Journalists peppered President Barack Obama’s press secretary, Jay Carney, with a series of tough questions about Benghazi at a White House press briefing on May 10, 2013. The incident, in which four Americans were killed at two U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya, was the topic at a congressional hearing on May 8. Members of Congress have criticized how the administration handled the Sept. 11, 2012, incident, both in the immediate aftermath and in the months since. One of the issues receiving the most attention is whether, or to what extent, Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice misled ...>> More
Jay Carney: When Susan Rice spoke about Benghazi on Sunday news shows, she said "that al-Qaida might be involved, or other al-Qaida affiliates might be involved, or non-al-Qaida Libyan extremists, which I think demonstrates that there was no effort to play that down."
Tom Coburn: "In 2010, everybody said you can't dare let guns go into the national parks, and of course the rapes, murders, robberies and assaults are down about 85 percent since we did that."
During an interview on the MSNBC show Morning Joe, Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., argued for legislation he’s proposing that would allow guns to be carried into lands controlled by the Army Corps of Engineers. To make the case that guns make places safer, Coburn cited a dramatic before-and-after statistic that stems from the lifting of a ban on guns in national parks. Coburn was a leader in the effort to get Congress to approve the change. President Barack Obama signed the national park provision into law, and it took effect in February 2010. "In 2010," Coburn said ...>> More
Former Democratic cabinet member and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson caused a bit of a kerfuffle recently when he knocked Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, for Cruz’s skepticism about immigration legislation that’s pending in Congress. During a web interview with ABC News, host Benjamin Bell asked Richardson, "Do you think he represents most Hispanics with his politics?" "No," Richardson responded, "He’s anti-immigration. Almost every Hispanic in the country wants to see immigration reform. No, I don’t think he should be defined as a Hispanic. He's a politician from Texas, a conservative state."
On NBC’s Meet the Press, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., pointed to a somewhat obscure labor statistic as evidence that the economy continues to fare poorly more than five years after the onset of the last recession. "I think it's very dangerous to suggest that this economy's healthy," Ginrgich said. He went on to argue that the implementation of President Barack Obama’s health care law could push some companies to turn full-time workers into part-timers in order to avoid providing health coverage. "The pain level it's going to cause, is going to be enormous," Gingrich said ...>> More
Republican Sen. Marco Rubio is taking a precarious lead on immigration reform within his party, where the vocal conservative wing is wary of any hint of amnesty for people living in the U.S. illegally. Rubio is framing his case, in part, by reminding Republicans that they don’t want President Barack Obama leading the way on this issue. "We are dealing with 11 million people, but we are also dealing with the future of immigration in this country, and we are dealing with an administration that, quite frankly, has shown a reluctance to enforce the immigration law," Rubio ...>> More
One of the biggest news stories of last week came from the world of sports, with NBA player Jason Collins becoming the first active male athlete playing for a major U.S. team sport to come out as gay. Several Sunday public-affairs shows tried to put Collins’ declaration into historical context. CBS’ Face the Nation invited retired tennis great Martina Navratilova, among others, to discuss its significance. Navratilova came out as gay more than three decades ago. "I think when President (Barack) Obama came in favor of … gay marriage, that really changed the tide. But ...>> More
No more military chaplains? Soldiers court-martialed for their Christian faith? PolitiFact readers wanted to know if headlines across websites such as Breitbart.com and MrConservative.com last week were true. "Pentagon May Court Martial Soldiers Who Share Christian Faith," said Breitbart.com, claiming that "the Pentagon has released a statement confirming that soldiers could be prosecuted." It could "effectively abolish the position of chaplain in the military," the post said. "Pentagon Confirms They May Court Martial Soldiers Who Hold Christian Faith," said MrConservative.com, explaining that "the Pentagon has released an official statement affirming ...>> More
Barack Obama: For people with insurance, the only impact of the health care law "is that their insurance is stronger, better and more secure than it was before. Full stop. That's it. They don't have to worry about anything else."
