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November 04, 2011 3:05 pm ET

GOP Responses To Jobs Report Ignore Main Obstacle To Growth

With the news this morning that the private economy added 104,000 jobs but the public sector shed 24,000, prominent Republicans had a chance to trot out the same tired, debunked explanation for slow economic growth they've been using throughout the Obama presidency. According to the GOP, job creators are not hiring because of regulations and high spending from Washington, D.C. But according to the job creators themselves, regulations, taxes and spending are not the issue — they simply don't have enough customers to justify expanding their workforces. The problem continues to be weak demand.

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October 17, 2011 9:37 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - October 16, 2011

Republicans spent their Sunday morning TV appearances blaming Democrats for the economy and trying to convince Wall Street protesters to join them in their scapegoating. Contrary to what Herman Cain and Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) claimed, the facts show that private firms, not government entities, inflated the subprime mortgage bubble, and Wall Street, not Democrats, turned those loans into an elaborate casino game that left the entire country on the hook for their bad bets. Similarly, Cantor and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) were wrong to suggest that Democratic policies on taxes and regulations are hurting the economy, and that Republican proposals will do more to create jobs than President Obama's proposed American Jobs Act. In addition, Cain claimed that his "9-9-9" tax plan won't hurt the poor and implied that Obama has cut defense spending, Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA) blamed the credit downgrade on the president, and Sen. McCain said that Obama never spoke up on behalf of Iranian protesters in 2009. In each case, the facts disagree.

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October 03, 2011 10:20 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - October 2, 2011

On the first weekend in October, the Sunday talk shows saw a presidential candidate, two governors, and a former vice president's daughter. Gov. Haley Barbour (R-MS) appeared on CBS and CNN to absolve President George W. Bush for the current economic situation while solely placing the blame on President Barack Obama. Not to be outdone by Barbour, Gov. Bob McDonnell (R-VA) appeared on Meet the Press to lie about the president's previous statements on unemployment. Herman Cain, still riding high from his Florida straw poll victory, appeared on Fox News Sunday to falsely claim that his "9-9-9 plan" is actually fairer than the current progressive tax system. Lastly, Keep America Safe's Liz Cheney appeared on State of the Union to claim that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has said that enhanced interrogation led us to Osama bin Laden. In fact, Panetta has said that the Bush-era torture program produced lies and misinformation about the identity of bin Laden's personal courier.

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September 21, 2011 10:36 pm ET

What Happened To The Republican Consensus On Climate Change?

In May right-wing activist Marc Morano said Republican candidates "can believe in the science of global warming ... if you keep your mouth shut about it and you advocate no quote-unquote solution to the problem." By contrast, the following statements show that in previous years, prominent Republicans spoke about both the robust body of evidence indicating that human activities are changing the climate and the need to address the problem. While the political discourse has since regressed, the scientific consensus has not.

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August 15, 2011 4:27 pm ET

Rick Perry's Ethics: Pay-To-Play Government And "Junk" Justice

Now that Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) is officially running for president, his record as a chief executive deserves national scrutiny. Non-partisan watchdog Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington named Perry one of the most unethical governors in the country, in part because of Perry's brand of graft is particularly efficient: One of every five dollars his campaign raised through 2010 came from political appointees. The rest of the picture is even uglier. The case of Cameron Todd Willingham — where Perry allowed a man to be executed despite being given scientific evidence may have exonerated him, and then sought to derail an investigation into the episode years later — may prove more damaging to Perry's candidacy.

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August 15, 2011 4:27 pm ET

Rick Perry's Convenient Constitution: Views Shift With The Political Tides

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) owes his fame in large part to his prominent statements about the federal government intruding on states' rights, but he supports imposing his repressive right-wing ideas on abortion and sexuality upon the whole nation through constitutional amendments. According to Perry, safety net spending and the direct election of U.S. senators are also on the wrong side of the Constitution.

