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Checking Up On Your Favorite Candidates*

(* And the other ones, too.)

Romney / GiulianiI'm surprised we haven't blogged about this one before: FactCheck.org, a project of the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg Public Policy Center, which holds political candidates (no matter what party they represent) to task for mis-statements, distorted facts, and outright untruths in major speeches, debates, and other appearances. It's the kind of detailed fact-checking you expect, but rarely get, from major media outlets—and it's an incredibly useful resource as we head for a contentious primary season. An example of a recent summary:

Tongues were sharpened before Sunday night's GOP presidential debate in Orlando, with the candidates drawing blood right out of the gate. We found them factually challenged in several areas:
  • Giuliani stretched till he broke, in calling Thompson "the single biggest obstacle to tort reform" in the Senate.
  • Romney boasted of his Massachusetts health care plan and criticized Hillary Clinton's, although her plan is strikingly similar to Romney's Massachusetts program. He also falsely accused her of favoring "all-government insurance."
  • Giuliani claimed the price of health insurance would drop more than 50 percent if millions more people purchased it directly, a statement unsupported by any evidence he's offered so far.
  • Thompson said the most affluent 40 percent of Americans pay "about 99 percent of the taxes." Actually, they pay less than 85 percent, and also have nearly 74 percent of all the income.
  • Giuliani made an inflated boast about bringing down crime in New York "more than anyone in this country - maybe in the history of this country." But the decline started before he took office, continued after he left, and even the FBI itself warns against attributing crime statistics to any specific cause.

Link: FactCheck.org


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