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Press Release: Debate Preview: Obama's Top-Five Favorite Lies & Exaggerations

October 02, 2012

A Debate Viewing Guide To President Obama's Favorite Lies And Exaggerations That Routinely Go "Overboard"

NUMBER 1: President Obama Has Made False Claims About Mitt Romney's Tax Plans For The Middle Class:

President Obama Has Claimed The Romney Tax Plan Would Impose A Middle-Class Tax Hike Of "More Than $2,000." OBAMA: "This analysis also found that if Governor Romney wants to keep his word and pay for his plan so that he does not increase the deficit even more, the average middle-class family with children would be stuck with a tax increase of more than $2,000." (President Barack Obama, Remarks At A Campaign Event, Winter Park, FL, 8/2/12)

American Enterprise Institute: "The Romney Tax Plan: Not A Tax Hike On The Middle Class"(Alex Brill, "The Romney Tax Plan: Not A Tax Hike On The Middle Class," American Enterprise Institute, 10/2/12)

Tax Policy Center's Donald Marron, On The Report Cited By President Obama: "I Don't Interpret This As Evidence That Governor Romney Wants To Increase Taxes On The Middle Class ... As An Obama Campaign Ad Claimed." "The Tax Policy Center's latest research report went viral last week, drawing attention in the presidential campaign and sparking a constructive discussion of the practical challenges of tax reform. ... What should we infer from this result? Like Howard Gleckman, I don't interpret this as evidence that Governor Romney wants to increase taxes on the middle class in order to cut taxes for the rich, as an Obama campaign ad claimed." (Donald Marron, "Understanding TPC's Analysis Of Governor Romney's Tax Plan," Tax Policy Center, 8/8/12)

  • Tax Policy Center: "We Do Not Score Governor Romney's Plan Directly..." "We do not score Governor Romney's plan directly, as certain components of his plan are not specified in sufficient detail, nor do we make assumptions regarding what those components might be." ("On the Distributional Effects of Base-Broadening Income Tax Reform," Tax Policy Center, 8/1/12)

The New York Times: "It Is A Charge That Many Democrats Are Making, But It Is Not Entirely Accurate." (Michael Cooper, Scott Shane, and Annie Lowry, "A Startling Truth Amid The Hyperbole,"The New York Times, 9/5/12)

And Mitt Romney Has Repeatedly Stated He Will "Bring Tax Rates Down For Everyone." ROMNEY: "I'm looking to bring tax rates down for everyone, and, also, to make sure that we stimulate growth by doing so and jobs. For me, this is all about creating good jobs." (CBS News' "Face The Nation," 6/17/12)

  • The Romney Tax Plan Will Lower Tax Rates For Every American, Provide Tax Relief For Middle-Class Families, And Reform The Outdated Tax Code To Make It Flatter And Fairer. "Mitt Romney has proposed comprehensive, pro-growth tax reform that will lower tax rates for every American, provide certainty for job creators, and get our economy back on track. This plan will maintain the current progressivity of the tax code and it includes tax relief for middle-class families, small businesses, and millions of Americans penalized by outdated and inefficient tax laws. It will not raise taxes." (Jonathan Burks, "Pro-Growth Tax Reform Is Critical To A Real Recovery," Romney For President, Accessed 9/27/12)

NUMBER 2: President Obama's Campaign Has Repeatedly Made False Accusations About Outsourcing:

President Obama's Campaign Has Falsely Claimed Mitt Romney's Business Record Includes Outsourcing. VOICE OVER: "When Mitt Romney left Bain, hundreds of plants, factories, and stores were shuttered. Workers saw their wages slashed, their jobs sent overseas. Romney made a fortune, now he wants to bring that business experience to us. He'd keep tax breaks for outsourcing and hand new tax cuts to millionaires all while raising taxes on the middle class. Romney's not the solution. He's the problem.'" (Obama For America TV Ad, 9/26/12)

FactCheck.org: "We Found No Evidence To Support The Claim That Romney — While He Was Still Running Bain Capital — Shipped American Jobs Overseas." "But after reviewing numerous corporate filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, contemporary news accounts, company histories and press releases, and the evidence offered by both the Obama and Romney campaigns, we found no evidence to support the claim that Romney — while he was still running Bain Capital — shipped American jobs overseas." (Robert Farley and Eugene Kiely, "Obama's 'Outsourcer' Overreach," FactCheck.org, 6/29/12)

The Washington Post: "Facts Essentially Exonerate Romney From Allegations That He Was Responsible For Any Outsourcing, Bad Deals And Layoffs That Occurred With Bain's Companies In The Early 2000s." "We've gone over this problem with the Obama campaign before, awarding three Pinocchios to a January memo the team released blaming Romney for job losses and bad deals that took place after the former executive had stopped working for Bain....These facts essentially exonerate Romney from allegations that he was responsible for any outsourcing, bad deals and layoffs that occurred with Bain's companies in the early 2000s." (Josh Hicks, "Does Mitt Romney Love Outsourcing?" The Washington Post, 5/4/12)

The Washington Post, On An Obama Outsourcing Ad: "On Just About Every Level, This Ad Is Misleading, Unfair And Untrue..." "The Obama campaign fails to make its case. On just about every level, this ad is misleading, unfair and untrue, from the use of 'corporate raider' to its examples of alleged outsourcing.  Simply repeating the same debunked claims won't make them any more correct." (Glenn Kessler, "4 Pinocchios For Obama's Newest Anti-Romney Ad," The Washington Post, 6/21/12)

NUMBER 3: President Obama's So-Called $4 Trillion Deficit Reduction Plan:

