Rick Perry, suspending campaign after 168 fact checks since 2010
Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who failed to surge in voter polls, suspended his bid for the Republican presidential nod this afternoon.
Our mild take: He repeated a couple of claims we've explored.
It's MOSTLY FALSE that Texas high-school graduation rates surged from 27th to second nationally mostly on Perry's watch. This claim, which we explored this July, jammed together results reached by different calculations--a statistical no-no leaving the misimpression that Texas galloped past many states on Perry’s watch. Texas actually moved from about 27th nationally in 2002 to tied for 22nd in 2012, according to a measure that compares graduates each year to tallies of students earlier enrolled in lower grades. By a newer gauge tied to tracking individual students, Texas in 2013 tied for third (not No. 2).
We'd put more factual stock in another claim revisited by Perry this afternoon--his reference to Texas gaining 1.5 million jobs while the rest of the country lost 400,000. MOSTLY TRUE, we held in June. The figures hold up though Perry cherry-picked a time period arguably giving Texas more of a gloss than it might get with other periods. More generally, no governor determines job gains or losses in a state; outside factors tend to prevail. In Texas, the fracking boom comes to mind. Governors don’t create oil and gas fields.
Our longer view: Perry has been subjected to the Truth-O-Meter 168 times.
Overheard: As Perry left the site of his suspension speech today, a reporter asked for elaboration. "No, ma'am," he said. "I'm rolling."