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December 05, 2011 9:52 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - December 4, 2011

On the first Sunday of December, GOP presidential contender Rep. Michele Bachmann (MN) and RNC Chairman Reince Priebus each brought their share of falsehoods to the table. On CNN's State of the Union, Bachmann dismissed the economic significance of the payroll tax holiday even though economists explain that putting more money in the hands of workers would give an appreciable boost to the economy. She also appeared on Fox News Sunday, where she falsely claimed that businesses aren't hiring because they don't have enough money. During his appearances, Priebus did his best to attack the Obama administration's record, distorting the reasons behind November's unemployment rate drop on Meet the Press. He also tried to blame President Obama for deficits that are a legacy of Bush-era Republican policies and for a rising poverty rate that's the result of the recession.

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November 14, 2011 10:29 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - November 13, 2011

The Penn State sexual abuse scandal headlined the political talk shows on Sunday, but Republican leaders still found plenty of time to air dishonest talking points about conservative policies. GOP super committee members Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) and Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) misled viewers about the root of the debt problem the committee is trying to solve and what Republicans have proposed to address it. In particular, both lawmakers severely distorted the impact of the failed Bush tax cuts. Elsewhere, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus declared that Republicans want to "reduce taxes on every single American," ignoring the party leaders demanding that the poor pay higher taxes, and struggling presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) claimed that "what we need to win this war on terror" is the reinstatement of Bush-approved torture techniques.

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November 04, 2011 3:05 pm ET

GOP Responses To Jobs Report Ignore Main Obstacle To Growth

With the news this morning that the private economy added 104,000 jobs but the public sector shed 24,000, prominent Republicans had a chance to trot out the same tired, debunked explanation for slow economic growth they've been using throughout the Obama presidency. According to the GOP, job creators are not hiring because of regulations and high spending from Washington, D.C. But according to the job creators themselves, regulations, taxes and spending are not the issue — they simply don't have enough customers to justify expanding their workforces. The problem continues to be weak demand.

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September 26, 2011 9:50 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - September 25, 2011

This week's Sunday talk shows saw Republicans sloppily blaming President Obama wholesale for America's economic woes. On Fox News Sunday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) used his bully pulpit to claim President Obama made "every problem" he inherited from Bush's failed economic polices "much worse." On Face the Nation, RNC Chair Reince Priebus took the same tack by claiming DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz couldn't "point to one economic statistic in this country that Barack Obama has made better." Graham also absurdly claimed that cuts to the defense department triggered if the super committee fails to reach a compromise would "destroy the Defense Department." And on State of the Union, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) struggled to absolve the Tea Party of blame for a third budgetary standoff in the House, instead accusing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) instead of 'manufacturing a crisis.'

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June 13, 2011 9:43 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - June 12, 2011

Sunday saw multiple GOPers blaming President Obama for job losses that are rightly blamed on President Bush's recession and pretending that Obama policies haven't started to turn the job market around. Republicans have never stopped misleading people about the impact of the Recovery Act, but ignoring two million new private-sector jobs since February 2010 is shameless. Presidential hopeful Tim Pawlenty, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus and Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) each offered one jobs lie or another. Pawlenty claimed that tax cuts pay for themselves (they don't), that President Obama is "out of ideas" on economic and entitlement issues (false), that we "have to" cut Social Security (nope), that the Affordable Care Act cut $500 billion from Medicare (wrong again), and that he didn't really leave a $6 billion deficit behind at the end of his term as Governor of Minnesota (nice try). Meanwhile, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) falsely claimed on CBS that the GOP Medicare plan doesn't affect current seniors, Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) told CNN that ending oil subsidies will increase gas prices, and Rep. Charlie Bass (R-NH) told CNN that the debt ceiling deadline isn't real because "the global economy will understand" if we default.

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April 06, 2011 10:13 am ET

RNC Attacks Its Own On New "Hope Isn't Hiring" Site

The RNC's newfangled campaign website has a cutting-edge campaign strategy: attack President Obama for signing a policy that GOP members of the House and Senate endorsed.  In a litany of attacks on President Obama's stance on social issues, the RNC cites the repeal of the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. However, the RNC elides the fact that the battle for repeal hinged on Republican support for passage. At the end of the day, 15 Republicans in the House and eight in the Senate voted to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," a move that was backed by an overwhelming majority of the American people.

