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23-Jul-2012, 11:58 AM #286
Three Pinocchios

An unoriginal Obama quote, taken out of context
Posted by Glenn Kesslerat 06:02 AM ET, 07/23/2012

"If you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own" quote by Obama.

Quote:
We were reminded of this as we considered the ruckus over comments by President Obama that his GOP rival, former governor Mitt Romney, criticized as an attack on free enterprise. Romney immediately began jabbing Obama on the campaign trail and the Romney campaign rushed out an attack ad focused on Obama’s words — though, as we shall see, it sliced and diced the president’s quote to make it seem much worse.

We will stipulate that taking snippets of quotes and twisting them is an age-old political tactic. In May, we gave Two Pinocchios to President Obama for performing out-of-context quote-snipping on Romney’s words. But that doesn’t make it right. Let’s take a look at what Obama actually said, and then how it has been interpreted.
The Facts Read facts at link.

Quote:
The Pinocchio Test

Obama certainly could take from lessons from Warren or Roosevelt on how to frame this argument in a way that is less susceptible for quote-snipping. And Romney certainly could answer Obama’s argument by engaging in a serious discussion about whether the wealthy should pay much more in taxes as a matter of social good and equity. That would be grounds for an elevated, interesting and important debate.

But instead, by focusing on one ill-phrased sentence, Romney and his campaign have decided to pretend that Obama is talking about something different — and then further extrapolated it so that it becomes ridiculous. That’s not very original at all.

Three Pinocchios
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/...g.html?hpid=z5
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24-Jul-2012, 12:04 PM #287
Two Pinocchios

Obama uses out-of-date data to criticize Romney’s Medicare plan
Posted by Glenn Kessler at 06:00 AM ET, 07/24/2012 TheWashingtonPost

Quote:
This is a highly emotional and difficult subject to understand. There’s a reason why we suggested last year that readers would be best advised to mute the sound if any ad concerning Medicare aired — for either party.

Let’s look more deeply at the president’s remarks.
The Facts Read facts at link.

Quote:
The Pinocchio Test

The policy differences on Medicare are substantial, but that still does not justify using out-of-date figures from last year’s plan — especially because the plan has been updated and made more generous to deal with some of the original criticisms made by Democrats.

The president should avoid claiming such specifics unless he can cite new data to make his case.

Two Pinocchios
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/...html#pagebreak
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25-Jul-2012, 01:20 PM #288
One Pinocchio

Did Mitt Romney get a ‘bailout’ for Bain & Company?
Posted by Glenn Kessler at 06:02 AM ET, 07/25/2012 TheWashingtonPost

Quote:
Seeking to rebut Mitt Romney’s claim that President Obama believes business owners don’t build their own companies — for which we gave Romney Three Pinocchios — Cutter has now tried to turn the tables on Romney by arguing that Romney himself could not survive without the help of government assistance.

This issue briefly flared up during the GOP primary season, when former House speaker Newt Gingrich raised it, so let’s see what really happened.
The Facts Read facts at link.

Quote:
The Pinocchio Test

But in reality, Romney rescued his former firm, including restructuring its bank loans, in a deal in which his former partners were given the toughest medicine. Bain & Company survives to this day, which certainly suggests Romney’s solution was a better outcome than letting the firm collapse.

We wavered between one and two Pinocchios here. Calling a loan-restructuring a “bailout” is a real stretch, especially since there does not appear to be an unusual transaction. But Cutter can reasonably claim that Bain & Company benefited from government procedures, already in place, to help it deal with its financial troubles. It’s too bad she did not phrase it that way.

One Pinocchio
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26-Jul-2012, 12:26 PM #289
Two Pinocchios

President Obama’s unspoken payroll tax increases
Posted by Glenn Kessler at 06:00 AM ET, 07/26/2012
TheWashingtonPost

Quote:
But virtually all workers pay payroll taxes. When payroll taxes are included, as well as state and local taxes, the picture changes significantly. The tax burden is suddenly more evenly distributed.

But, interestingly, when talking about taxes these days, the White House is relatively silent about coming increases in payroll taxes — both for the rich and poor. Let’s take a look.
The Facts Read facts at link.