President Obama: "Independent Analysis Says That My Plan For Reducing Our Deficits Would Lower Them By $4 Trillion. That's With A 'T' -- $4 Trillion." OBAMA: "Now, independent analysis says that my plan for reducing our deficits would lower them by $4 trillion. That's with a 'T' -- $4 trillion. And I've worked with Republicans in Congress already to cut a trillion dollars in spending, and I'm willing to do more." (President Barack Obama, Remarks By The President At A Campaign Event, Melbourne, FL, 9/9/12)

The Washington Post's Glenn Kessler: "The Repeated Claim That Obama's Budget Reduces The Deficit By $4 Trillion Is Simply Not Accurate. ... Virtually No Serious Budget Analyst Agreed With This Accounting."(Glenn Kessler, "Fact Checking Bill Clinton's Speech And Other Democrats At The Convention In Charlotte," The Washington Post's "The Fact Checker," 9/6/12)

  • "In Effect, Most Of Obama's Claimed Deficit Reduction Comes From His Proposed Tax Increases." "There are a number of other games being played, so fake money is being used to pay for real spending projects. In effect, most of Obama's claimed deficit reduction comes from his proposed tax increases."(Glenn Kessler, "Fact Checking Bill Clinton's Speech And Other Democrats At The Convention In Charlotte," The Washington Post's "The Fact Checker," 9/6/12)

Co-Chairs Of President Obama's Fiscal Commission Erskine Bowles And Alan Simpson, On Obama's $4 Trillion Target: "Unfortunately, His Proposal Falls Short Of This Goal ..." "We are encouraged that President Obama has embraced the goal of stabilizing the debt and the target of achieving at least $4 trillion in deficit reduction. Unfortunately, his proposal falls short of this goal by counting war savings that were already planned; and while it does (barely) stabilize the debt, it does so at a dangerously high level and with no margin for error. We are disappointed, too, that the president did not address the long-term solvency of Social Security."(Alan Simpson And Erskine Bowles, Op-Ed, "Go Big, Be Bold, Be Smart," The Washington Post, 10/2/11)

NUMBER 4: President Obama Has Made Misleading Claims About Higher Costs Under Mitt Romney's Plan To Strengthen And Preserve Medicare:

President Obama Has Leveled Misleading Attacks About $6,400 In Higher Costs Under Mitt Romney's Medicare Plan. OBAMA: "And Governor Romney and his running mate have a different plan. They want to turn Medicare into a voucher system. That means seniors would no longer have the guarantee of Medicare; they'd get a voucher to buy private insurance. And if it doesn't keep up with costs, well, that's the seniors' problem. ... It was estimated that Governor Romney's running mate, his original plan would force seniors to pay an extra $6,400 a year." (President Barack Obama, Remarks, Davenport, IA, 8/15/12)

The Washington Post: "It's Only An Estimate" And Based On An "Earlier Version" For Medicare Reforms."But there are some problems with that figure. First of all, it's only an estimate. Second of all, it's for the year 2022. But a bigger problem is that this dollar figure is an estimate for an earlier version of Ryan's plan. He's since changed it significantly to address some of the loudest complaints." (Glenn Kessler, "Factcheck: Sebelius' $6,400 Number Has Issues," The Washington Post, 9/4/12)

Factcheck.Org: "The Ryan Plan, Now The Romney-Ryan Plan, Doesn't 'End Medicare,' And The Claim About Seniors Paying $6,000 More Under The Proposal Is Outdated."(Lori Robertson, "A Campaign Full Of Mediscare," FactCheck.org, 8/22/12)

The Washington Post Headline: "No, Romney-Ryan Wouldn't Increase Medicare Costs By $6,400" (Sarah Kliff, "No, Romney-Ryan Wouldn't Increase Medicare Costs By $6,400," The Washington Post's "WonkBlog," 9/4/12)

NUMBER 5: President Obama Has Blamed Republicans For "90 Percent" Of His Deficit Record:

President Obama Has Made The Argument That "90 Percent" Of His Deficits Are The Result Of President Bush's Policies. "[President Obama] certainly could argue that these were necessary and important steps to take, but he can't blithely suggest that 90 percent of the current deficit "is as a consequence" of his predecessor's policies — and not his own." (Glenn Kessler, "Obama's Claim That '90 Percent' Of The Current Deficit Is Due To Bush Policies," The Washington Post, 9/26/12)

President Obama's Spending Increases "Have Contributed In Important Ways To The Nation's Fiscal Deterioration." "But Obama pushed for spending increases and tax cuts that also have contributed in important ways to the nation's fiscal deterioration." (Glenn Kessler, "Obama's Claim That '90 Percent' Of The Current Deficit Is Due To Bush Policies," The Washington Post, 9/26/12)

  • President Obama "Can't Blithely Suggest That 90 Percent Of The Current Deficit 'Is As A Consequence' Of His Predecessor's Policies — And Not His Own." "He certainly could argue that these were necessary and important steps to take, but he can't blithely suggest that 90 percent of the current deficit 'is as a consequence' of his predecessor's policies — and not his own." (Glenn Kessler, "Obama's Claim That '90 Percent' Of The Current Deficit Is Due To Bush Policies," The Washington Post, 9/26/12)

The Washington Post's Fact-Checker: "It Is Astonishing To See The President Repeat This Faulty Claim Once Again, As If It Were An Established Fact." (Glenn Kessler, "Obama's Claim That '90 Percent' Of The Current Deficit Is Due To Bush Policies," The Washington Post, 9/26/12)

Mitt Romney, Press Release: Debate Preview: Obama's Top-Five Favorite Lies & Exaggerations Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/303682

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