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April 05, 2011 12:00 pm ET

"Hope Isn't Hiring"? The RNC's New Attack Site Is Full Of Lies

The premise of the RNC's new attack website, HopeIsntHiring.com, is that President Obama has nothing more than positive rhetoric and good vibes to offer to those hardest hit by the recession. But if you account for the facts in telling the story of the past two years, things aren't nearly so convenient for the GOP. Far from an aloof figure during the worst financial crisis since the 1930s, President Obama has pushed policies that turned the economy around past Republican obstructionism. The strong rebound in private-sector job growth over the past two years proves the 'Hiring' site is just another vacuous gimmick.

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January 14, 2011 5:21 pm ET

Who Is Reince Priebus?

Wisconsin Republican Party Chairman Reince Priebus was today elected to succeed Michael Steele as chairman of the Republican National Committee. Despite his age — he's under 40 — Priebus has spent time carving out his place as a Republican politician, running an unsuccessful campaign for Wisconsin state senate in 2004, and, more recently, serving as the RNC's general counsel. He's largely stuck to strictly conservative positions, coming out against gay marriage during the RNC chair debate and suggesting that anyone who favors a woman's right to choose is "not a Republican." Priebus' conservative credentials are mildly tainted by service in a law firm that supports health care reform and worked to channel stimulus funds to clients, but as the RNC chair elections approached his fellow Republicans' biggest criticism was his close ties to Steele.

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November 18, 2010 5:48 pm ET

Republicans Collectively Freak Out About The Ghailani Verdict

In the wake of a civilian court verdict convicting suspected terrorist Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani of only one of the over 280 charges brought against him, Republicans had a field day decrying the Obama administration's decision to try suspected terrorists before civilian courts instead of military tribunals. The denunciations ranged anywhere from declaring such a decision "insanity" to suggesting that the Obama administration "nearly allowed this terrorist to get away." In reality, there is no evidence that trying Ghailani in a military court would have produced a more severe verdict. Indeed, whereas terrorists tried in military commissions have served relatively short prison sentences, those tried in criminal courts have faced significantly longer prison terms.

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October 31, 2010 5:35 pm ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - October 31, 2010

Republicans' appearances on the Sunday shows this Halloween were as predictable as any mediocre horror movie, with the lone "twist" coming from Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) on ABC's This Week. Cornyn lied about President Obama's stump speech, claiming that Obama wants to make Republicans "sit in the back of the bus." That's a Glenn Beck-inspired race-baiting twist on Obama's months-old metaphor about Republicans wanting the keys to the car after they drove it into a ditch, and Cornyn should know better. Meanwhile on CNN, Michael Steele pretended that Republicans are principled deficit hawks, despite turning surpluses into trillions in debt under President Bush. On Face the Nation, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty claimed that higher taxes on the wealthy would neuter the nascent economic recovery despite overwhelming evidence that the rich don't spend more when we give them tax breaks. Most predictable of all, Sarah Palin told Fox News Sunday viewers three different lies about taxes in just a few short paragraphs.

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May 06, 2010 1:05 pm ET

RNC Issues Wildly Misleading Report On Judicial Nominees

The Republican National Committee has made a new attempt at producing damaging information about President Obama's nominees to various judicial seats.  Whether by removing appropriate context, using faulty sources, or simply lying about the past judgments of these jurists, the RNC displays a deeply rooted disdain for the truth in this newest "research" piece.

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April 02, 2010 11:07 am ET

RNC Falsely Claims Jobs Growth "Mostly" From Census

With Republican electoral prospects relying on a poor economy, the Republican National Committee sought to paint increased jobs numbers as "unacceptable" and "mostly from the census." While the decennial census did result in the hiring of 48,000 workers, that is a far cry from "most" of the 162,000 jobs added last month.

