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. Scott

    "It is easy to dismiss the noninterventionist view as the quaint aspiration of men who lived in a less complicated world, but it's not so easy to demonstrate how our current policies serve any national interest at all."

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

      You know, I don't like any of the canidates but at the same time. Obama has been making it worse. The thing that needs to be done is to reinstate Glass-Stegall and the two other measures in the 80s that caused this mess. Also, the Clinton Administration needs to take the blame for White water on steriods approach to the housing market where he pleaded with banks to give housing loans to everyone.

      October 19, 2011 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Also, Everyone is blaming Corporations like they are at fault. Guess what – Corporations are greedy and in it to make money for themselves and their investors ( which includes many retirement savings accounts ). They were just doing what they do. It was the deregulation of the 90s by the Federal government that gave caused this. Why did Clinton and the other politians deregulate? To put millions of dollars in their own pockets. Obama gets rich off the the stock market and so do many other politicians. Something has to be done about that, and betting on loses needs to end.

      October 19, 2011 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Bob R., Maryland

    Great "debate!" President Barack H. Obama wins!

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

      If Obama wins, we are still screwed.

      October 19, 2011 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • 4RonPaul

      Yes, Mr. Obama wins, but only after he has destroyed America and turned it into a socialist welfare state.

      October 19, 2011 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • TSRVT

      Well, I certainly hope so. These GOP candidates are a bunch of sick clowns, much like the people who vote for them.

      October 19, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sam.DCS

      You are right. Has anyone noticed the theme in all the GOP Presidential debates? Repeat, repeat, repeat Reponses, if not one has real solution, just take few months off to gather their thoughts and be a bit constructive. Can someone please ask them to focus on WHAT THEY CAN DO and stop bring current President into the show?

      October 19, 2011 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      40% sick clowns on the right, 40% sick clowns on the left. All are sick clowns. What is the difference, except you are on of the sick ones on the left?

      October 19, 2011 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Kunst

    People believe what they want to believe. The question is why they want to believe it.

    October 19, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
  4. bassmaster22

    The longer you give politicians the opportunity to debate before an election, the more BS the factory will produce. Only in America can a politician spend 2 years selling himself for a 4 year position.

    October 19, 2011 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Edwin

      Pretty soon it will be a three year campaign, then four, then five.

      October 19, 2011 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Doug

      ... and that yields an effective term of only 2 years where they are not preoccupied with re-election.

      October 19, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • RML

      And during that 2 years of campaigning they are still getting a paycheck. That's just plain wrong! We send them to DC to work for us, not get paid to campaign.

      October 19, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Phillip Brame

    As an Independent I would not vote for any of those men as the local Dog Catcher. The only one who made any sence at all was Ron Paul.

    October 19, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
  6. SonnyRey

    What jobs plan? No GOPer has one! It's 'give everything to the rich and wealthy." That's Reagan's trickle down which did not work. All theses GOPers gave you is that they hate President Obama. And it is racial. Go fact check that!.

    October 19, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Pan3

    What a bunch of liars! 4 MORE YEARS, YES WE CAN!

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

      LOL. we are still in Afghanistan and Iraq. Gitmao is still open. The economy is worse. Obamacare will NEVER be fully running because it is stupid. You want to see a liar, go vote for Obama AGAIN you party sheep/ You must be a glutton for punishment.

      October 19, 2011 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • JohnRJ08

      PittUSMC - the reason Gitmo is still open is because the Republicans in Congress blocked all attempts by the Obama administration to bring the detainees to facilities inside the US. You need to get your facts straight before you start spewing GOP talking points. This debate proves that NONE of these "candidates" has a grasp of the facts or issues. They're just hurling half-truths at each other and, in the process, they're depending on the ignorance of people like you to buy into it.

      October 19, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steveo


      You just made my point from earlier BUT are you telling me that candidate Obama had no idea he had to deal with Congress when he made that promise? Are you telling me NO Dem in Congress voted against closing GITMO? This is my point about candidates making promises!

      October 19, 2011 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sam.DCS

      @PittUSMC...Watch how you talk, we are all grownups I think. Please check your facts as suggested before making an educated opinion with solid facts. As stated and on records, both Senates and Congress blocks almost all Obama's policies and the ONLY ones that passed both houses were the ones that has over 90% of Republicans' demands. These policies are reducing the economy progress and recovery and yet GOP blames the President for BAD POLICIES, policies modified by them (GOP). Let's try this for a change, allow Obama policies without GOP input and without blocking by both Houses and then we can blame OBAMA if his policies fails. That will be fair don't you think?

      October 19, 2011 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Dixie from Bisbee az

    Perry came off as a demented squirrel. He must be the worst actor going. I think he has ads.

    October 19, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Edwin

    Unfortunately for the GOP, the more these candidates debate, the less likely they are to win the hearts of voters. Forget the minds... most voters don't use those.

    October 19, 2011 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
  10. JB

    and we need CNN to tell us what the truth is? All hail King Obama!

    October 19, 2011 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  11. s kel

    Kimmers your a lier, like All of your BLIND HATEFUL RANTS. Are you a true AMERICAN? No Your just another narrow minded Right Wing Trash who hates in power a man trying to get this country back on the road and TRIPPING OVER ROAD TRASH LIKE U.

    October 19, 2011 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  12. GordoTaco

    Hey Truth Squad – try checking up on O blame a. Intellectual dishonesty is not truth (although you would never know it if you read an article here)

    October 19, 2011 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sam.DCS

      TACO...1st he was too smart during the 2008 election and now, he's stupid, dumb ignorant, not bright, etc. Can you please make up your mind. Bush was not so smart but out of professional courtesy, the Dem worked with him. He was also called funny name truth be told but never was his policies blocked regardless how dangerous it was to the Country. Remember the 1st tax cut to the rich shortly before 9/11? Also another tax cut 3 months after the War on Iraq and then followed by Medicare drug prescription? None of these policies were blocked by the Democrats, again, out of respect to the President of America. Many voiced their opinions but voted along with his policies in order to show the American people of unity within the government.
      But now, absolute disrespect to the President and the office of the President of the United States of America. It's in the history books now, how Republicans shows no respect to President Obama.

      October 19, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
  13. s kel

    My motto to the likes of you that HATES SO MUCH IS LEAVE OR DONT BREATHE

    October 19, 2011 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
  14. s kel

    GordoTaco try lookin up your familys intellect history. It will read.......

    October 19, 2011 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  15. s kel

    .....Tea Party inbreeding.

    October 19, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
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