Truth Squad: Fact checking the GOP debate
November 13th, 2011
05:50 AM ET

Truth Squad: Fact checking the GOP debate

CNN's Truth Squad fact-checked some of the claims made at Saturday night's Republican presidential debate in Spartanburg, South Carolina. We'll take a look at some of the questions posed to the candidates, then share with you how they answered the question.

Romney: Repealing health plan will save billions

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney targeted the Affordable Care Act during Saturday's Republican candidates' debate in Spartanburg, South Carolina, saying a repeal would save billions of dollars.

The statement: "A lot of programs we like but we simply can't afford. The first one we'll eliminate, however, we're happy to get rid of. That's Obamacare. And that'll save us $95 billion by my fourth year," Romney said.

The verdict: True, but incomplete

Read why

Bachmann: CIA interrogation is lacking

The statement: During Saturday night's Republican candidates' debate on national security issues, Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota said the United States has nowhere to take terrorists for interrogation and said the CIA does not interrogate anymore.

The verdict: Misleading

Read why

Santorum challenges Obama, Bush on Iran funding

The Statement: "I've been working on Iran since back in 2004 and proposed exactly the things that Herman and Mitt Romney suggested, which was to give money to the rebel forces there to help the pro-democracy movement and put tough sanctions in place. I was opposed by President Bush, and yet we were able to overcome that and pass the Iran Freedom and Support Act. I was able to get that done, and then President Bush didn't provide money for the pro-democracy movement and President Obama cut that money."

The verdict: Misleading

Read why

Bachmann challenges administration on deficit

The statement: "In October, we just added another $203 billion in debt. When you consider the last time that Republicans controlled the budget, it was 2007 and debt was $160 billion per year. For every man, woman and child in the United States, it means each of us took $650 in debt for the month of October," Bachmann said.

The verdict: True, but incomplete

Read why

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Filed under: Politics • Republican Party • U.S.
soundoff (454 Responses)
  1. al anton

    CNN Truth Squad ?! Can you spell "oxymoron?"

    November 13, 2011 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
    • CNN is full of shi....

      ...They can only spell "we love Obama" and we're going to do every possible peice of biased reporting to help him and his cronies get re-elected. Much to the demise of America.

      November 13, 2011 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
    • tamarinds

      Yeah, because if someone even suggests that Michelle Bachmann and RIck Perry are misleading people or don't know what they're talking about on a particular issue, that person MUST be part of the liberal lie machine!!!!

      November 13, 2011 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Paulie

      How did the CNN truth squad do with Sarah Palin's emails?

      November 13, 2011 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
    • ritmocojo

      Then why are you here? Shouldn't you be on the Fake News Channel thing instead?

      November 13, 2011 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Raul

      It's impossible to be completely impartial. Your other options are fox and msnbc. So shut up

      November 13, 2011 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
    • sensible

      Yes and I can also spell's spelled "a-l a-n-t-o-n"!!!

      November 13, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  2. leeintulsa

    @chris: take it to the belief blog, god boy..

    November 13, 2011 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
  3. CNN is full of shi....

    Thrith squad??? You've got to be kidding me. What's next....the MSNBC Truth Commission. CNN is a joke and their rating reflect it. That's what you get when you've bet the house on the OB administration and look where they are....!!

    November 13, 2011 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Seattle Sue

      If so, doesn't that make you just a little bit on the stupid side for watching/reading CNN? Perhaps you should return to FOX for your information.

      November 13, 2011 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
    • israel

      and you're here because??? cnn is one of the best reporting networks that keeps their reporting non-biased towards one side or another, pull your head out of your ass

      November 13, 2011 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
    • ritmocojo

      See response to anton

      November 13, 2011 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Anne

      CIFOS, CNN does NOT= MSNBC. And I'll bet that if the views of CNN mirrored FOX, you'd be singing a different tune. Get YOUR facts checked.

      November 13, 2011 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Ed Galbraith

      Sorry CNN...things are a bit more complicated than you think. I suggest you rent a good movie and avoid this deep stuff.

      November 13, 2011 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
    • sensible

      Thrith squad??????
      Listen moron, the truth is the thuth no matter what you want it to be. You cannot change the truth just because you don't agree with it. Just accept it that these 'candidates' are sub-par and go on with your life!!!!

      November 13, 2011 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Ancient Curse

      "I choose to believe these half-truths and whole-truths, so why is CNN telling me otherwise??? My head hurts!"


