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October 18, 2010 9:46 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - October 17, 2010

This Sunday's political chatter featured Liz Cheney lying on Face the Nation about what President Obama has said about foreign money, the Chamber of Commerce, and political advertising. Obama made a point about the lack of disclosure from outside spending groups that included a reference to the possibility of foreign influence, and Cheney turned that into an outright accusation. Meanwhile, on Fox News Sunday, Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) and Senate candidate Carly Fiorina (R-CA) each claimed that government spending has exploded in the last few years. But factoring in the recession, government spending has held steady since the beginning of 2007. Cornyn also found time to mislead about the expiring Bush tax cuts, a topic that Christine O'Donnell (R-DE) also dissembled about in an appearance on ABC's This Week. In reality, the Democrats have consistently called for extending the tax cuts for 97% of the country, and their plan would not affect small businesses the way O'Donnell suggested.

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October 11, 2010 9:54 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - October 10, 2010

Yesterday on Meet the Press, Illinois senate candidates Mark Kirk (R) and Alexi Giannoulias (D) debated economic policy and traded personal barbs. At one point Kirk described himself as "a fiscal hawk" who "foreswore earmarks," but the truth isn't so pretty: Kirk requested over $200 million in earmarks in from 2007 to 2008, including millions for organizations that donated to his campaign. Later, Kirk argued that the Recovery Act "largely failed," and implied that small businesses weren't helped by the bill. In fact, the Recovery Act's mixture of tax relief for businesses and investments in industry and infrastructure helped us avoid another Great Depression and turned the economy around. Meanwhile, on Face the Nation, former RNC chair Ed Gillespie misled CBS viewers about the balance of political power in the world of soft-money electioneering groups. In reality, 2008 saw conservative and liberal groups each spend about $200 million — far from Gillespie's imagined gap between the parties. Then, Gillespie proved he just isn't good at math when he exaggerated the value of stimulus payments to dead people by 200,000%.

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October 04, 2010 10:43 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - October 3, 2010

This week, Fox News Sunday hosted an informal debate between Kentucky's Senate nominees, Rand Paul (R) and Jack Conway (D). Paul has mostly avoided the national media, and this debate suggests part of the reason why: in less than a half-hour, Paul was flagrantly dishonest a half-dozen times, about everything from economic policy to recent history to government policy. For a finale, Paul argued that Kentucky gets a raw deal in its financial relationship with Washington, when in fact Kentucky gets a dollar-fifty back for each dollar they send to D.C.

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September 27, 2010 10:02 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - September 26, 2010

Sunday's political talk shows didn't feature anything new as GOP Pledge Week wrapped up. Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Tea Party Senate favorite Ken Buck (R-CO) each suggested in separate appearances that cutting rich people's taxes helps the economy by spurring investment (it does not). Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) misled Face the Nation viewers about the impact of the Recovery Act (which helped the economy start growing again, despite what he says). Meanwhile, Senate hopeful Marco Rubio (R-FL) exaggerated the effect of the Arizona legislature's follow-on legislation that supposedly prevents racial profiling in the hunt for illegal immigrants. In reality, however, the add-on legislation was a cosmetic measure designed to expand profiling opportunities to include municipal ordinance violations.

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September 22, 2010 9:36 am ET

Six Months Later, Senator Barrasso Is Still Using The Same Old Health Care Falsehoods

Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) took to Fox News' airwaves to laud Republican attempts to repeal elements of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care, leveling a number of misleading attacks on the health care reform law in the process.  Barrasso claimed that the law is "bad" for both patients and providers and suggested it holds high costs for taxpayers. In reality, the law contains numerous positive reforms for consumers and providers, and it reduces the deficit.

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September 14, 2010 12:06 pm ET

Sen. McConnell Lies About Taxes on MSNBC

On September 14, 2010, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) appeared on MSNBC's Daily Rundown to mislead viewers about the current debate over extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy.  Despite polls that show nearly two thirds of Americans favor ending the tax cuts for the rich, McConnell claimed, "Americans think it's a bad idea to be raising taxes on anybody in the middle of a recession." Further, McConnell deceitfully downplayed the tax cuts' effect on the federal budget deficit.