Most Americans don’t need to worry about Obamacare "glitches and bumps" that may come next year, President Barack Obama says. All the parts of the health care law that affect them are already in place, and it’s all been good, he told reporters at a White House news conference on April 30, 2013. "For the average American out there, for the 85 to 90 percent of Americans who already have health insurance, this thing has already happened," he said. "And their only impact is that their insurance is stronger, better and more secure than it was ...>> More
Barack Obama: Long-term federal investment in U.S. airports is urgent because "there was a recent survey of the top airports … in the world, and there was not a single U.S. airport that came in the top 25."
During a press conference on April 30, 2013, President Barack Obama addressed a number of high-profile issues, including the fighting in Syria, the Boston Marathon attack, immigration legislation and the across-the-board cuts to federal spending known as the sequester. On the sequester, Obama expressed his ambivalence about signing a bill that passed Congress a few days earlier. The bill, which would ease the sequester’s hit on the Federal Aviation Administration, moved quickly through the House and Senate amid public frustration. The flight delays stemmed from cuts to air traffic control staffing; the bill shifted $253 million from ...>> More
Ted Poe: Says new Medicare billing guidelines "have nine codes for (injuries by) turkeys."
Doctors’ offices, already burdened by federal billing bureaucracy, will soon find themselves pecked to death by new rules, Texas congressman Ted Poe says. New diagnosis codes required for reimbursement are so specific, he told Fox Business Network host John Stossel, there are a set of them just for injuries caused by turkeys. "Whether you run into a turkey or the turkey runs into you, you're pecked by a turkey or you're bitten by a turkey, there's a difference between being pecked and being bitten," he said in an interview April 25, 2013. "So they have nine codes ...>> More
John McCain: "Over half" of science, technology, engineering and mathematics students "receiving advanced degrees are not citizens of the United States of America."
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., recently cited one reason for overhauling the nation’s immigration system: Many of America’s young scientists these days aren’t American, and they need a way to become integrated into the U.S. economy. McCain made his case at an April 26, 2013, speech at a U.S. Chamber of Commerce summit titled "Reforming Immigration for a Better America." "I'll just very briefly mention, if a student graduates from a U.S. college with a science, technology, engineering (or) math degree and has an offer of employment ... they would be eligible to receive a green card ...>> More
Kirsten Gillibrand: "One in five" women in the military "are receiving unwanted sexual contact," as are "3.3 percent of men."
In an interview with MSNBC anchor Andrea Mitchell, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand offered a striking statistic about sexual misconduct in the military. "We've had sexual assaults in the military forever," Gillibrand said on April 23, 2013, but "a new report the DOD published found is that one in five ... women are receiving unwanted sexual contact, but also 3.3 percent of men." We wondered if Gillibrand -- who is sponsoring legislation on the matter -- was reporting the numbers accurately. The report Gillibrand mentioned is the Health-Related Behaviors Survey of Active Duty Military Personnel ...>> More
Tom Cotton: "In barely four years in office, five jihadists have reached their targets in the United States under Barack Obama," compared to zero "in over seven years after 9/11 under George W. Bush."
During a House floor speech just days after the Boston Marathon bombing, Rep. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., sought to compare President Barack Obama’s record on terrorism unfavorably to that of Obama’s predecessor in the White House, George W. Bush. "I rise today to express grave doubts about the Obama administration’s counterterrorism policies and programs. ..." Cotton said. "In barely four years in office, five jihadists have reached their targets in the United States under Barack Obama: the Boston Marathon Bomber, the Underwear Bomber, the Times Square Bomber, the Fort Hood shooter, and, in my own state, the ...>> More
Eric Cantor: "Why is President Obama unnecessarily delaying your flight? FAA could cut other spending."