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August 15, 2011 4:26 pm ET

Rick Perry's Texas: Not All It's Cracked Up To Be

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) is quick to take credit for the Texas economy, boasting that his time in office has seen Texas lead the nation in growth. But the reality is that Texas' job growth has not kept up with its population growth, and as a result its unemployment rate throughout the recession has been comparable to that of other states. Moreover, Texan jobs come more from the natural blessings of location and resources that Texas enjoys than from Perry's policies.

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June 27, 2011 10:39 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - June 26, 2011

The last Sunday of June saw GOP presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) dominate the airwaves, making the rounds on Fox News Sunday and Face the Nation. On both, Bachmann repeated lies about health care reform's effect on jobs and Medicare, sentiments echoed by Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on This Week. Bachmann and Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) falsely stated that even if the debt ceiling weren't raised, the country would not go into default, something most economists disagree with. On Face The Nation Bachmann falsely called the stimulus a failure and continued to baselessly blame President Obama for high gas prices. Lastly, Sen.  Jon Kyl (R-AZ), fresh off his departure from the debt ceiling talks, was on Fox News Sunday to falsely claim that tax increases would hurt the economy, a claim that the previous decade proves false.

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June 06, 2011 10:09 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - June 5, 2011

The first Sunday in June saw potential GOP presidential candidate Sarah Palin and Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour (R) dominating the misinformation in the Sunday talk shows. On Fox News Sunday, Palin distorted the truth about the economic recovery, blasting the Federal Reserve's quantitative easing efforts as ineffective and claiming that we've "hit a brick wall," when in fact economists agree that rounds of bond-buying easing helped stabilize the economy and that May's jobs numbers are merely a road bump. She also lied about the source of April's positive job-creation numbers, left out some key information about the U.S.'s corporate tax rate, and distorted Moody's warning about raising the debt ceiling. Palin and Barbour both had lots to say about the Republican budget proposal — all of it false. They both suggested that no one but Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) has offered a viable plan to save Medicare, even though the Democrats have discussed building on reforms in the health care law in order to contain costs and save the program. Palin claimed the GOP plan will "save" Medicare (but it won't) and that it doesn't affect current seniors (but it does). Barbour repeated the old falsehood that the GOP plan will give seniors options just like those of Congress (which it won't). He also attacked the Obama administration with claims that it has helped Wall Street at the expense of Main Street; that President Obama is responsible for high gas prices; and that health care reform discourages job creation. The facts do not support those claims either.

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May 02, 2011 10:03 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - May 1, 2011

Hours before President Obama announced U.S. Special Forces had killed Osama bin Laden, more pedestrian and partisan news ruled the Sunday morning airwaves. On Fox, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) falsely blamed $4 trillion of debt on President Obama and then incorrectly claimed that failing to raise the debt ceiling wouldn't be a big deal. On ABC, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) tried to defend his budget by claiming people don't like it because there is "misinformation" swirling around and not because it dismantles the social safety net. Elsewhere on Sunday, Gov. Bob McDonnell (R-VA) and Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) each claimed that the U.S. needs a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution, an idea rejected by experts on both sides of the aisle. And on NBC, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) dishonestly claimed that the Ryan Budget would increase funding to Medicare, while criticizing the Affordable Care Act for cutting Medicare, a claim which is also untrue.

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February 28, 2011 10:12 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - February 27, 2011

This week's Sunday political chatter was focused on two very, very different places: Wisconsin and Libya. Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) defended his union-busting efforts on Meet the Press by arguing that union contract agreements in recent weeks prove public workers aren't being honest when they say they'll accept his pension and health insurance demands, but that's disingenuous; the agreements he referenced had been in the works long before his power grab. Gov. Haley Barbour (R-MS) joined Walker in suggesting that collective bargaining is to blame for state budget troubles, but the facts don't bear that out. Meanwhile on Fox News Sunday, Gov. Mitch Daniels (R-IN) asserted that public employees are overpaid (before absurdly claiming that the Bush tax cuts worked) and Gov. Nikki Haley (R-SC) told ABC viewers that Walker is simply fulfilling a campaign promise.  None of these claims is true. On other topics, Mike Huckabee (R-AR) lied about the national debt on Fox News and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) falsely asserted that President Obama never showed support for Iranian protesters in the summer of 2009.