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September 14, 2010 11:17 am ET

Marco Rubio Misleads On Taxes

During an interview on Fox News yesterday, Florida GOP Senate candidate Marco Rubio attempted to blame Democrats for the pending expiration of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy.  Even though Republicans wrote the law so that the tax rates would return to their previous levels after ten years, Rubio dishonestly suggested that Democrats are attempting to change "the current tax code" and engage in "class warfare." In reality, President Obama and the Democratic leadership want to enact permanent tax cuts for the middle class while allowing deficit-busting tax breaks for millionaires to expire — a plan that the majority of Americans support, and that fits the needs of our economy.

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September 13, 2010 2:18 pm ET

"Young Guns" Go Nuclear With Bogus Process Complaints

In addition to the predictable Republican distortions of health care policy, Young Guns reprises a series of disingenuous complaints about the process by which the Affordable Care Act became law.  Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) condemns Senate Democrats for allegedly using reconciliation — which he falsely calls the "nuclear option" — to pass health care reform.  In reality, though, the bill passed with 60 votes under normal rules, and reconciliation was only used pass budgetary fixes that even Republicans claimed to support.  Furthermore, Republicans regularly employed reconciliation when they were in power, including for the deficit-busting Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003.

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August 30, 2010 9:59 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - August 29, 2010

Sunday on Face The Nation, Republican Senate hopeful Joe Miller (AK) stoked fears about Social Security's finances and Gov. Haley Barbour (R-MS) wrapped his sugary drawl around a variety of sour attacks on Democrats' economic policies. Miller claimed "the trust fund is empty," but in reality Social Security holds assets of $2.5 trillion and is solvent through the Baby Boomers' golden years. Later, Gov. Barbour dissembled about the cost-cutting Affordable Care Act — the bill actually reigns in health care spending while expanding coverage dramatically and cutting the deficit — and suggested Democrats aren't creating jobs despite the expert consensus that the Recovery Act and other measures saved millions of jobs and turned the economy around.

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August 23, 2010 9:15 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - August 22, 2010

Congress is still on recess as the summer comes to a close, but Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) isn't taking a vacation from spreading misinformation.  On Sunday's Meet the Press, Sen. McConnell unleashed a torrent of false claims.  After blaming President Obama for the uproar over the proposed Islamic community center in Lower Manhattan, McConnell turned his attention to the scheduled expiration of the Bush tax cuts at the end of this year.  McConnell argued that the public opposes higher taxes for the wealthy, that higher tax rates for the top two income brackets would affect 50 percent of small businesses, and that the Bush tax cuts are not to blame for soaring deficits; all of those claims are patently false.  Later in the program, New York gubernatorial candidate Rick Lazio (R) smeared Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf as "not peace-loving," implying that he sympathizes with terrorists.

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August 11, 2010 3:55 pm ET

GOP Record On Immigration Suggests Sen. Reid Is Right

The National Republican Senatorial Committee is attacking Majority Leader Harry Reid for saying, "I don't know how anyone of Hispanic heritage could be a Republican," but Sen. Reid's comments make a lot of sense when you consider the record. Republicans have said and done plenty to alienate Hispanic voters in recent years. By condemning efforts to fix our immigration system as "amnesty," by killing comprehensive immigration reform in the Senate in 2006 and 2007, by writing laws that encourage law enforcement to target Hispanics, and by spreading misinformation about the impact of illegal immigration on our economy and society, the GOP has earned the distrust of Hispanic voters.

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August 03, 2010 3:40 pm ET

About Those "Errors" In Your Kagan Testimony, Sen. Sessions...

In his floor speech this morning opposing Solicitor General Elena Kagan's nomination to the Supreme Court, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) "ask[ed] and challenge[d]" Kagan supporters "to point out any errors in my remarks as we go forth so that we can, above all, get the facts straight." He then launched into an account of Harvard Law's policy toward military recruiters during Kagan's tenure as dean which contained errors of fact. We submit to Sen. Sessions' attention that then-Dean Kagan did not in fact bar recruiters from the campus (as he twice said she did this morning), and that his insistence that anti-gay discrimination in the armed forces is a matter of law and not military policy is misleading at best.

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August 02, 2010 10:41 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - August 1, 2010

On this week's edition of Fox News Sunday, former Gov. Sarah Palin read a sheet of talking points accusing President Obama of plotting a $3.8 trillion tax hike. Of course, none of Palin's critique was accurate — Republicans wrote the Bush tax cuts with an expiration date, and Palin's fearmongering bears no resemblance to the actual White House proposal for extending pieces of the Bush cuts. Later in the show, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell recited misleading GOP boilerplate about government takeovers and small businesses, and House Minority Leader John Boehner claimed the Democrats' response to the economic crisis has been ineffective, despite much evidence to the contrary. Elsewhere, Sen. Jon Kyl misled Face the Nation viewers about the impact of illegal immigrants on state budgets.

