Saturday, September 20th, 2014

So long, Mayor Giuliani

SUMMARY: By turns pugnacious and witty, Rudy Giuliani gave PolitiFact lots to check. John Edwards, meanwhile, consistently addressed policy issues on poverty. Here's a look back at highlights from the files.

Rudy Giuliani's campaign strategy to win big in Florida didn't pan out – he came in a weak third behind John McCain and Mitt Romney. It's widely expected he will pull out and throw his support to McCain.

Giuliani certainly talked a good game and gave PolitiFact lots of things to check. From his boasts about crime fighting to his claim that he was one of the most famous Americans in the world, here's a look at how Giuliani fared with our Truth-O-Meter.

* Crime-fighting : Giuliani started the campaign touting his accomplishments on bringing down crime in New York. But we found that crime rates started falling before Giuliani took office, and expert analysts credited demographic changes for a significant part of that. We checked Giuliani's statements on crime here , here and here . Our extended analysis on the issue is here .

* Giuliani vs. the Clintons : Giuliani seemed gleeful when taking aim at the Clintons. But he didn't always get his facts right. He repeatedly claimed that Bill Clinton was responsible for reducing military readiness even though post-Cold War reductions started before Clinton took office . He also distorted statements Hillary Clinton made about the free market; she called it disruptive, not destructive .

* Giuliani against Romney : Among his fellow Republicans, Giuliani tussled the most with Mitt Romney. He was mostly right when he said that Romney didn't take action against sanctuary cities and that Romney's health care plan for Massachusetts resembles Hillary Clinton's health care plan for the nation. But he got some of his stats mixed up when he attacked Romney on violent crime .

* Pants of Fire! Giuliani won one of our rare Pants on Fire! ratings for his statement that he was one of the four or five most famous Americans in the world. His fans griped about our Google fame-measuring methodology, but we stand by the ruling.

John Edwards, meanwhile, gave us lots of facts to check on substantive issues of poverty and economic inequality. He also managed to garner one of our Pants on Fire! ratings.

* Edwards received True or Mostly True ratings on his statements that millionaire investors are taxed at a lower rate than their secretaries; that one out of every four homeless people is a veteran ; and that an estimated 56-million Americans don't have bank accounts.

* He won our rare Pants on Fire! rating for an ad that said that as president he could take away Congress' health care insurance . The U.S. Constitution gives Congress the ability to set spending, and the president can't rescind health care without their consent.