In the first New Hampshire debate among 2012 presidential hopefuls, we found a number of incorrect, misleading or shaky factual claims:
- Pawlenty was wrong when he boasted that he was “one of the few governors” to respond to a Bush request to send guardsmen to the southern border. In fact, all 50 states participated in that border operation.
- Romney claimed that “we didn’t raise taxes in Massachusetts” to pay for his health care law. In fact, his successor imposed a $1-a-pack tax increase on cigarettes to pay for the new law.
- Santorum claimed a Medicare advisory board created by the new federal health care law will result in a rationing of care for seniors. The law specifically says the board “shall not include any recommendation to ration health care.”
- Santorum was wrong when he said the Obama administration is “against any kind of exploration offshore or in Alaska.” The administration has approved 296 new permits for new offshore oil wells since taking office, and it is considering granting the first permits in Alaska since 2004.
- Bachmann claimed the Congressional Budget Office “has said that Obamacare will kill 800,000 jobs.” That’s a distortion. CBO said some Americans would work less or leave their jobs if they can get health insurance outside the workplace.
- Pawlenty said that “[if] Brazil can have 5 percent growth, then the United States of America can have 5 percent growth,” showing his economic plan is not unreasonable. But the fact is, World Bank figures show Brazil has failed to achieve 5 percent growth for 23 of the past 30 years.
- Gingrich again tried to rewrite history by claiming that his words “right-wing social engineering” were “totally taken out of context.” In fact, he called Paul Ryan’s plan “too big a jump” and “radical” change as well.
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