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. Dubya

    The reason that Republicans lie so much is that they know they can. Their supporters eat up every bumper sticker slogan and come back for more. If people who call themselves "conservatives" actually knew the facts, they'd abandon this pack of crooked liars.

    October 19, 2011 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Steveo

      Your statement can be applied to EVERY party to include: DEM, GOP, Independent, socialist, communist, green, tea. ALL parties have fibbers amoungst their ranks! Including yours! Yet all of them have those who really care about this country as members as well! Bias, we all have it yet it clouds our senses!

      October 19, 2011 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Allen

      including yours stevo

      October 19, 2011 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cogito


      A) The fact that this can be said about every political party in no way diminishes the truth of Dubya's statement.

      B) There is NO SUCH THING as an "Independent Party", either in general or specific terms.

      In a general sense, every party is controlled by someone or some group and their particular agenda, so they are not independent. They are beholden to some interest, whatever it may be.

      In a specific sense regarding an actual "Independent Party," those voters that define themselves as independents, such as myself, don't adhere to the principles of any one party, have no formalized, written party line, and have no structured organization in the sense of a traditional party to which we belong. There are good ideas in all parties, and terrible ideas in all parties. Those of us that are independents feel that there is no party that represents our ideals, and thus we refuse to associate with any one party.

      The very idea of belonging to an "Independent Party" is contrary to the very reason why I identify as an "independent" voter. There is no "independent Party."

      October 19, 2011 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • AmINuts

      You can say the same of the democrats too. All of them lie to get elected.

      October 19, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steveo

      All I am pointing out is how our biases cloud our vision! Those on the left quick point out the lies of the right all while ignoring the lies of those on the left and vice versa!

      @ cogito, while there is no "independent party", my sole issue is pointing out bias and we all have them, myself included. We shout and stomp while pointing at the other party, yet are willfully ignorant about our own!

      @allen, I believed I already stated we all have biases, so yes my party included!

      October 19, 2011 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Elizabeth

    We are behind Spain in solar technology: they have a melted salt solar energy plant (up and running) that beats the U.S. in technology. BEATS THE U.S... Perry should be pushing money into America to be number ONE. Romney's Massachusetts health plan does work for them. Most Americans like healthcare, we just don't like health insurance industry written care; we want universal care. Cain's "999" wouldn't allow the poor to buy soap; he is cruel and unusual. My question to all these candidates would be: "Which one of you puts America before foreign countries, especially when it comes to not sending jobs overseas, giving Americans health care and services, and prepares a clean energy future that won't destroy the land we live on?" Answer: NONE OF THE ABOVE.

    October 19, 2011 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      You know how many solar plants have to litter the lands before it equates to even one nuclear plant? Talk about a waste of space. France widely uses nuclear power, and you don't see them in ruins.

      October 19, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jay

      Actually, Ron Paul meets all of those criteria. There is an strong bias against Paul in all of the media coverage, but he is the most principled and patriotic man of the lot of them by a long shot.

      October 19, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Joe

    Liars, Losers, and Lunatics. Pick one for president of the most powerful country on earth. Scary.

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

    So basically, last night's debate, if you can call it a debate, was a bunch of bumper sticker lies.

    October 19, 2011 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steveo

      I saw the same thing in 2008 when it was the dems!

      October 19, 2011 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Ben James

    There is not enough truth or integrity between the entire group to fill a thimble.

    October 19, 2011 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
  6. stanton


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

      Is this really a fact or is it an opinion? There is a world of difference between the two.

      October 19, 2011 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Kweg Yung

    Corporate America's expansion into China was paid for by the American taxpayer. Bush's “tax cuts for the rich” policy helped to fund this transition. That's why no American jobs were created but a lot of Chinese jobs were. Republican politicians represent the corporate rich, the 'job creators'. When was the last time you saw a job created in the U.S.? The rich don't pay tax in this country and their corporations are physically based in communist China; where, by the way, SOCIALIZED healthcare and SOCIALIZED education are the norm and ALL the banks are state owned. These former American companies only pay tax in China, supporting a growing communist government and military. Republican politicians sold us (U.S.) out. These guys aren't batting for us (U.S.) anymore.

    October 19, 2011 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Vince

    Do any of them ever say anthing true that isn't misleading or incomplete?

    October 19, 2011 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jay

      Ron Paul

      October 19, 2011 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
  9. stanton


    October 19, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Danielle

    How about Michelle Bachmann calling Ahmedinejad a "genocidal maniac." Are we just at the point in our discourse where we can make two giant accusations towards the head of a critical state with noone even giving it a second thought. Maniac is a bid of a stretch and genocidal is just completely made up. If you all believe IRan is such a thretaa, why dont you start by being a little bit careful as to how you approach the issue.

    October 19, 2011 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Stupid dems

    Holy crap you democrats are stupid.

    October 19, 2011 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steveo

      All parties have those in whom ignorance reigns supreme!

      October 19, 2011 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Tony

    Even though Mr Romney appears and sounds the most "polished" of the candidates, he doesn't show / have that "below-the-surface" PASSION. That controlled emotional conviction that separates the talking "rhetoric" heads from the moral, competant and inspired LEADER that deserves the highest office in this troubled land. Romney's convictions ALL appear on the "surface", a common trait of individuals who follow the "whichever direction the wind blows". And these well financed, passionless individuals leave those powerful convictions to their frustrated and disillusioned Parties -of-the-Tea and Right Wing(ers) of the Religion.

    October 19, 2011 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • tannim

      Oh, MittWitt has plenty of passion–it shows when he gets ticked off at people interrupting him because he like to feed his own ego by hearing himself talk.

      October 19, 2011 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Alex in NJ

    I wonder if CNN will deploy the truth squad when Obama is up debating. And if they do, will that group be honest, or will the majority of the media continue to operate as the propaganda arm of the Obama Administration.

    October 19, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Aaron

    This bunch lies so much that they give politicians like Nixon a good name.

    October 19, 2011 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
  15. excitizen

    Spin, lies and fantacy – which is exactly what got us where we are today with the economy – anybody remember Bush says (just 2 weeks before the financial melt down) that the "foundation of our economy is sound"????

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