attacks.

      October 19, 2011 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      Ron Paul doesn't lie. He foresees lol and it happens.

      October 19, 2011 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
  7. db

    where is the comment I posted? I think that proves my point about CNN, and their psychological "imagery" being the real purpose of the debate. Summary: I am more repulsed by CNN than by the clown dork antics on the stage, or the actual candidates, and that is saying alot.

    October 19, 2011 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
    • db

      In a dictatorship, the media is controlled – go ahead and put my comment back up please? What are you afraid of, it what I said isn't true. I wonder what key word may have blocked my post: maybe Bilderberg?

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

      hmmm, guess not... so it must be a human blocking? Strange. Thought this was "sound off" not "voice muted"

      October 19, 2011 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
  8. Boomer in Mo

    Thought the two Ricks were extremely rude, interrupting and talking non-stop in other candidates' time. Obviously they did not learn everything they need to know in kindergarten because most kindergartners I come in contact with are more polite than they were. Anderson was a joke as a moderator because he let them get away with it.

    October 19, 2011 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      Ron Paul typically writes that these debates are simply a show to suggest Americans actually have a choice in who gets elected.

      October 19, 2011 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Full Timer

    WOW! Raise your hand if saw a GOP President on the stage last night – I didn't!

    OBAMA in 2012

    October 19, 2011 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
    • poipounder

      None of them will be president... They are all far right!

      October 19, 2011 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      Wait wait... far right? Obama prints money to death, just like Republicans do, Obama goes to war without permission, just like Republicans do, Obama assassinates civilians, just like Republicans are in favor of, Republicans expand beuaracracies just like Obama does....

      And you're complaining about Republicans being far left??? They are more left than right these days, and Obama falls in line with Republican ideals.

      This whole notion of paying to create jobs and health care is a joke. It's merely a spin. All of the Republicans and Democrats are really Republicrats, tricked into thinking there's a difference.

      October 19, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
  10. s kel

    Kimmiers You are as I see it a NON AMERICAN FOOL going on calling pres Obama not your president, Listen clown I disagreeded with Bush while he was in office, but I allways respected the position and office he held. Ever since Pres Obama was elected rightwing zelots like you have been attacking that man from January two thousand nine

    October 19, 2011 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
  11. Utahgal

    The CNN debate was the most disgusting, slanted debate I have seen so far. As reported this morning on the Drudge report "Cooper egged the candidates on." Cooper ignored the first question from the audience and instead fired off his first "999" torpedo at Cain. What a set-up!! He didn't even give Ron Paul a chance to explain his reasons for running for the Presidency! Don't ever hire this self-inflated phony journalist as a moderator for a political debate in the future.

    October 19, 2011 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
  12. s kel

    Cluless Bush a uniter of what??? Other cluless people like you?

    October 19, 2011 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
  13. nightshade.

    CNN sent their Truth Squad to the republican debate. It's too bad they wasted all that money, because you know they left empty handed. Republican + truth do not equate.

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

      Interesting! Biases have ALWAYS played a major role in politics and always will. I have no problem with folks pointing out untruths in th eGOP. Somehow you end te story right right. Somehow you forgot we were promised an 8% unemployment rate when the first trillion was athorized! It was authorized and unemployment is over 9%. Somehow you forgot GITMO was going to be be closed! Still open! Maybe we aren't smart enought to understand polticians make promises with one hand behind there backs and with fingers crossed! Maybe we are not smart enough remember ALL candidates can promise the moon and some will buy it yet there is a 435 member Congress that has a huge say in what happens in this country! Sorry dems, the current President mispoke many, many times as well so don't get to excited when a GOP candidate does. In fact if we were smarter than we are and less biased, I think we would be ashamed of most politicians! But hey, that's just me!

      October 19, 2011 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
  14. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    @ banasy:
    Re: my true presidential ambitions:
    Well, you know how I am about cars.

    October 19, 2011 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  15. nick rymond


    October 19, 2011 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Steveo

      You might be right BUT we are now in Libya AND Africa and the GOP sent us there, right?

      October 19, 2011 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
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