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Republican Debate Fact-Check

When watching a debate, the candidates spin so much it’s hard to tell who is lying and who’s not. Citing so many reports and publications, how do you begin to check the validity of claims to get to the truth? One website does some of the work for you, and reports their analysis to determine who is right and who is just plain wrong.

From Factcheck.org about the last Republican debate (a summary of a few issues only, read the article for full analysis):

* Romney complained that McCain used “the wrong data” about job creation to support his assertion that Massachusetts had ranked 47th among the 50 states while Romney was governor. Romney was wrong; McCain was correct.

* Romney said his hundreds of millions of dollars in “fee increases” merely caught up with years of inflation and weren’t tax increases in disguise. Independent budget experts contradict him on that.

* Ron Paul repeated his claim that defending the U.S. “empire” is costing “a trillion dollars a year.” But the dubious figure includes costs such as the entire Veterans Affairs budget. Paul also claimed “nobody” is talking about cutting spending, even as his rivals did so 14 times during the same debate.

Politicians stretching the truth certainly isn’t new (although some are better than others), but there’s a difference between citing studies making yourself look good and deliberately misstating facts in an attempt to deceive voters (hoping nobody notices). Unfortunately, it’s very difficult to verify the claims yourself as the material cited can be hard to track down.

Factcheck.org is a non-partisan group which seems to pick on all the candidates when they make errors. But the best part is their linking to all the reports mentioned so you can read for yourself and come to your own conclusions – without having to track down all the data yourself. In the last Republican debate, factcheck.org lists the reports some of the candidates cited to prove their point, and you can read them for yourself and decide if the candidate spoke truthfully or not.

Politicians are out for one thing: votes, and don’t seem to mind distorting the truth to get them. Before you vote, check out the “facts” from the last debate – some candidates did better than others.

Don’t believe anything they say – check it out for yourself.

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