Fumbled facts in Florida
By Bill Adair
Published on Thursday, January 24th, 2008 at 12:46 a.m.
The Republican debate in Boca Raton lacked the fireworks that we saw at the Democratic showdown in Myrtle Beach, S.C., three nights earlier. Indeed, the debate was probably the most light-hearted of the long campaign, with the candidates needling each other with jokes about Chuck Norris, John McCain's mom and the inheritance of the Romney boys.
But despite the civil tones, the candidates managed to fumble many facts and stretch the truth on some others.
* Rudy Giuliani repeated his allegation that Bill Clinton is to blame for shrinking the nation's military. We found his claim Half True.
* But Rudy had his facts straight about the coal reserves in the United States. We gave that a True.
* John McCain claimed he won the majority of the Republican vote in the New Hampshire and South Carolina primaries, but exit polls showed him in a statistical tie. We gave that claim a False.
* McCain claimed that Hillary Clinton's position on Iraq withdrawal was the equivalent of waving "the white flag of surrender." We checked her actual comments, studied the definition of white surrender flags and rated his claim Half True.
* Mitt Romney had his facts straight when he described McCain's flip-flop on the Bush tax cuts. We rated that a True.
* Mike Huckabee recalled a scene from an October debate in which he was the lone voice for working people battered by the economy. It was a powerful scene . . . except it didn't happen. We gave him a Barely True.
* Huckabee also stretched the truth with his claim about "tax freedom day." We rated it Half True.
Researchers: Bill Adair
We want to hear your suggestions and comments.
For tips or comments on our Obameter and our GOP-Pledge-O-Meter promise databases, please e-mail the Obameter. If you are commenting on a specific promise, please include the wording of the promise.For comments about our Truth-O-Meter or Flip-O-Meter items, please e-mail the Truth-O-Meter. We’re especially interested in seeing any chain e-mails you receive that you would like us to check out. If you send us a comment, we'll assume you don't mind us publishing it unless you tell us otherwise.
Keep up to date with Politifact:
- Sign up for our e-mail (about once a week)
- Put a free PolitiFact widget on your blog or Web page
- Subscribe to our RSS feeds on Truth-O-Meter items
- Subscribe to our RSS feeds on GOP Pledge-O-Meter items
- Subscribe to our RSS feeds on Obameter items
- Advertise on PolitiFact
- Shop the PolitiFact store for T-shirts, hats and other PolitiFact swag