Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

Revisiting Rick Perry, Al Gore, Ronald Reagan

As Herman Cain looks on, Rick Perry and Mitt Romney shake hands at the conclusion of the Republican Presidential debate at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H.
As Herman Cain looks on, Rick Perry and Mitt Romney shake hands at the conclusion of the Republican Presidential debate at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H.

Familiar repeat claims came up at this week’s Bloomberg/Washington Post Republican presidential debate, such as Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s boast that "while this country was losing 2.5 million jobs, Texas was creating 1 million jobs."

Perry made a similar comparison at an earlier debate, adding that the Texas gains were because of "what we’ve done."

We rated that statement Half True, noting that no governor can reasonably claim sway over national economic factors. The Texas economy was rocking before Perry became governor.

At the latest debate, Perry also noted that he became a Republican at a younger age than Ronald Reagan did. That’s True. Perry was 39, Reagan 51.

Minnesota U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann posed a question to Perry. She opened with a familiar, flawed claim, saying that "while all of us were wishing and yearning for a third term for Ronald Reagan (in 1988), Gov. Perry, you were campaigning and co-chairing Al Gore's election campaign for president."

We concluded in September that as a Democratic legislator, Perry endorsed Gore for president in 1988. But contrary to latter-year accounts, there’s no evidence that Perry played a leadership role in Gore’s Texas campaign. Bachmann’s characterization rates Half True.

See more of our debate analysis here and review PolitiFact National’s write-up here.