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July 20, 2010 4:48 pm ET

In Rep. King's World, Republicans Aren't Blocking Unemployment Extensions

Last night on the House floor, Democratic members held a colloquy upbraiding the GOP for systematically blocking emergency unemployment benefit extensions in the middle of a recession. Rep. Steve King (R-IA) took offense, explaining that Republicans aren't to blame because they "don't have the votes to block anything." The notion that Republicans haven't blocked benefits for the unemployed is ridiculous on its face. As this timeline shows, the GOP have repeatedly placed deficit fears above the needs of out-of-work Americans, all while denigrating the work ethic of those who rely on unemployment insurance in this economy.

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July 19, 2010 10:18 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - July 18, 2010

The political shows were busy on Sunday, with Indiana Republican Mike Pence misleading Fox News Sunday viewers about the Recovery Act and Sen. Cornyn misrepresenting the origins of the federal deficit on Meet the Press. Sen. McConnell told State of the Union viewers a flagrant lie about the Obama administration's response to the Gulf oil spill, and exaggerated the number of small businesses that benefit from the Bush tax cuts for the rich. Elsewhere, NRCC Chairman Pete Sessions described the Tea Party as "one-third Democrat, one-third Republican" on Meet the Press despite clear evidence that Tea Party activists are overwhelmingly Republican. On Face the Nation, the task of defending Arizona's immigration law fell this week to former Rep. J.D. Hayworth, who offered no new evidence to support his conviction that SB 1070 will not lead to ethnic profiling.

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July 06, 2010 9:19 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - July 4, 2010

The Sunday political talk shows were mostly quiet on Independence Day, with one glaring exception. South Carolina Republican and Tea Party Senator Jim DeMint offered an incendiary response to President Obama's speech on immigration reform. On Fox News Sunday, DeMint told guest host Major Garrett that Obama is lying to the American people, and really wants to give no-strings amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants in an insidious plot to grow Democratic voter and union membership rolls. DeMint also suggested that Obama has refused to secure the border. In fact, the president has increased funding for real border enforcement, stopped throwing money into the failed electronic fence program, and charted a course to real, fair and sensible reform for our broken immigration system.

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June 28, 2010 9:44 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows — June 27, 2010

On Sunday's political talk shows, Republicans were hard at work managing expectations for this week's Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on the Elena Kagan nomination. Senators Cornyn (TX), Graham (SC) and McCain (AZ) each pushed the false notion that Kagan banned military recruiters from Harvard Law School while she was Dean there. A number of Kagan's former students have defended her against such charges, and the fact is recruiters had access to the Harvard campus and Harvard Law students throughout Kagan's tenure. Elsewhere, Sen. Graham raised the red herring of Kagan's praise for an Israeli judge as a reason to oppose her nomination, and Sen. Cornyn reiterated the tired Republican lie that clean energy legislation will kill jobs.

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June 21, 2010 10:54 am ET

Fact Checking the Sunday Shows — June 20, 2010

On Sunday, Republicans struggled to deflect attention from Rep. Joe Barton's (R-TX) ridiculous apology to BP. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) ludicrously suggested that President Obama has taken so much money from BP that he is more likely than the GOP to side with Big Oil — which has given Republicans $188 million since 1990. McConnell and Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) each claimed that Barton's comments are not the Republican position, but the 114-member Republican Study Committee has expressed similar concerns. Elsewhere, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) proved that she doesn't understand the basics of cap-and-trade by calling that system of economic incentives a "command-and-control type of system."

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June 14, 2010 10:23 am ET

Angle Lies About Her Plan To Eliminate Social Security

In a June 14, 2010 appearance on Fox & Friends, Nevada Republican Sharron Angle claimed it is "nonsense" to suggest she "wants to get rid of Social Security." In reality, Angle's own website calls for Social Security (and Medicare) to be "transitioned out."

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June 14, 2010 10:11 am ET

Fact Checking the Sunday Shows — June 13, 2010

On Sunday, Carly Fiorina advanced her Senate campaign with a series of false Republican talking points about border security and her own background. Fiorina misrepresented her tenure at Hewlett-Packard, and lied about President Obama's funding for border security and the recently-departed head of the Minerals Management Service. House Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence called the Obama administration's handling of the gulf oil disaster "slow." A timeline shows that claim is false. And since it wouldn't be Sunday without a Republican voice misrepresenting the Recovery Act, Rep. Pence pretended the package did not cut taxes (it did) and that it is not turning the economy around (it is).

