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PolitiFact New Jersey hands out True, Pants on Fire rulings for weekend claims

By Caryn Shinske
Published on Tuesday, December 27th, 2011 at 7:30 a.m.

In the spirit of the holidays, PolitiFact New Jersey handed out a present and a lump of coal this weekend to New Jersey claims with national angles.

In case you missed it, Newark Mayor Cory Booker received a True rating on Sunday for a claim about health care, while a chain email about President Barack Obama rated a Pants on Fire ruling Monday.

Booker claim

During a recent speech in New Hampshire, Booker said the United States needs to rein in health care costs, noting that the nation spends more than 17 percent of its gross domestic product on such costs. The Truth-O-Meter checked that claim with health care experts and with The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which monitors health spending by the 34 countries that belong to its group. The claim rated True. The Netherlands spends the next highest percentage of its gross domestic product on health care, at 12 percent.

Chain email claim

Obama has been in office for nearly three years but there haven’t been any skeletons or ex-girlfriends falling out of White House closets, according to a chain email that’s been circulating in New Jersey. Yet it seems that’s happened with other presidents so why not Obama, the email asserts. It didn’t take the Truth-O-Meter very long to find the ridiculousness in this claim, rating a Pants on Fire. Numerous articles have been published quoting people from the president’s past, among them classmates and roommates.

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Coming up

PolitiFact New Jersey will give readers a report card on its first six months of rulings in an article later this week. Look for it in The Star-Ledger and at PolitiFactNJ.com.

In early 2012, we will introduce a free email newsletter for readers to learn more about claims that we’re working on and what’s ahead in the new year. If you’re interested in receiving the newsletter, or having PolitiFact New Jersey do a presentation for your organization or school, drop a note with your email address to PolitiFact New Jersey Editor Caryn Shinske at cshinske@starledger.com. You can also follow us on Twitter @PolitiFactNJ or find us on Facebook.

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