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February 15, 2011 1:58 pm ET

A Comprehensive Fact Check Of Gov. Barbour's Comprehensive CPAC Falsehoods

As the final day of the Conservative Political Action Conference got underway, potential 2012 presidential candidate Gov. Haley Barbour (R-MS) took to the microphone to deliver a rambling half-hour-long speech crammed with tired talking points copy-and-pasted from the prior speeches of more prominent Republicans.

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February 04, 2011 10:29 am ET

Florida, Inc.: Gov. Rick Scott's First Month As The Sunshine State's CEO

One month into his term as Florida's governor, Republican Rick Scott is making good on his campaign threat to run Florida like one of his businesses. The former health care executive, who left Columbia/HCA amidst the largest case of Medicare fraud in history, has set out to place himself in a position more akin to a corporate tycoon than a public servant by making grabs at additional power and restricting press access. He's also putting the "business" of Florida above the common good with troubling moves on the environment, transportation and health care. Yet there's no promise that Scott is even running a particularly tight Floridian ship. He's made a number of worrisome hires, and there are hints that his budget plan, to be released Monday, may include untenable tax cuts. Moreover, Scott's right-wing views on immigration and LGBT issues should cause many of Florida's residents concern.

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November 22, 2010 9:37 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - November 21, 2010

On Meet the Press, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal (R) accused the Obama administration of coddling terrorists when in fact we have killed nearly 30 Taliban and al Qaeda leaders since the president took office, and military commissions have produced weaker results than did the much-discussed civilian trial of Ahmed Ghailani last week. Jindal rounded out his performance by dipping into dishonest right-wing rhetoric about Obama seeking to "apologize for America." Meanwhile, on Fox News Sunday, another southern Republican governor told some very different tall tales. Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) repeated his claim that Social Security amounts to "a Ponzi scheme," and when host Chris Wallace pointed out the basic dishonesty of Perry's rhetoric — far from a massive fraud, Social Security is a long-successful and honest system that is in some long-term trouble because of changing demographics — Perry smiled and claimed Wallace had just proven the program is a criminal enterprise.

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November 08, 2010 11:19 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - November 7, 2010

The Sunday shows were crowded with naked falsehoods yesterday. Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) claimed on Fox News that President Obama "has killed jobs" despite the fact that a resurgent private sector has added 1.1 million jobs so far this year. On CBS, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) claimed that 750,000 small businesses pay income taxes in the top two brackets, but that number only works if you include massive corporations like Bechtel and PriceWaterhouseCoopers, which play accounting games to avoid corporate tax rates, in your definition of "small businesses." Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) absurdly claimed on NBC that Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-WI) entitlement-slashing debt reduction plan requires more sacrifice from bureaucrats than from average Americans. Worst of all, Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) claimed on ABC that tax cuts for the wealthy are good for the economy and don't increase the deficit. In the real world, of course, Pence is wrong on both counts.

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October 31, 2010 5:35 pm ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - October 31, 2010

Republicans' appearances on the Sunday shows this Halloween were as predictable as any mediocre horror movie, with the lone "twist" coming from Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) on ABC's This Week. Cornyn lied about President Obama's stump speech, claiming that Obama wants to make Republicans "sit in the back of the bus." That's a Glenn Beck-inspired race-baiting twist on Obama's months-old metaphor about Republicans wanting the keys to the car after they drove it into a ditch, and Cornyn should know better. Meanwhile on CNN, Michael Steele pretended that Republicans are principled deficit hawks, despite turning surpluses into trillions in debt under President Bush. On Face the Nation, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty claimed that higher taxes on the wealthy would neuter the nascent economic recovery despite overwhelming evidence that the rich don't spend more when we give them tax breaks. Most predictable of all, Sarah Palin told Fox News Sunday viewers three different lies about taxes in just a few short paragraphs.