      November 13, 2011 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
    • CNNDebbie

      So why do you watch and read CNN if you believe them to be full of it?

      November 13, 2011 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
  4. Change

    Let's face it, there's no truth whatsoever in anything the GOP, the Tea Party or these presidential candidates say because they all lack integrity, character and credibility.

    November 13, 2011 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
    • sensible


      November 13, 2011 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Robert

      True.....and that also applies to the current Administration and the POTUS!

      November 13, 2011 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
    • sensible

      Where is your proof, Robert?

      November 13, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Leonore H. Dvorkin

    Every time these ignorant clowns open their mouths, President Obama's chances of being re-elected go up. It is so much fun to watch the Republican party destroy itself, largely thanks to its alliance with the absurd Teabaggers. The elections this month were very encouraging to us Democrats. Obama/Biden 2012!

    November 13, 2011 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Bazoing

      We have to reelect Obama because there are no candidates. That is a pity because he is a nasty liar who promised change and then made less change than any president in modern history.

      November 13, 2011 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
  6. A. Terrill

    GOP presidential hopeful Rick Santorum and the CNN Truth Squad also do not mention that President Obama is in fact on track to spend significantly more on the Iranian opposition than the Bush administration did – the $115 million requested by the President over the past THREE years fy10-12 for democracy promotion programs in the country is only about $35 million short of the approximately $150 million spent by the Bush administration over the SIX years prior (fy04-09) cited in the article.
    Fact: Using an equal comparison period and even with the simplistic assumption that Obamas current spending trends stay flat, his administration would be on track to spend $230 million over six years on Iranian opposition support programs, some $80 million more than the Bush administration did. Therefore, the President is on track to INCREASE rather than cut these programs as stated by Santorum during the debate.

    November 13, 2011 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Tony

      You know A, it pleases me when I (rarely) read posts like yours. You back up your comments with facts and figures. Its frustrating to read someone's post who says, "Obama hasn't done anything and is ruining this country." I'm like, really? How so? But that's so typical of right wing conservatives. Like all of the Goopers they just point fingers rather than being part of the solution. I guess its like arm chair quarterbacks... "that's not the play I would have made." They would rather have a theocracy than a democracy with no taxes and screw the poor and unprivileged. It saddens me to think one day I may have to leave my country because it will no longer be the America I grew up in. Let's hope the adult voters will get out and vote with the intelligence God gave them.

      November 13, 2011 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Ed Galbraith

      Tony. Don't get god into this. He/she/it either doesn't exist is is taking a smoke break.

      November 13, 2011 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |

    The wingnut/teabagger trainwreck implosion continues. President Obama won another debate sitting in the White House watching the clowns fall on their faces.

    November 13, 2011 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
    • PulTab

      Well said. :^)

      November 13, 2011 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
  8. Reality1

    When does CNN's so-called Truth Squad start reviewing the Obama administration's 3 years of failures and lies? Oh wait. I forgot. CNN has refused to do anything that would be critical of THEIR preferred candidate. No wonder CNN is dead last in the ratings and sinking more each day.

    November 13, 2011 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
    • stanton


      November 13, 2011 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
    • TxJim

      Moron. That's not how our democracy works. If you have a beef, it's with the Legislative branch as the Executive does not make laws. Another ignorant Tea Bagger. No examples. No specifics. No details. Just bumper sticker slogans. What a hillbilly!

      November 13, 2011 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  9. Kenny

    As a child I remember my parents and society in general using such words as "Stupid", "Moron", "Ignorant", "Mentally Challanged" and many other terms to describe other people and groups and today's society has become lazy and decided to combine all of the words and now just use one words for all of he terms. Republicans is the one word that encompasses all of those 1960's to 1990's terms.

    November 13, 2011 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
    • PulTab


      November 13, 2011 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
  10. Eric

    When will CNN hit the current president with The Truth Squad?

    November 13, 2011 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
  11. stanton


    November 13, 2011 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  12. TxJim

    Why would you presume that Republicant's are truth tellers? Republic ant's are natural born liars, schemers, and conivers. I don't hire Republicant's. They are not trustworthy.

    November 13, 2011 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
  13. shut_up

    truth squad never questions prez bozo, the truth is obama controls these cnn puppets to do anything he says. how about fact checking the idiot that is on a 9 day vacation
    . ask him about our AA credit rating, solyndra, fannie and freddie, his two illegal kin that are on the dole, how big a rear his goofy wife has, why he wants to change the name of the whitehouse, good grief morons.

    his take on creating jobs: " hi i am obozo and i want to build a bridge in chicken neck, tennesse and it cost $600 billion, but it will create 1,000 jobs. just vote for me and i will make sure we route that bridge around clems outhouse. sorry i am on the 18th hole and its my turn to putt

    November 13, 2011 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Stlouisjake

      Personal attacks are the last refuge of someone that has lost a debate – the michelle comment was especially ignorant.

