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February 02, 2012 9:29 am ET

Meet Dutch Sheets, Another Gingrich Faith Adviser

Newt Gingrich's campaign announced last week that Dutch Sheets, a popular evangelical preacher, would co-chair the campaign's Faith Leaders Coalition. Like other members of the coalition, Sheets is a divisive and abrasive figure who has said in no uncertain terms that President Obama is a Muslim and that natural disasters and terrorist attacks in the United States are a consequence of turning away from Christianity.

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January 25, 2012 12:41 pm ET

Meet Michael Youssef, Gingrich's Divisive Faith Co-Chair

Michael Youssef, an Egyptian-born evangelical pastor, has endorsed former House Speaker Newt Gingrich for president. The Gingrich campaign has announced that Youssef, head of an Atlanta megachurch, will be the National Co-Chair of its Faith Leaders Coalition. Youssef's divisive views include the belief that democracy is not possible in any Muslim-majority country, and he has said that "socialists and leftists" try to "present Islamists and Jihadists as peace lovers." Youssef also advances the idea that there is a war against Christianity in America, yet he directs a share of his vitriol toward other Christians, particularly Presbyterians and Episcopalians.

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January 10, 2012 12:00 pm ET

Gingrich Denies Facts About Same-Sex Adoption In Massachusetts, D.C.

During an appearance on the January 10, 2012, edition of CNN’s Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien, GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich attempted to advance his claim that the legalization of same-sex marriage in Massachusetts and Washington, D.C. had forced Catholic Charities and other religious institutions to put an end to their adoption services. O’Brien attempted to correct Gingrich by pointing out that, in both cases, Catholic Charities were simply being asked to abide by non-discrimination laws in order to receive public funding. Gingrich rejected O’Brien’s explanation, but her analysis was exactly correct.

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December 12, 2011 9:59 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - December 11, 2011

This week's Sunday political talk shows saw a major focus on the debate over the payroll tax cut extension. On Face the Nation, Republican presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) attacked President Obama and "Newt Romney" — a name for Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney she came up with during Saturday's debate — over the payroll tax cut, saying there's no evidence the cut helped create jobs. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) called the tax cut an 'emergency measure' and said it wouldn't be necessary if President Obama's "failed" policies hadn't resulted in a higher deficit and jobless rates. McConnell, along with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), also pushed for the Keystone Pipeline using discredited job creation numbers.

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October 31, 2011 10:24 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - October 30, 2011

This week's Sunday talk shows included several GOP presidential contenders who have figured out that ignoring facts is a winning formula among their party's voters. While all the candidates who appeared on the shows parroted the same points they've been making for the past several months, there were also several new allegations. On Face the Nation, GOP frontrunner Herman Cain, after having adjusted his 9-9-9 tax plan to avoid tax hikes on those living in poverty, claimed that the exemption was there all along and that his critics simply misreported his plan. That's unlikely given that Cain has been on record defending taxing the income of those living in poverty. On This Week, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) was called out for misrepresenting immigration statistics. Rather than acknowledge her mistake and move on, Bachmann claimed that she did not say what the video clearly showed her saying. And on Fox News Sunday, Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) repeated a slew of easily debunked economic talking points, including that President Obama had overseen the creation of "practically no jobs."

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October 17, 2011 9:37 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - October 16, 2011

Republicans spent their Sunday morning TV appearances blaming Democrats for the economy and trying to convince Wall Street protesters to join them in their scapegoating. Contrary to what Herman Cain and Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) claimed, the facts show that private firms, not government entities, inflated the subprime mortgage bubble, and Wall Street, not Democrats, turned those loans into an elaborate casino game that left the entire country on the hook for their bad bets. Similarly, Cantor and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) were wrong to suggest that Democratic policies on taxes and regulations are hurting the economy, and that Republican proposals will do more to create jobs than President Obama's proposed American Jobs Act. In addition, Cain claimed that his "9-9-9" tax plan won't hurt the poor and implied that Obama has cut defense spending, Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA) blamed the credit downgrade on the president, and Sen. McCain said that Obama never spoke up on behalf of Iranian protesters in 2009. In each case, the facts disagree.