Quote:
The Pinocchio Test

For obvious reasons, the Obama White House does not want to highlight the pending increases in payroll taxes. The health-care law is still not especially popular, even with Obama’s victory at the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, it is not good politics to note that the looming increase in the Social Security payroll tax will reduce the size of the middle-class tax cuts that the president is promoting on the campaign trail.

But for ordinary Americans, the net effect on the paycheck is ultimately what counts. If the White House is going to brag about payroll tax cuts in a report touting its tax-cut plan for the middle class, it should openly acknowledge that a good chunk of those promised tax cuts will disappear when the payroll tax cuts lapse.

Two Pinocchios
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26-Jul-2012, 01:59 PM #290
Two Pinocchios

Romney’s claims of misspent stimulus money
Posted by Josh Hicks at 11:00 AM ET, 07/26/2012 TheWashingtonPost

Quote:
We’ve covered most of these claims in the past, with each one receiving Pinocchios to one degree or another. But GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney and his campaign must have missed all that, because they repeated and combined the assertions in this ad, even adding in a comment from a Democrat to bolster their case.

Let’s review how President Obama’s administration handled the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act --better known as the stimulus--to determine whether this ad bears a closer resemblance to the straight truth.
The Facts Read facts at link.

Quote:
The Pinocchio Test

Thre may be a circumstantial case that the president has provided favors to friends, donors and special interests, whether it’s in the form of appointments, federal investments or beneficial restructuring deals. But no one to date has provided conclusive evidence that proves a direct connection between support and rewards--and as we have noted in the controvery over the exact date of Romney’s departure from Bain Capital, the burden of proof remains on the campaign or organization making such accusations.

As for the stimulus money that went toward Chinese-manufactured windmills, those same funds helped create American jobs when the domestic economy was in tatters -- especially with foreign parts being assembled in the U.S., and vice versa. This same idea applies to Schumer’s remarks from the 2010 press conference with Casey and Brown.

In terms of providing money for electric cars from Finland, all the U.S. taxpayer money appears to have gone toward domestic activities, even if the initial vehicles were built across the Atlantic.

On balance, the Romney campaign ad earns two Pinocchios.

Two Pinocchios
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/...html#pagebreak
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27-Jul-2012, 12:55 PM #291
An anti-Obama ad, featuring a Jewish Democrat
Posted by Glenn Kessler at 06:00 AM ET, 07/27/2012 TheWashingtonPost

Quote:
We obviously can’t fact-check opinions, but this is a fascinating example of how relatively incremental moments in the course of a presidency — and how they are portrayed by the media — can solidify into “facts” that erode support for that president. We spoke to Goldstein, who lives in East Brunswick, N.J., to gain a better understanding of how the two events he mentioned — the 1967 borders and the meeting with Netanyahu — turned him against the president.
Read Facts at link.

Quote:
The Bottom Line

This particular ad is very effective because Goldstein appears to be talking from his heart. He had shaken Obama’s hand in the 2008 campaign, and says he was thrilled when Obama won the election. Goldstein and his wife “bought Obama T-shirts and hats,” he recalls. “We were true believers and loved him.”

Despite acknowledging counterarguments to the points he made in the video, Goldstein says “you have to go with your feelings.” He now is so distrustful of Obama’s handling of Israel that he is convinced Iran will get a nuclear weapon during Obama’s second term.

Polling indicates that foreign policy is regarded as a strength for Obama. But this ad is cleverly designed to undermine support for Obama in the Jewish community — and to signal that it is okay for a Democrat to vote against him. Goldstein suggests that the impressions he has about Obama are widely shared among Jewish friends, though few want to admit it publicly. If that’s the case, the Obama campaign will have to work hard to overcome the perceptions that have taken root.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/...g.html?hpid=z4
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30-Jul-2012, 11:49 AM #292
Four Pinocchios

An Obama quote taken out of context, yet again
Posted by Glenn Kessler at 06:02 AM ET, 07/30/2012 TheWashingtonPost

Quote:
Readers should be very wary of television ads showing a snippet of the opposing candidate speaking. There is often too much context missing.

