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Fact checking the 10 worst Romney debate lies

 

October 16, 2012

ThinkProgress reports, "During the first presidential debate in Denver, Colorado Romney managed to tell 27 myths in his 38 minutes of speaking time. But at his second encounter with Obama in New York, the GOP presidential candidate -- who has run a post-truth campaign from day one -- outdid himself and crammed 31 myths in 41 minutes." Here are the 10 worst:

"I put out a five-point plan that gets America 12 million new jobs in four years and rising take-home pay." The Washington Post's in-house fact checker tore Romney's claim that he will create 12 million jobs to shreds. The Post wrote that the "'new math'" in Romney's plan "doesn't add up." In awarding the claim four Pinocchios -- the most untrue possible rating, the Post expressed incredulity at the fact Romney would personally stand behind such a flawed, baseless claim.

"I'd just note that I don't believe that bureaucrats in Washington should tell someone whether they can use contraceptives or not. And I don't believe employers should tell someone whether they could have contraceptive care of not. Every woman in America should have access to contraceptives." But back in March, Romney expressed strong support for the so-called Blunt amendment, which that would allow employers to deny contraception coverage to women. Romney also wants to defund Planned Parenthood, where76 percent of the patients seek low-cost birth control options. Defunding the organization would make it much harder for those women to obtain contraceptives.

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"I believe very much in our renewable capabilities; ethanol, wind, solar will be an important part of our energy mix." Romney is actually against a one-year renewal of the wind production tax credit. The wind production tax credit has led to $14 billion of investment in 2011 and tens of thousands of American jobs.

"I went to a number of women's groups and said, 'Can you help us find folks,' and they brought us whole binders full of women. I was proud of the fact that after I staffed my Cabinet and my senior staff, that the University of New York in Albany did a survey of all 50 states, and concluded that mine had more women in senior leadership positions than any other state in America." Romney did not ask women groups for candidates. Instead, prior to his election, a "bipartisan group of women in Massachusetts formed MassGAP to address the problem of few women in senior leadership positions in state government." They "put together the binder full of women qualified for all the different cabinet positions, agency heads, and authorities and commissions" and presented it to Romney after he was elected. A UMass-Boston study found that "the percentage of senior-level appointed positions held by women actually declined throughout the Romney administration, from 30.0% prior to his taking office, to 29.7% in July 2004, to 27.6% near the end of his term in November 2006."

"It was a terrorist attack and it took a long time for that to be told to the American people." Obama called the Libya incident an act of "terror" the very next day. "No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for," he said. "Today we mourn four more Americans who represent the very best of the United States of America. We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act. And make no mistake, justice will be done."

"So when you say that I wanted to take the auto industry bankrupt, you actually did. And -- and I think it's important to know that that was a process that was necessary to get those companies back on their feet, so they could start hiring more people. That was precisely what I recommend and ultimately what happened." This is false. As Buisnessweek explains: Romney "opposed any use of taxpayer dollars to bail out the automakers, advice that President George W. Bush and Obama ignored. GM and Chrysler went through managed bankruptcies after Bush, at the end of his presidency, and later Obama provided federal funds." "Without federal funds, GM and Chyrsler would not have survived. As former Bush aide Tony Fratto explained, "It wasn't just that there wasn't credit available; a lot of private equity had cash, they just weren't giving it away."

"And I will not -- I will not under any circumstances, reduce the share that's being paid by the highest income taxpayers. And I will not, under any circumstances increase taxes on the middle-class." As the Tax Policy Center concluded, Romney's plan can't both exempt middle class families from tax cuts and remain revenue neutral. "He's promised all these things and he can't do them all. In order for him to cover the cost of his tax cut without adding to the deficit, he'd have to find a way to raise taxes on middle income people or people making less than $200,000 a year," the Center found.

"Now, when the president ran for office, he said that he'd put in place, in his first year, a piece of legislation -- he'd file a bill in his first year that would reform our -- our immigration system... He didn't do it. He had a Democrat House and Democrat Senate, supermajority in both houses." Senate Republicans repeatedly prevented Obama's immigration reform efforts. The GOP actually blocked the DREAM Act from securing 60 votes to pass cloture, denying hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants a path to legal status if they enrolled in college or joined the military. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) even said on the Senate floor that young people lobbying his office had wasted their time.

"He keeps saying, 'Look, I've created 5 million jobs.' That's after losing 5 million jobs. The entire record is such that the unemployment has not been reduced in this country." Job creation is net positive since Obama took office in the middle of the worst recession since the great depression. Economists estimate that up to 3 million jobs were created by the stimulus alone.

"I want to make sure we keep our Pell grant program growing. We're also going to have our loan program, so that people are able to afford school." Paul Ryan's budget could cut Pell Grants for nearly 1 million college students and even Romney's white paper on education, "A Chance for Every Child," suggests that he "would reverse the growth in Pell Grant funding." It says: "A Romney Administration will refocus Pell Grant dollars on the students that need them most and place the program on a responsible long-term path that avoids future funding cliffs and last-minute funding patches."

For the full list of all 31, please visit ThinkProgress.

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