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October 11, 2011 4:20 pm ET

The Facts About Texas' In-State Tuition Law

In 2001, Texas Gov. Rick Perry signed a law granting in-state tuition benefits to undocumented immigrants. Now that Perry is running for president, his critics, including GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney, are using Perry's support for the law to accuse him of being insufficiently tough on immigration. However, Texas' in-state tuition law is both good for the economy and legally sound. Given those facts, critics like Romney should explain why Perry's judgment about the best policy for Texas was wrong instead of simply pandering to anti-immigrant sentiment among GOP primary voters.  

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September 07, 2011 4:47 pm ET

Correcting Mitt Romney's Mistaken Jobs Chart

Mitt Romney's jobs plan features a brazenly dishonest chart comparing job gains following recessions. "Figure 2" from page 16 of the proposal claims that in the 24 months after the recent recession officially ended, the American economy has shed 800,000 jobs. The figure labels this the "Obama Recovery," and the way the chart is arranged suggests Obama is to blame for the massive job losses that occurred under President Bush. Subliminal sloppiness aside, though, the number is flat wrong. The recession ended in June 2009, and in the subsequent 24 months the economy has gained 554,000 jobs on net. That would still stack up poorly next to some other 24-month recoveries from less severe recessions, but that's not because the private sector isn't creating jobs; it's because a half-million public-sector layoffs over the same two years hide the one million new private-sector jobs that have actually been created in the "Obama Recovery."

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September 01, 2011 2:00 pm ET

Botch-mann Watch

Long before she entered the presidential race, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) was known as an outspoken ideologue with a propensity for making embarrassing misstatements. When Bachmann recently accused President Obama of having "a lot of chutzpah" and mangled the pronunciation, it was fitting because her rendition of Yiddish applied to her own name would result in "Botch-mann" — an apt description of her error-prone ways. Since then, Bachmann has wished Elvis Presley a "happy birthday" on the anniversary of his death and fretted about the rise of the Soviet Union, among other misstatements. Bachmann's gaffes are likely to mount as long as she remains a candidate for the Republican nomination, so Political Correction decided to collect them all in one place. We'll update the list as the race moves forward.  

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August 22, 2011 11:15 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - August 21, 2011

This Sunday's talk shows echoed a quiet week in Washington, with newly-minted head of the Republican Governor's Association Bob McDonnell (R-VA) and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) regurgitating standard lines on the President Obama's economic policies. McDonnell also faulted President Obama for the country's current debt and deficits, rejecting the notion that President George W. Bush bears any responsiblity. Long-shot presidential candidate Rick Santorum joined him in misplacing blame for deficits, claiming that safety net programs like Medicaid and food stamps are "the core problem with our deficit," before wrongly suggesting that repealing the health care reform law would create jobs and increase growth. Fellow presidential contender Jon Huntsman trotted out his flat tax plan, glossing over the truth about its disproportionate effect on the lower and middle classes. He also blamed the fact that corporations aren't hiring on "uncertainty and confusion," when business leaders themselves point to weak demand, not government policies.

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August 15, 2011 4:27 pm ET

Rick Perry's Ethics: Pay-To-Play Government And "Junk" Justice

Now that Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) is officially running for president, his record as a chief executive deserves national scrutiny. Non-partisan watchdog Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington named Perry one of the most unethical governors in the country, in part because of Perry's brand of graft is particularly efficient: One of every five dollars his campaign raised through 2010 came from political appointees. The rest of the picture is even uglier. The case of Cameron Todd Willingham — where Perry allowed a man to be executed despite being given scientific evidence may have exonerated him, and then sought to derail an investigation into the episode years later — may prove more damaging to Perry's candidacy.

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August 15, 2011 4:27 pm ET

Rick Perry's Convenient Constitution: Views Shift With The Political Tides

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) owes his fame in large part to his prominent statements about the federal government intruding on states' rights, but he supports imposing his repressive right-wing ideas on abortion and sexuality upon the whole nation through constitutional amendments. According to Perry, safety net spending and the direct election of U.S. senators are also on the wrong side of the Constitution.

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August 15, 2011 4:26 pm ET

Rick Perry's Texas: Not All It's Cracked Up To Be

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) is quick to take credit for the Texas economy, boasting that his time in office has seen Texas lead the nation in growth. But the reality is that Texas' job growth has not kept up with its population growth, and as a result its unemployment rate throughout the recession has been comparable to that of other states. Moreover, Texan jobs come more from the natural blessings of location and resources that Texas enjoys than from Perry's policies.

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