2012 Elections: News, Analysis, Videos, and Breaking on the Presidential Election, Local Elections, and More

2012 Elections: News, Analysis, Videos, and Breaking on the Presidential Election, Local Elections, and More

Complete coverage of the 2012 election

FactCheck: Presidential Campaign Puffery

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    NEWSLETTERS

    FactCheck.org takes a look at stump speech inaccuracies. (Published Friday, Sep 28, 2012)

    This report is based on work by our partners at FactCheck.org, a nonpartisan project of the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg Public Policy Center.


    Even with social media and countless TV and radio ads, the presidential candidates still rely on good, old-fashioned public speaking to get their messages to voters.

    But those stump speeches are not always completely true, according to FactCheck.org.

    Both candidates have been criss-crossing the country, making frequent stops in swing states hoping a little face time will help earn some votes.

    The speeches sound very similar from town to town, and FactCheck.org finds some of the recurring claims to be consistently misleading.

    FactCheck.org's Deputy Editor Robert Farley looks at President Barack Obama's claims on the increase of manufacturing jobs:

    “President Obama is correct that we’ve gained about a half a million manufacturing jobs," Farley said. "But he’s talking about a period that began a year in to his presidency. If we were to back up and look at the jobs since the start of his presidency, there’s actually been a net loss of jobs. In fact, we’re only about half way back to the amount of manufacturing jobs that we’ve lost.”

    Obama also claims the tax rate on high-income earners would be no more than they paid under President Clinton -- even with the Bush tax cuts expiring.

    “He’s not taking into account the tax increases in his health care law," Farley said. "There’s about a 3.8 percent tax on investment income, and there’s also a nearly 1 percent Medicare payroll tax. So those are going to be taxes that would be in addition to the income tax.”

    Those new taxes only apply to people with high income. But they would be paying more than under Clinton.

    Meanwhile, Mitt Romney has been saying "Obamacare" is killing jobs in small businesses. But the Congressional Budget Office said jobs would only be impacted about one-half of 1 percent over the next decade.

    “And this isn’t necessarily people unwillingly being pushed out of jobs," Farley said. "The vast majority of those reports says they’re people who decide to work less, or retire earlier because they’re getting subsidies or there’s an availability of insurance outside of the work place.”

    Romney also claims Obama promised by now that unemployment would be down to 5.4 percent.

    “It was a projection, not a promise," Farley said. "And it was based on highly speculative information at that time, based on the economic models that were prevailing at the time. And which proved to vastly underestimate the depths of the recession at the time.”

    These were just a few of the inaccuracies that FactCheck uncovered. So voters should keep this in mind while listening to stump speeches on the campaign trail.

    For more information on Obama stump speech inaccuracies, click here.

    For more information on Romney stump speech inaccuracies, click here.