Chris Christie claims continue falling down against the Truth-O-Meter
With each new fact-check, Gov. Chris Christie has been slipping down the rungs of the Truth-O-Meter.
The Republican governor got a Mostly True on Sunday for his statement that only Texas institutionalizes more people with developmental disabilities than New Jersey. On Monday, Christie received a Half True for saying the Garden State ranks in the top one-third of states for private-sector job creation in 2011.
Christie made both of those claims during his Feb. 21 state budget address, one of the most anticipated speeches of the year from the governor.
Lastly, Christie fell to Mostly False later on Monday for claiming that President Barack Obama guaranteed that the stimulus would keep unemployment below 8 percent.
Christie repeated the claim about the developmentally disabled during an "Ask the Governor" segment in January on New Jersey 101.5 FM. He is correct when speaking only about the actual number of the developmentally disabled in large, state-operated facilities. But the governor’s statistic is off slightly when the level of institutionalization is measured as a rate calculated per 100,000 people in the general population. Experts told PolitiFact New Jersey that both measures are important.
As with the institutionalization claim, the governor’s statement is accurate when looking only at actual numbers of growth. In terms of the net increase in private-sector jobs last year, Christie's right, since that measure puts New Jersey in 12th place out of the 50 states.
But when looked at as percentage increases, New Jersey ranks 31st in the nation – not in the top one-third. It’s worth noting that we analyzed the growth based on measures the governor’s office cited: "absolute and percentage terms."
During a Feb. 26 interview on CBS News' "Face the Nation," Christie repeated a GOP talking point that Obama promised unemployment would not exceed 8 percent if the stimulus plan was approved.
But as previous fact-checks have shown, the Obama administration never made such a promise. Two economic advisers offered that projection, but cautioned that their estimates were subject to significant "uncertainty." So, that's far from the guarantee suggested by Christie.
To comment on this story, go to NJ.com.
Want more information about New Jersey’s Truth-O-Meter and what our team is doing? Interested in having a PolitiFact New Jersey representative speak to your class or organization, or signing up for a free e-mail newsletter about our work? Contact PolitiFact New Jersey Editor Caryn Shinske at firstname.lastname@example.org or (973) 392-1503.