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

    Stevo u azz its President Obama.

    October 19, 2011 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steveo

      When was the promise to close down GITMO made and who madd it? Was it President Obama or was it candidate Obama? I make it simple, was the promise made before or after the election of Nov 2008? Your juvenile name calling adds nothing to the debate!

      October 19, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  2. s kel

    If teatrash republicants in congress gets reelected WE ARE SCREWED AGAIN!

    October 19, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • DJ

      "Teatrash republicants"? Try forming a cogent argument. Ad hominem is the tactic of the weak.

      October 19, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  3. OMG

    its scary to say that of all the candidates on the podium....Crazy Ron paul was making the most sense.....and yes for that he will be ignored by the kingmakers=CNN

    October 19, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
  4. clauderaines

    This bunch of candidates are definitely losers and in turn, so is the american public.

    Cain's 9-9-9 plan has not been presented in its entirety, so the assumptions are that those making less will pay more and those making over 200K will pay less than they pay now. Nice move by Cain to make himself and the rest of the rich richer. Why not 5-10-15 5% for those making less than 1 million, 10% for those making up to 10 million and 15% for those making over 10 million. Why doesn't the non-partisan Tax Policy Center come up with a suggestion?

    Here's an idea – since congress represents the american people, any proposed law should be published on the internet and the american people should vote yea or nay and the politicians would be compelled to vote the way of the people.

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

    4ronPaul shut up an support your slug that smokes meth and does not GIVE A DAMN ABOUT AMERICANS DESTROYED BY NATURAL DISASTERS!

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


    October 19, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
  7. hmmm...

    OK...let's settle the argument- for some segment of the population the end of the world will come with the next election- I've heard that for every election since Nixon/Goldwater yet here we are...still saying the same stuff so...I'm not worried. Newt is the most resonable and able to thi nk on his feet than anyone. The man knows history, he is philosophical and can keep his cool. I'd love to see him go head to head with Obama. So, for everyone else- settle down. Things cannot get much worse than ...than Carter, Bush or Obama years.

    October 19, 2011 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Paul

    Cool. Everything Ron Paul said was completely factual. If anyone thinks these other used-car salesmen in the employ of the banks (I include our present Commander in Chief) represents their best interests, then by all means–vote for them. It's your right to do so.

    Me, I will write Ron Paul's name on my Presidential Ballot if it isn't there and put a big, fat check mark next to it. End Big Government! Vote Ron Paul 2012!

    October 19, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  9. george of the jungle

    the same bunch of clowns saying the same bunch of junk,

    October 19, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  10. TSRVT

    These GOPers make for good theater, but not one of them would be a decent president. Obama 2012.

    October 19, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jake

    Not a single totally True answer from these candidates. Guess that tells us a lot about Teapublicans.

    October 19, 2011 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steveo

      Are you sure about that? Did CNN fact check EVERY answer?

      October 19, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  12. RML

    Listen to David Gergen. He's always right on. Mitt Romney or Rick Perry will be the one going up against Obambam in 2012. Frankly, Rick Perry makes the most sense when he speaks. In the end, Mitt Romney being Mormon may very well hurt him because most main stream Christians think Mormonism is a cult. (I don't agree with that philosophy, but many do.)

    October 19, 2011 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steveo

      I'm not so sure. Perry's frequent blank stare and ackward silence when answering questions bother me.

      October 19, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
  13. us1776

    The winner of last night's GOP debate was President Obama.


    October 19, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Big_D

    I just don't understand how the GOP can talk out of both sides of their face. Obama wanted a public option and Lieberman sided with the GOP until the public option was removed. They ruined good legislation with filibusters now they are blaming it on Obama.

    October 19, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
  15. s kel

    DJ are you afraid of calling the " teatrash, tea dong, tea cants, republicanos , republicants ect....what they really are?? Hateful spewing nothings. Lets just hope your not in that same line of names. I personally think you are.

    October 19, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
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