Friday, October 31st, 2014

Rick Santorum's report card

Former Sen. Rick Santorum speaks in Iowa in December 2011 (Associated Press photo).
Former Sen. Rick Santorum speaks in Iowa in December 2011 (Associated Press photo).

Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, alighting in North Texas this week, has drawn his share of fact checks.

More than 20 claims by the Republican presidential hopeful have been run through the Truth-O-Meter -- including his recent claim that Gov. Rick Perry had requested 1,200 congressional earmarks. Santorum’s campaign did not back up this claim, for which we found no confirmation. We rated Santorum’s "number toss" Pants on Fire.

Another Texas-tested claim: Santorum said Perry spoke favorably of binational health care between Texas and Mexico in 2001. Half True. Perry talked about binational health insurance in a 2001 speech, but his dig about Perry's mention wrongly implies the governor is working to establish binational health insurance. We found no evidence of Perry taking action after that speech.

Santorum also was among candidates critical of Perry’s role in Texas offering in-state college tuition to certain illegal residents. We rated True Santorum’s statement that Perry provided in-state tuition for illegal immigrants. Perry isn’t solely responsible for the state law enabling illegal immigrants to qualify for in-state tuition, but he signed it into existence and has stood by it.

Other Santorum fact checks covered his flawed characterization of the Massachusetts health care system restructured under then-Gov Mitt Romnney as top-down and government-run; his Mostly True statement that Newt Gingrich long supported a mandate that individuals obtain health insurance; and his False claim that an Obama administration policy prohibits people who work with at-risk youth from promoting marriage as a way to avoid poverty.

See Santorum’s entire PolitiFact report card here.