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February 02, 2010 5:27 pm ET

RNC Accidentally Claims President Bush Rationed Health Care

On February 2, 2010, the Republican National Committee's Research Department claimed President Obama's budget "buried" $286 million comparative effectiveness research, "otherwise known as rationing." In reality, comparative effectiveness research is in no way rationing, and under President Bush, the government spent $335 million on CER.

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January 05, 2010 3:01 pm ET

In Right Now, Michael Steele Repeats Debunked Cost Estimates For Clean Energy Legislation

In his new book Right Now, Michael Steele cited a cap-and-trade cost estimate snatched from a Freedom of Information Act request by the conservative Competitive Enterprise Institute.  The documents included a cost-estimate of an out-dated, abandoned cap-and-trade plan that immediately auctioned 100% of carbon allowances.  The American Clean Energy and Security Act does not do this.  In order to contain costs, the bill initially awards allowances for free, rendering CEI's revelation meaningless.

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December 18, 2009 3:47 pm ET

Michael Steele Blatantly Lies, Says Health Care Bill Would Cost $1 Trillion PER YEAR

On December 18, 2009, the blog Right Wing News published an interview with Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele.  During the interview, Steele made the outrageous claim that health care reform is "going to cost us over a trillion dollars a year to do it." In reality, the Congressional Budget Office estimated the Senate bill would cost $848 billion over 10 years, while lowering the deficit by $130 billion.

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October 28, 2009 1:27 pm ET

RNC Feigns Outrage Over Benign Meetings With Supporters

Responding to a Washington Times report on White House visits for Democratic donors, the RNC feigned outrage in a statement saying "the seriousness of this issue requires an immediate investigation." Yet the same Times article mentions that the same was done by President Bush and Michael Steele himself admitted, "well it's part of what happens, you know, you reward those, your supporters who have been a part of helping you achieve success in winning the election."

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October 05, 2009 4:44 pm ET

On RNC Conference Call, Rep. Price Falsely Claimed Doctors Oppose The Public Option

During an RNC conference call on October 5, 2009, Republican Study Committee chair Rep. Tom Price falsely stated American doctors oppose efforts to provide a public health insurance option.  In reality, three out of four American doctors are in favor of the proposal.  Once again, Rep. Price disregards the truth.

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September 01, 2009 3:48 pm ET

RNC Repeats Distortions In New Health Care Ad

Today, the Republican National Committee released a new ad in support of its so-called "Seniors' Bill of Right." The ad features RNC Chairman Michael Steele repeating many of the same falsehoods he propagated in his Washington Post column last week, when the RNC first rolled out the "Seniors' Bill of Rights." As one might expect, Steele's claims are equally disingenuous one week later.

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June 24, 2009 11:00 am ET

RNC Ad Is Straight Out Of Luntz's Playbook

On June 23, 2009, the Republican National Committee released an ad regarding the President's plan for health care reform.  Rather than substantively contributing to the debate, the RNC's "Bipartisan" ad rehashes talking points created by insurance industry-funded pollster Frank Luntz.

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June 22, 2009 3:00 pm ET

RNC's "Lights Out" Video Is Based On Falsehoods

In a new web ad titled "Lights Out," the Republican National Committee falsely claims the cap-and-trade provisions of the American Clean Energy and Security Act will make energy unaffordable.

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June 02, 2009 10:55 am ET

Michael Steele Echos Conservatives' Double Standard On Empathy

In a June 2, 2009 op-ed in Politico, Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele wrote, "'empathy' has no place in a court room, especially the Supreme Court." Yet two of the prominent conservative icons on the Supreme Court, Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, have also expressed the importance of being empathetic on the bench.

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May 29, 2009 1:43 pm ET

Michael Steele vs. Michael Steele: Judge Sotomayor

In his latest off-message outburst, RNC Chairman Michael Steele broke his own guidelines for the review of Supreme Court nominee Judge Sonia Sotomayor.  Additionally, Steele is scrambling to criticize President Obama and Judge Sotomayor for views also held by prominent Republicans.

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May 21, 2009 10:37 am ET

RNC Hits Obama For Criticizing Slavery

On May 21, 2009, the RNC tweeted an out of context quote from Barack Obama regarding a flaw in the constitution. The "fundamental flaw" Barack Obama was referring to was slavery.

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