'There's a fair chance PolitiFact spoke to other experts' -- yes, 13 others
Posted by Bill Adair :: Published on Thursday, January 19th, 2012 at 06:41 p.m.
We've gotten some criticism today about the Pants on Fire we gave to Mitt Romney for his claim that the size of the U.S. Navy and Air Force shows the United States is at risk of losing its "military superiority."
Tom Bruscino, one of the experts we consulted, wrote in a blog post that he thought it merited a Half True rather than a Pants on Fire.
Bruscino's post, which included his e-mail exchange with us, was picked up conservative bloggers who said it was evidence of liberal bias, and by POLITICO media writer Dylan Byers, who seemed to concur with Bruscino that the ruling was too harsh. "There's a fair chance that PolitiFact spoke to other experts who saw things differently, but its hard to imagine how Bruscino, with all that detailed analysis, could be relegated to a minority view."
Byers told us he read our lengthy article, but his line that "there's a fair chance that PolitiFact spoke to other experts who saw things differently" suggests he did not. The article's source list clearly shows we consulted 14 different experts. Many were quoted on the record in the story -- including Bruscino. They ranged from the senior policy analyst for national security with Taxpayers for Common Sense to a defense expert with the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.
After interviewing those 14 people and reading reports from the Naval History and Heritage Command, the Heritage Foundation, the Mitchell Institute and the Government Accountability Office, we concluded that while the numbers were largely correct, they do not back up Romney's point. We rated the claim Pants on Fire because, as one expert told us, It "doesn’t pass ‘the giggle test.’ "
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