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June 10, 2010 6:34 pm ET

Sen. Coburn's Bogus Attacks On Sotomayor, Kagan And International Law

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June 10, 2010 10:52 am ET

Carly Fiorina Sugarcoats Her Disastrous Tenure At HP

During a June 9, 2010 appearance on Fox News' On the Record, Carly Fiorina attempted to deflect criticism of her tenure as CEO of Hewlett Packard, claiming, "I'm really proud of my record, and the good thing about business is the facts are clear." The facts are clear, but they're nothing Fiorina should be proud of.  She fired at least 18,000 people, sent jobs overseas, instigated a disastrous merger with Compaq, and was eventually fired.

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June 08, 2010 4:40 pm ET

Ad Check: Lobbyist-Connected "Maverick" McCain Paints "Outsider" Opponent As Lobbyist

Sen. John McCain has a new ad up attacking his primary opponent's lobbying background. According to the ad, J.D. Hayworth is being hypocritical and dishonest when he campaigns as an outsider, because he took a lobbying position after being voted out of Congress. But despite McCain's own longstanding claim to be a "maverick," the fact is that the Arizona Senator surrounded himself with lobbyists during his failed presidential bids.

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June 07, 2010 10:25 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - June 6, 2010

Sunday on ABC's This Week, National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn defended his candidate for Barack Obama's former Senate seat and argued in favor of Israel's blockade of Gaza. Sen. Cornyn glossed over Senate candidate Mark Kirk's history of exaggerating his Navy career, calling it a "misunderstanding." According to the Texas Republican, Israel would have allowed humanitarian goods into Gaza after inspecting the relief flotilla -- but in reality, Israel is barring a wide variety of humanitarian items from entering Gaza. Meanwhile, on Fox News Sunday, Mississippi governor Haley Barbour complained about media coverage of the Gulf oil disaster and downplayed its severity.

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June 03, 2010 11:44 am ET

Ad Check: Fiorina Mocks Climate Threat As "Weather"

On June 2, 2010, California Republican Senate candidate Carly Fiorina released an ad mocking her Democratic opponent, Sen. Barbara Boxer, for discussing climate change as a threat to American national security.  While Fiorina derides Boxer for worrying about "the weather," national security experts take the threat of climate change seriously.

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June 01, 2010 5:56 pm ET

Rep. Mark Kirk Has A Long Record Of Distorting His Military Service

Rep. Mark Kirk has been less than honest about his military background.  Kirk, who is in a tight race against Illinois State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, has claimed that he was recognized as the "Intelligence Officer of the Year," that he served in Operation Iraqi Freedom and that he was deployed to Afghanistan.  More recently, he's claimed that he commanded a war room in the Pentagon.  The facts, however, do not support Kirk's narrative.  Despite compelling evidence, Kirk refuses to apologize and insists that inaccuracies (which he's told for years) are simple misunderstandings.

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May 25, 2010 2:55 pm ET

Carly Fiorina Was For Bailouts Before She Was Against Them

During a May 24 interview on Fox Business News, California GOP Senate candidate Carly Fiorina boasted about her opposition to government bailouts.  However, in 2008, Fiorina defended the big bank bailout as "necessary."

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May 13, 2010 11:45 am ET

2007 FLASHBACK: Senate Republicans Killed Comprehensive Immigration Reform

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May 11, 2010 6:30 pm ET

Top Republicans Hypocritically Target Solicitor General Kagan's Experience

Republican Senators Mitch McConnell, Jeff Sessions, and John Cornyn have all criticized President Obama's nominee for the Supreme Court, Solicitor General Elena Kagan, for her lack of experience as a judge. However, in 2005, all three Republican leaders touted President Bush's nomination of Harriet Miers, who also lacked both judicial experience and Kagan's impressive credentials.

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April 21, 2010 9:57 am ET

PolitiFact.com Smacks Down Sen. McConnell: "Bank Bailouts Not In Bill"

Pulitzer Prize-winning PolitiFact.com analyzed comments by Sen. Mitch McConnell claiming that the Senate's Wall Street reform bill "actually guarantees future bailouts of Wall Street banks." The site concluded, "McConnell is using seriously overheated rhetoric. Nothing in the bill 'guarantees' future bailouts of Wall Street banks. We rate his statement False."

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