How many fibs have Barack Obama and Mitt Romney told in their campaign for the White House?
“Fact checkers” have kept score for US voters making charts to explain the tall stories told. The Washington Post developed a Pinocchio rating for politicians’ statements and has published in-depth analyses into the truthfulness of their claims. Currently, Obama has a 2.1 Pinocchio rating while Romney’s nose is slightly longer at 2.4. The New York Times has live fact checks where “reporters and editors will be answering your questions”.
PolitiFact.com which has a rating system grading the candidates’ truthfulness up to a “pants on fire” grade, also keep track of “promises kept” by candidates. Currently promises are kept 23 per cent of the time by Romney and 38 per cent by Obama. The fact checkers are even sceptical of Instagram with BuzzFeed reporting that an image used on Romney’s website was manipulated to exaggerate the size of a crowd at a campaign rally.
Romney pollster Neil Newhouse, dismissed fact checking saying:
1. Claimed Mitt Romney plans to “fire” Big Bird. Not really possible.
2. Said that Romney “backed a bill that outlaws all abortions, even in cases of rape and incest”. Romney voted for the opposite.
3. Said, “Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, and Newt Gingrich all say they would cut foreign aid to Israel — and every other country — to zero.” None of them said they would give zero aid to Israel.
Mitt Romney’s top 3:
1. Ran radio and TV ads claiming Barack Obama “sold Chrysler to Italians who are going to build Jeeps in China” at the cost of American jobs. The company denied the claims and in fact his ads reverse the reality that Chrysler has grown its US workforce.
2. Repeatedly claimed that people don’t die in the US because they lack health insurance. Romney said. “We don’t have people that become ill, who die in their apartment because they don’t have insurance.” According to a 2009 Harvard Medical school study, “lack of health insurance is associated with as many as 44,789 deaths per year in the United States, more than those caused by kidney disease.”
3. Said President Obama “didn’t even mention the deficit or debt” in the 2012 State of the Union address. Obama mentioned it six times. – Nigel Gladstone