Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

Fact-checking the Republican debate in New Hampshire

The Republican candidates for president debated Monday in New Hampshire.
The Republican candidates for president debated Monday in New Hampshire.

Last updated: Friday, June 17, 2011 at 6 p.m.

The Republican contest for the presidential nomination picked up steam Monday night when candidates debated in Manchester, N.H. 

We'll be updating this story as we complete our fact-checks. 

Bachmann on the health care law

Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., repeated her attacks on President Barack Obama's health care plan.

 "As president of the United States, I will not rest until I repeal Obamacare. It's a promise. Take it to the bank, cash the check. I'll make sure that that happens," Bachmann said. "The CBO, the Congressional Budget Office has said that Obamacare will kill 800,000 jobs. What could the president be thinking by passing a bill like this, knowing full well it will kill 800,000 jobs?"

We looked into her claim of 800,000 jobs killed and rated that Barely True. 

Pawlenty on Medicare

Tim Pawlenty, the former governor of Minnesota, said he intends to offer his own plan to rein in future Medicare spending. 

"There was a recent report out that the premiums for Medicare and the payroll withholdings are only paying about half the program. So it is not financially solvent," he said.

He's right about premiums and payroll taxes only paying for about half the program. But he leaves out the fact that the program has historically been supplemented by general revenues. So we rated his statement Mostly True.

Gingrich on 'the Reagan recovery'

Newt Gingrich, the former Speaker of the House, said that to solve today's economic problems, people should look back to the Reagan administration.

"The Reagan recovery, which I participated in passing, in seven years created for this current economy the equivalent of 25 million new jobs, raised federal revenue by $800 billion a year in terms of the current economy, and clearly it worked," Gingrich said. "It's a historic fact."

We checked Gingrich's numbers and found he was right about jobs, but not about federal revenues. We rated his statement Half True.

Cain on Muslims in his cabinet

Herman Cain denied at the debate that he ever said he would not have Muslims in his cabinet. "The statement was would I be comfortable with a Muslim in my administration, not that I wouldn't appoint one," Cain said.

We actually looked into his denial of his previous statements prior to the debate, but we didn't find his claims credible. We put his statement,"I did not say that I would not have them [Muslims] in my Cabinet" on the Truth-O-Meter and rated it Pants on Fire.

Bachmann on Obama's record on the debt ceiling

Bachmann also attacked Obama for his record on the debt ceiling when he was a U.S. senator. bama "refused to raise the debt ceiling because he said President Bush had failed in leadership," she said.

We looked into Obama's vote and statement on the debt ceiling in 2006 and found she was correct. We rated her statement True.

Santorum on oil drilling

Rick Santorum, a former senator from Pennsylvania, has put up a stop sign "against oil drilling, against any kind of exploration offshore or in Alaska." We found the Obama administration did slow down drilling after the BP oil spill, but has since resumed approvals. That's not a stop sign. We rated Santorum's statement False.

Romney on Medicare and 'Obamacare'

Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, kept making the case that the health care plan he put into place in Massachusetts is substantially different from the health care law signed by President Barack Obama. As evidence, he said that "Obamacare takes $500 billion out of Medicare and funds Obamacare." He's right that future savings from Medicare are planned to offset new costs created by the law. But the way he phrases it gives the impression that the law takes money that was already allocated to Medicare and funds the new health care law with it. We rated his statement Half True.

Cain on Social Security

Cain supports personal retirement accounts as part of the Social Security program. He single out for praise an alternative to Social Security that has been operating for three decades in Galveston County, Texas.

"The city of Galveston, they opted out of the Social Security system way back in the '70s," Cain said. "And now, they retire with a whole lot more money." We looked into whether people there will retire with more, and found that some will, and some won’t, along with a few other caveats. On balance, we rated Cain’s statement Half True.