Both campaigns have crossed the foul line in this regard (remember Mitt Romney supposedly saying he liked to fire people?) but this is the second week in a row we have had to examine how the Romney campaign is using one of the president’s quotes. Let’s take a look.
The Facts Read facts at link.

Quote:
The Pinocchio Test

It may well be disingenuous of Obama to wrap his policies in the mantle of Bill Clinton, but he was talking to a roomful of Democrats. We also make some allowances for awkward language uttered off the cuff, especially if it appears to be a one-time statement. (The Romney campaign did not supply any other examples of Obama claiming his economic plan worked.)

In any case, the Romney campaign clearly ripped these words out of context, leaving them untethered from their original meaning — in order to score political points in a highly misleading way. Obama was not talking about today’s economy, but about different philosophies of taxation.

Four Pinocchios
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/...html#pagebreak
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31-Jul-2012, 12:18 PM #293
Verdict Pending

Romney’s pledge to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem
Posted by Glenn Kessler at 06:00 AM ET, 07/31/2012 TheWashingtonPost

Quote:
“My understanding is the policy of our nation has been a desire to move our embassy ultimately to the capital. That is something which I would agree with. But I would only want to do so and to select the timing in accordance with the government of Israel.”

— Mitt Romney, interview with CNN, July 29, 2012

Like Lucy and the football, the pledge to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem is a campaign promise that is never fulfilled. But once again it is in the news, particularly after White House spokesman Jay Carney last week could not answer whether Jerusalem is Israel’s capital, so let’s take a closer look at this issue.
The Facts Read facts at link.

Quote:
The Pinocchio Test

Declaring Jerusalem the capital of Israel is easy for any politician. Pledging to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem is almost as easy. The hard part comes when the successful candidate moves into the Oval Office and learns the diplomatic consequences of a unilateral act, without getting anything from Israel in return.

Romney, somewhat oddly, said he would make the move according to Israel’s timetable, when in fact successive Israeli governments have begged the United States to move its embassy. He also left himself a few caveats, such as referring to “ultimately” moving the embassy.

A more credible statement would be outlining the specific steps he would take as president, such as implementing the laws on the embassy and passports that Congress had passed, and giving a precise timetable for action.

We can’t really award Pinocchios for Romney’s comments, except to note that given past history, this is a campaign promise waiting to be broken.

Verdict Pending
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/...html#pagebreak
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01-Aug-2012, 12:11 PM #294
Four Pinocchios

Four Pinocchios: Giuliani’s anti-Obama remarks in Florida
Posted by Josh Hicks at 06:00 AM ET, 08/01/2012 TheWashingtonPost

Quote:
Rudy Giuliani made these comments while stumping for GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney at Florida’s Republican headquarters in Tampa last week. The former New York City mayor focused largely on the economy, telling the crowd that they could help spark an economic recovery by electing Romney.

Giuliani described President Obama as “anti-business” and “anti-profit,” specifically when it comes to taxes and regulations. He harped on the president for suggesting business owners don’t build successful companies without help from others, such as the government, and he mentioned an old exchange between then-candidate Obama and “Joe the Plumber,” an aspiring business owner the president met on the 2008 campaign trail.

During a private meeting with reporters, Giuliani brought up another example of Obama’s supposed hostility toward business, including the president’s 2009 and 2010 remarks about Las Vegas.

Let’s examine the exchange with Joe the Plumber and find out what’s happened with Las Vegas in recent years to determine whether Giuliani’s comments were accurate.
The Facts Read facts at link.

Quote:
Pinocchio Test

Giuliani mischaracterized the 2008 exchange between Obama and Joe the Plumber. The topic of capital gains taxes never came up during that discussion, nor did the issue of whether higher taxes ultimately lead to lower revenue. Obama did talk about tax fairness with Wurzelbacher, but, again, not in the context of tax hikes reducing revenue.

