Fact-Checking The Republican Candidates
The Associated Press:
GINGRICH: “The duty of the president is to find a way to manage the federal government so the primary pain is on changing the bureaucracy. On theft alone, we could save $100 billion a year in Medicaid and Medicare if the federal government were competent. That’s a trillion dollars over 10 years. And the only people in pain would be crooks.”
THE FACTS: Those who have crunched the numbers believe that squeezing every last penny of fraud from health care programs would not solve long-range problems that are at the heart of the federal government’s budget woes and imperil Medicare and Medicaid.
Those problems are driven by an aging population, the cost of high-tech medicine and what some researchers see as a pattern of overtreatment – the widespread use of medical tests, procedures, drugs and devices that wind up being of little or no benefit to patients.
ROMNEY: “In the business I had, we invested in over 100 different businesses and net-net, taking out the ones where we lost jobs and those that we added, those businesses have now added over 100,000 jobs…. I’m a good enough numbers guy to make sure I got both sides of that.”
THE FACTS: Romney has never substantiated his frequent claim that he was a creator of more than 100,000 jobs while leading the Bain Capital private equity company. His campaign merely cites success stories without laying out the other side of the ledger – jobs lost at Bain-acquired or Bain-supported firms that closed, trimmed their workforce or shifted employment overseas.
Moreover, his campaign bases its claims on recent employment figures at three companies – Staples, Domino’s and Sports Authority – even though Romney’s involvement with them ceased years ago.
GINGRICH: “Under Obama, 2011 was the highest price of gasoline in history. It is a direct result of his policies, which kill jobs, raise the price of heating oil and gasoline, weaken the United States, increase our dependence on foreign countries and weaken our national security in the face of Iran trying to close the Straits of Hormuz.”
FACT CHECK: It’s true that the average price of gas last year was a record: $3.52 per gallon. Tying that completely to Obama is a stretch because some of the reasons for expensive fuel have nothing to do with him or the United States.
SANTORUM: “If you haven’t been sued by CREW, you’re not a conservative. CREW is this left-wing organization that puts out a list every election of the top Republicans who have tough races and calls them all corrupt because they take contributions from PACs.”
FACT CHECK: For what it is worth, the 2011 roster of “most corrupt” listed by Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington contains nine Republicans and four Democrats. Three Democrats and two Republicans received a “dishonorable mention.”
ROMNEY: “People have watched me over my term as governor and saw that I was a solid conservative and that I brought important change to Massachusetts. They recognized that I cut taxes 19 times. Balanced the budget every one of the four years I was in governor.”
FACT CHECK: As we have written before, Romney’s account of his record on taxes is incomplete. He does not mention the many loophole closings and fee increases he pushed through in order to help keep the budget balanced.
ROMNEY: “We created more jobs in Massachusetts than Barack Obama’s created in the entire country.”
FACT CHECK: This is an apples-and-oranges comparison that gives a misleading impression. Romney earned a Pinocchio for this statement just last week.
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