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October 22, 2010 1:57 pm ET

Rick Scott Wants To Cut Florida's Welfare Costs By Spending More On Welfare

Gubernatorial hopeful Rick Scott wants Florida to become the only state in the nation to spend tax dollars on drug tests for welfare recipients in an attempt to save money on welfare. Unfortunately for Scott, 49 states have already rejected this idea as fiscally irresponsible and impractical — four have even found it unconstitutional. So much for Scott's plan to slash welfare spending, which has not only been widely rejected, but would also threaten Florida's most vulnerable residents: children.

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September 28, 2010 4:53 pm ET

Tom Tancredo Repeats Immigration Falsehoods To Advance His Long-Shot Bid For CO Governor

Tom Tancredo has built a national reputation on anti-immigration zealotry, and now he's using it to fuel his run for Governor of Colorado. The Constitution Party candidate argued in an interview last week with the Pueblo Chieftain that cracking down on illegal immigrants in Colorado could solve the state's budget problems. In reality, illegal immigrants contribute more to public budgets than they take out in services. Tancredo also claimed that an E-Verify law would help the state's economy, despite evidence that such programs do more economic harm than good. Worst of all, Tancredo claimed that illegal immigration hurts low-skilled American workers, but that dog won't hunt; the evidence shows there's no such negative effect on the native workforce, even in low-skill industries.

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April 07, 2010 5:04 pm ET

Gov. Barbour Repeats "16,000 IRS Agents" Lie

In recent weeks, conservatives have spread the false claim that the federal government will hire "16,000 new IRS agents" -- or a "health gestapo" -- to enforce the Affordable Care Act.  Today on Fox News, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour became the latest Republican official to repeat this blatant lie, which has been thoroughly refuted by independent fact checkers.

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February 19, 2010 2:26 pm ET

Gov. Pawlenty Spreads Debunked 'Teleprompter in a Classroom' Tale

During his address to the Conservative Political Action Conference, Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty repeated the debunked online rumor that President Obama used a teleprompter while speaking to children in a classroom. evaluated the claim and concluded, "he did not use a teleprompter."

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June 02, 2009 5:15 pm ET

A Quick Refresher On Gov. Tim Pawlenty

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty's announcement that he won't run for a third term has turned a lot of heads.  In order to help quench this newfound thirst for information on Gov. Pawlenty, Media Matters Action Network has compiled a quick overview of his record as Governor.

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May 29, 2009 6:37 pm ET

Gov. Mitch Daniels: Wrong On Cap-And-Trade

In the Republican radio address set to air on Saturday May 30th, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels repeats numerous debunked GOP talking points.

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May 15, 2009 12:54 pm ET

Gov. Mitch Daniels: Wrong On Energy

On May 15, 2009, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal criticizing the American Clean Energy and Security Act.  Despite the series of misleading criticisms, the most striking feature of the op-ed is that Gov. Daniels' intentionally neglected to mention "the largest scientific and economic questions." Why? Because he's on the wrong side of the issue.

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April 20, 2009 12:26 pm ET

Gov. Rick Perry and the Secessionists

Washington, DC - Today, Media Matters Action Network released a memo outlining Texas Governor Rick Perry's ties to a Texas secessionist group whose former leaders are responsible for numerous acts of domestic terrorism. "From bomb threats, to kidnapping, to planning attacks using biological weapons, the Texas Nationalist Movement has a long violent history that cannot be ignored," Media Matters Action Network Managing Director Ari Rabin-Havt said. "Governor Perry should be ashamed of his association with these domestic terrorists."

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