As for whether Obama destroyed Las Vegas, it’s impossible to know how much the president’s comments affected business for the city. But we do know that the impact to the convention industry — even if the troubles were all Obama’s fault — couldn’t have been as great as Giuliani made it out to be — the data prove otherwise.

The former New York mayor earns Four Pinocchios for his comments in Tampa.

Four Pinocchios
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02-Aug-2012, 12:37 PM #295
Two Pinocchios

Obama’s new campaign ad on dueling budget plans
Posted by Glenn Kessler at 06:00 AM ET, 08/02/2012 TheWashingtonPost

Quote:
In just 30 seconds, this new Obama campaign ad covers a lot of ground, evoking images of the George W. Bush administration (“two wars …tax cuts for millionaires”), tying presumed GOP nominee Mitt Romney to those policies and then ending with positive words for President Obama’s plans. (There’s even an amazing shot of a super-millionaire’s home.)

At least the ad is about policy differences, rather than the usual campaign fare of outsourcing, Bain and verbal gaffes. Let’s take a deeper look.
The Facts Read facts at link.

Quote:
The Pinocchio Test

With incomplete figures and an unbalanced analysis, the Obama campaign is casting Romney’s economic plan in the worst possible light while putting an unwarranted sheen on the president’s proposals.

Romney’s continued failure to provide enough specifics about his plans certainly lets the Obama campaign openly speculate about the impact. The president, by contrast, is required to present a real budget with actual figures — but as we have shown, he can still play budget tricks to make the numbers add up. So even more detail from Romney might not make the budget dispute any clearer.

Two Pinocchios
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03-Aug-2012, 11:49 AM #296
Geppetto Checkmark

A tough new Obama ad that -- surprise! -- is accurate
Posted by Glenn Kessler at 06:00 AM ET, 08/03/2012 TheWashingtonPost

Quote:
“Chances are you pay a higher tax rate than him [Mitt Romney]….Mitt Romney made $20 million in 2010 but paid only 14 percent in taxes…probably less than you. Now he has a plan that would give millionaires another tax break. And raises taxes on middle class families by up to two thousand dollars a year.”

— Voiceover of new Obama campaign ad, “Stretch”

The Obama campaign rushed to take advantage of a new Tax Policy Center study about Mitt Romney’s tax plan, combining it with information about Romney’s 2010 tax return. We have looked at these issues before but as these ads go, the language is fairly careful and restrained. Let’s take a deeper look.

The Facts Read Facts at Link.

Quote:
The Pinocchio Test

This ad is tough, but we cannot fault the accuracy of its key points. To some extent, the Romney campaign has been hoist with its own petard by refusing to provide sufficient detail that shows how the numbers add up in Romney’s tax and budget plans. So we are left with the judgment of a respected and independent third party.

We hold campaign ads to a high standard, particularly attack ads. If Romney releases the missing details, and a new analysis finds that Romney can meet the stated goals of his tax plan, then we can certainly revisit this analysis. But, until then, for the first time in this frequently nasty campaign, we award a rare Geppetto Checkmark for a campaign ad.

Geppetto Checkmark
Quote:
The Geppetto Checkmark

Statements and claims that contain “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth” will be recognized with our prized Geppetto checkmark.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/...gQSX_blog.html
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06-Aug-2012, 12:04 PM #297
Two Pinocchios

Obama knocked for not visiting Israel
Posted by Glenn Kessler at 06:02 AM ET, 08/06/2012 TheWashingtonPost

Quote:
Obama visited Israel in 2008, as a presidential candidate, but thus far has not visited the Jewish state during his presidential term. So we wondered how Obama’s record compares to other presidents — and whether that matters.
The Facts Read facts at link

Quote:
The Pinocchio Test

Pollak is correct that the Emergency Committee ad does not directly say that Obama’s travel record was unusual for a president, but it certainly suggests that. While there may have been good political reasons for Obama to make a trip to Jerusalem, the basic frame of the ad is misleading, especially the claim that he’s traveled all through the Middle East at the expense of a visit to Israel.

The Romney ad also misleadingly suggests Obama’s failure to visit Israel is unusual since it asks, “Who shares your values?”