      November 13, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jim McDonald

    I remember when Ted Turner said same very hateful things about Catholics – and how everyone had a story about it EXCEPT CNN! I guess the 'truth squad' was on vacation someplace with no news coverage...

    November 13, 2011 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
  15. Change

    I just wonder who gave CNN the right to the Truth Squad anyway because nothing that CNN reporters or political contributors say is ever truthful or credible. For example, 99 percent of what CNN is saying is always overwhelimingly and disportionately bias and always in favor of the GOP and the tea party no matter what these politicians say or do regarding the issues at home or abroad. During the Libyan conflict, we all know that the GOP and the mainstream media, particularly republican owned and operated CNN,MSNBC and FOX all accused President Obama of "dragging his feet while civilians were being massacred by the Libyan government." However, when President Obama was able to get the European Union and Arab League on board to join NATO in carrying out the UN's mandate to protect Libyan civilians, these same Republican members of congress and their networks made a 360 on the issue by deliberately flip flopping and asking "what is the mission in Libya and what is the end game." Then they all accused President Obama of rushing to war. Let's face it, if this was Russia or China, these Republicans and those who run these networks would have been convicted of treason and sent befoe a firing squad.

    So you ask what was the mission in Libya? Well, it was to protect the libyan people and allow them to decide the future of their own country. Mission accomplished! O' and you asked what was the end game in Libya? Well, to be precise, the end game in Libya was 10/20/11. That was the day Moammar Gadhafi was officially removed from power. Mission accomplished again!

    But as a concerned American, what irritates me is the blatand and outrageous double standard and biasness that networks like CNN, MSNBC and FOX exercise when it comes to evaluating the Obama administration's response to the issues as opposed to the GOP and their tea party. For example, shortly after the UN's mission to protect civilians in Libya had been announced, CNN's Wolf Blitzer was interviewing US Ambassodor to the UN Susan Rice about this mission. And while questioning her or rather cross examining Ms. Rice, I was totally appalled by the vast number of questions that Mr. Blitzer was posing to Ms. Rice because he had asked her almost 50 questions and many of them repeated. But I was pleased that as the articulated and profesionnal Ambassador that Ms.Rice is, she showed great poised in answering all Mr. Blitzer's silly questions. However, during this same period in which the GOP were accusing president Obama of going into Libya without consulting congress, one day Wolf Blitzer was interviewing senior correspondent Dana Bash about John Boehner's failure to meet with President Obama over the previous weekend with other members of congress to be briefed on the Libyan mission. Then when Ms. Bash asked Mr. Boehner how come he was not able to be briefed via conference call, Ms. Bass smiled in response to what Mr. Boehner told her as he stated that he could not be briefed because his phone was not working. And Wolf Blitzer's response? Well, his response was let's go to a commercial. No questions asked whatsoever while John Boehner deliberately failed to make himself available for a very important military mission in which Ameerican lives were at stake.

    Finally, a day after the death of Moammar Gadhafi was announced, Republican Senator Lindsay Graham was on CNN talking to Mr. Blitzer about what had just been accomplished in Libya. And when Mr. Blitzer asked the Senator "does President get any credit for the liberation of Libya, not to my surprise Senator Graham responded by stating, "his administration does!" So President Obama gets no credit for nothing whatsoever and if anything is accomplished, his administration gets the credit. But did Wolf Blitzer elaborate and stressed on the bold leadership role President Obama took in helping to make this mission a success? Unfortunately no! And again, after Mr. Graham's dull and bias response, Wolf Blitzer again said, lets go to a commercial. TRUTH SQUAD? I SAY BULL SH-T!

    November 13, 2011 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
    • shut_up

      does obama get any credit for libya? yes he should, as libya is in shambles for a power grab and no one is in charge. well done obozo , you stirred up trouble in the mid east. nobel peace prize? what a crock?

      November 13, 2011 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • sensible

      @shut_up ... so after the Revolutionary War, when the colonies were 'in a shambles for a power grab and no one is in charge', we should have executed George Washington because he started the whole thing?
      You, my friend, are the crock!!!!

      November 13, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
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