Darn. I missed the big Republican debate. Mildly wondering what lies I may have missed, I checked the Washington Post Fact Checker.
I was not disappointed.
Here are the lies they debunked, along with a few parenthetical remarks from the fact checker:
“It is a monstrous lie. It is a Ponzi scheme to tell our kids that are 25 or 30 years old today, you’re paying into a program that’s going to be there.”
— Gov. Perry
(Perhaps the governor does not know the dictionary definition of a Ponzi scheme.)
“Obamacare is killing jobs. We know that from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.”
— Rep. Michele Bachmann
(...the CBO did not say the health law was killing jobs.)
“We’ve had requests in for years at the Health and Human Services agencies to have that type of flexibility, where we could have menus, where we could have co-pays. And the federal government refuses to give us that flexibility.”
(The George W. Bush administration rejected the application in 2008, saying it was incomplete and riddled with problems. As far as we can tell, the state has not resubmitted the waiver.)
“Obamacare took over one-sixth of the American economy… . If we fail to repeal Obamacare in 2012, it will be with us forever and it will be socialized medicine.”
“In our state, our plan covered 8 percent of the people, the uninsured. His plan is taking over 100 percent of the people.”
(It is simply not true, no matter how often candidates say that the Obama health care law represents socialized medicine or took over one-sixth of the economy. Socialized medicine is a single-payer system, in which the government pays the bills and controls costs, much like Medicare. Obama’s law was modeled closely on the law passed by Romney when he was governor of Massachusetts — an inconvenient fact that Romney tries hard to run away from. His comparison here is misleading, since both plans try to deal with the problem of the uninsured by requiring an individual mandate.)
“For the president of the United States to go to El Paso, Texas, and say that the border is safer than it’s ever been, either he has some of the poorest intel of a president in the history of this country, or he was an abject liar to the American people. It is not safe on that border.”
(Obama did not put it quite as bluntly as Perry suggests, and calling the president an “abject liar” seems over the top for the politically tinged comments Obama actually made.)
“He only went along with the Libyan mission because the United Nations told him to.”
— Former Sen. Rick Santorum
(Actually, Santorum has it backwards. The United States requested the U.N. resolution to gain international backing for the NATO-led intervention in the Libyan uprising.)
“The idea that we would put Americans’ economy in jeopardy based on scientific theory that’s not settled yet to me is just — is nonsense. I mean, it — I mean, and I told somebody, I said, just because you have a group of scientists that have stood up and said, here is the fact — Galileo got outvoted for a spell.”
(We will note he repeatedly did not answer the question at the debate about whether he could name a scientist he thought was credible on the issue.)
“As a matter of fact, what he’s done is, he’s said in fact to Israel that they need to shrink back to their indefensible 1967 borders.”
(Obama never said this. The president in May did give a controversial speech, in which he said the de facto border of 1967 should be a starting point for negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians, with agreed swaps of territory. A few days later, he further clarified his comments to make clear he was not saying the lines should be Israel’s border, to the point that he was thanked by the Israeli prime minister in a speech to Congress.)
Whew! That was an honest day’s work for Mr. Kessler.I guess that’s one job the Republicans can take credit for.
Now, before someone accuses me of working for the DNC, I will share a fact check on Obama.
“We said working folks deserved a break, so within one month of me taking office, we signed into law the biggest middle-class tax cut in history, putting more money into your pockets.” — President Obama, Sept. 5, 2011
(John F. Kennedy seems to win the prize for biggest tax cut, at least in the last half century. Obama’s claim of having passed the “biggest middle-class tax cut in history” is ridiculous. He might have been on more solid ground if he had claimed the “broadest” tax cut, but that doesn’t sound very historic.)
And in even more fairness to Republicans I’ll point out something Eric Cantor said that was actually respectable.
He noted Americans, "have lost a lot of confidence in Washington and while they are going through such tough times they're frankly sick of the rancor in this town."
And regarding moving forward on Obama’s jobs initiative to be presented this week, "We've got to focus on areas of commonality, try and transcend differences here. I think we need to build consensus and that's going to require us all not to impugn motives or to question patriotism."
How about that? Of course, these are mere words... from a politician.