Obama may have failed the Woody Allen test, but his travel record to Israel is par for the course for American presidents.

Two Pinocchios
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/...g.html?hpid=z5
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07-Aug-2012, 12:32 PM #298
Four Pinocchios

Four Pinocchios for Harry Reid’s claim about Mitt Romney’s taxes
Posted by Glenn Kessler at 06:02 AM ET, 08/07/2012 TheWashingtonPost

Quote:
This whole exchange poses a fact-checking conundrum. Generally, we maintain that the person or the campaign making the charge must back it up. Reid has refused to provide any evidence, except for the (unproven) fact that someone called him up and told him something that may be true — or simply a rumor.

But we can still examine how credible this rumor might be.
The facts Read facts at link

Quote:
The Pinocchio Test

We use a reasonable person standard here. Without seeing Romney’s taxes, we cannot definitively prove Reid incorrect. But tax experts say his claim is highly improbable. Reid also has made no effort to explain why his unnamed source would be credible. So, in the absence of more information, it appears he has no basis to make his incendiary claim.

Moreover, Reid holds a position of great authority in the U.S. Congress. He should hold himself to a high standard of accuracy when making claims about political opponents.

Four Pinocchios
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07-Aug-2012, 12:39 PM #299
Three Pinocchios

Is Obama challenging voting privileges of Ohio military members?
Posted by Josh Hicks at 11:00 AM ET, 08/07/2012 TheWashingtonPost

Quote:
Right-wing bloggers have weighed in on the Democratic lawsuit, with Breitbart saying that the president was seeking to “restrict [service members’] ability to vote in the upcoming election.” The Romney campaign fed that notion with its recent comments.

Plaintiffs in this case include Obama’s campaign, the Democratic National Committee and the Ohio Democratic Party. Meanwhile, a group of 15 fraternal military organizations filed a motion last week seeking to add themselves to the list of defendants officially fighting the suit.

We read the court documents for this case and researched Ohio’s new voting law to determine whether Romney and his campaign’s general counsel hit the mark with their comments. Does the Democratic lawsuit really try to undermine the voting rights of service members, arguing, as Biber contends, that “there is no good reason to give special flexibility to military voters – and that this policy adopted by the Ohio legislature is so wrong it is unconstitutional”
The Facts Read facts at link.

Quote:
The Pinocchio Test

Romney’s statement suggests that the president is undermining the voting rights of Ohio service members. But the lawsuit in question would not change the deadline one way or another for military voters. It simply requests an order for the state to extend its civilian deadline.

The lawsuit doesn’t describe the military privilege as unconstitutional or arbitrary, which is what Romney and Biber suggested. Instead it uses that argument against the separate deadline for civilian voters, in what the Obama campaigns appears to believe is an attempt to supress African-American turnout.

Overall, the facts show obvious contradictions to the statements from Romney and Biber, no matter how carefully they were worded. The Romney campaign earns three Pinocchios.

Three Pinocchios
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/...html#pagebreak
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08-Aug-2012, 11:41 AM #300
PolitiFact

The Truth-O-Meter Says:

"Under Obama’s plan (for welfare), you wouldn’t have to work and wouldn’t have to train for a job. They just send you your welfare check."
Mitt Romney on Monday, August 6th, 2012 in a campaign ad

Quote:
Our ruling

Romney’s ad says, "Under Obama’s plan (for welfare), you wouldn’t have to work and wouldn’t have to train for a job. They just send you your welfare check."

That's a drastic distortion of the planned changes to Temporary Assistance to Needy Families. By granting waivers to states, the Obama administration is seeking to make welfare-to-work efforts more successful, not end them. What’s more, the waivers would apply to individually evaluated pilot programs -- HHS is not proposing a blanket, national change to welfare law.

The ad tries to connect the dots to reach this zinger: "They just send you your welfare check." The HHS memo in no way advocates that practice. In fact, it says the new policy is "designed to improve employment outcomes for needy families."

The ad’s claim is not accurate, and it inflames old resentments about able-bodied adults sitting around collecting public assistance. Pants on Fire!
http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-me...bandons-tenet/
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