Articles from December, 2007

Fast and furious finish

With just three days until the Iowa caucuses, the candidates are unleashing a flurry of charges -- and making a few slip-ups.

Pardon me: Huckabee vs. Romney

The two former governors have been criticizing each other about pardons. We find their claims are accurate and reveal starkly different approaches on clemency.

He didn't stand in the way, but he didn't always lead

The former Arkansas governor says he had the "most impressive" education record among the GOP pack. But open-ended superlatives are tough to prove, especially when you've got critics.

Ho ho ho!

The PolitiFact staff will be taking a few days off so we can fact-check the caloric content of Christmas cookies (especially the ones with icing and those little sprinkles). We'll be back with new items on Wednesday.

FACT SHEET: Who was in military?

They want to be commander in chief, but most of the presidential candidates have not served in the military. Our survey of their resumes finds that five of the 15 candidates have military experience.

Warm your hands

If you're chilly today, scroll down to the lower left of our home page and warm your hands by our Attack File. It is ablaze with three Pants on Fire rulings for chain e-mails.

Obama used a Koran? No, he didn't

An anonymous e-mail claims Barack Obama is a Muslim, attended a madrassa as a boy and took the oath of office on a Koran. The Truth-O-Meter says wrong, wrong and wrong.

Romney loves company, but they don't quite belong together

Mitt Romney says he's following the same path as Ronald Reagan, Henry Hyde and George H.W. Bush when it comes to changing positions on abortion, but his turn was sharper than theirs.

History is not their best subject

Presidential candidates often make historical references to emphasize points or justify positions. A lot of the time, though, they get their facts wrong -- to the dismay of historians.

PolitiFact's greatest hits

Our Top 10 Truth-O-Meter rulings cover the Pledge of Allegiance, military shrinkage and crime linkage. We also examine whether God has a position on the Iowa caucuses.

Income gap is big, but so are its causes

Democrats want you to know the income gap between the rich and the rest of us is at highs not seen since the eve of the Great Depression. That doesn't mean it's Bush's fault.

Iowa nice

In the final Republican debate, Rudy Giuliani used some creative new math to exaggerate his record on adoptions, while Fred Thompson was on target about taxes.

Commie e-mail quiz gets an F

An anonymous e-mail makes the case that Sen. Clinton holds the same beliefs as Karl Marx and Joseph Stalin by using communist-sounding quotes. But the e-mail presents her statements out of context or distorts them.

Icy debates

Despite the icy weather in Iowa, the candidates are debating in Des Moines. Check back later for coverage of the Wednesday's Republican debate and Thursday's Democratic debate.

Romney haunted by liberal past

Mitt Romney's record as governor of Massachusetts and as a candidate for office put him in a vulnerable position as rival Republicans attack his past.

Ham & cheese, hold the bureaucracy

Hillary Clinton is right about the tangled rules of federal food inspections. If you think the sandwich rules are silly, check out the guidelines for pepperoni pizza.

Get the widget

Put a little PolitiFact on your Web site. We now have a free widget that will put our latest Truth-O-Meter rulings on your site. You can find it here.

Romney's Hillary health care problem

The former Massachusetts governor bashes so-called HillaryCare while others accuse him of using it.

Ridiculous, petty — but true

The Clinton campaign trots out quotes from Obama's kindergarten teacher to prove that he's been aiming for the White House longer than he admits. Seriously.

"I believe Mike Gravel"

We've opened a store on for Truth-O-Meter T-shirts that say "I believe Mike Gravel," "I don't believe Mike Gravel," etc. for each candidate. You can order "True" shirts for your favorite and "Pants on Fire" shirts for your foes. Click here to check them out.

Romney's In-State Tuition Charge

Romney's hard charge on immigration glosses over details of a complex issue.

Giuliani left Iraq panel - or it left him

Rudy Giuliani joined the Iraq Study Group but then never made it to a meeting.

Clinton vs. Obama: dueling health plans

Clinton says Obama leaves 15-million uncovered; he calls his plan "universal." Who's right?

FACT SHEET: Who has been to Iraq?

We surveyed the 16 candidates to find out which ones have visited Iraq since the start of the war in March 2003. As of December 2007, nine have. Here are our findings along with a brief synopsis of each candidate's position on the war, taken from their Web sites.

'Policing the pols'

Check out Emily Yahr's analysis of PolitiFact in the new issue of the American Journalism Review. Also, take a look at Clark Hoyt's column Fact and Fiction on the Campaign Trail in Sunday's New York Times, which urges the paper to come up with something similar to our Truth-O- Meter. He says the NYT, "with its own rich Web offerings on the presidential campaign, would do well to showcase a similar fact-checking feature. Maybe the YouTube community could come up with the title, the music video and a truthfulness scale." [Hey NYT editors! Save your money and just put our Truth-O-Meter widget on your page!]