With frustrated travelers tapping their feet in the nation’s airports this week, politicians responded with alarm to flight delays brought on by federal budget cuts. Beginning Monday, April 22, 2013, furloughs of air traffic controllers began to take effect under sequestration, a deficit-reduction measure that bluntly cuts federal agency budgets. The furloughs triggered flight delays around the country as the FAA scaled back the number of planes that could take off and land because the agency had fewer controllers to direct them. U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., joined the criticism that the FAA is maximizing ...>> More
Peter King: The Boston Marathon bombing "is the fifth case" in which U.S. government officials examined individuals potentially involved in terrorism "and felt they were no threat and they went on to carry out terrorist murders."
Several days after the capture of Dzokhar Tsarnaev, one of two brothers suspected in the Boston Marathon bombing, U.S. Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., cited a pattern in which the U.S. government looks into suspicious individuals who later are charged with terrorist acts. According to media reports, the FBI has acknowledged interviewing Tamerlan Tsarnaev -- Dzokhar’s older brother, who died while fleeing the police -- at the request of Russian officials in 2011. "After looking at his phone records, websites he visited and associates, the FBI found he had no ties to terror," ABC News reported. (We ...>> More
Dianne Feinstein: "No poll done this year … shows less than a majority to reinstate a federal ban on assault weapons."
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., told fellow senators before they voted down her renewed ban on assault weapons that the American people sided with her. What’s more, she told them: Every poll said so. "In poll after poll, that support is there," she remarked from the Senate floor on April 17, 2013, the same day broader gun control legislation failed. "In no poll — even with all the discussion, even with the mobilization of gun owners and the NRA, a majority in every single national poll done shows that the majority want ...>> More
Barack Obama: A "wide majority of NRA households … supported this legislation" on gun background checks.
After the Senate failed to advance an amendment that would expand federal requirements for background checks on gun purchasers, President Barack Obama took to the White House’s Rose Garden to denounce the vote, calling it "a pretty shameful day for Washington." Flanked by relatives of some of the slain children from Newtown, Conn., and assassination survivor Gabby Giffords, Obama emphasized how broadly Americans support expanded background checks for gun purchases. At several points in his remarks, Obama invoked his gun-policy adversary, the National Rifle Association. "To the wide majority of NRA households who supported this ...>> More
Bloggers: Proposed immigration legislation would give new immigrants "a taxpayer-funded cellular phone."
Have you heard of Obamaphones, cellphones for people on welfare? Now there’s a new catchphrase going around conservative circles: Marcophones. It’s a hard jab at U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who’s supporting immigration legislation put forward by a small group of senators called the Gang of Eight. The group recently released a draft of the legislation. Now bloggers have seized on the bill to make the claim that it gives free cell phones to illegal immigrants. "Move Over ‘Obama Phone,’ Say ‘Hola!’ to the Marco Rubio Immigration Phone, AKA MarcoPhone," said The Shark Tank, ...>> More
President Barack Obama accused the "gun lobby and its allies" of lying about a bipartisan background check proposal that failed Wednesday in the Senate. From the Rose Garden, he charged: "They claimed that it would create some sort of ‘big brother’ gun registry, even though the bill did the opposite. This legislation, in fact, outlawed any registry. Plain and simple, right there in the text. But that didn't matter." The background check amendment, sponsored by Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Pat Toomey, R-Pa., was a compromise intended to replace stricter language in Majority Leader ...>> More
Not long after the Senate voted down a bipartisan effort to expand background checks on gun sales, the National Rifle Association released a statement hailing the proposal’s downfall as good news. "This amendment would have criminalized certain private transfers of firearms between honest citizens, requiring lifelong friends, neighbors and some family members to get federal government permission to exercise a fundamental right or face prosecution. As we have noted previously, expanding background checks, at gun shows or elsewhere, will not reduce violent crime or keep our kids safe in their schools," the pro-gun rights group said ...>> More
After the Senate failed to advance an amendment that would expand federal requirements for background checks on gun purchasers, President Barack Obama took to the White House’s Rose Garden to denounce the vote, calling it "a pretty shameful day for Washington." Flanked by relatives of some of the slain children from Newtown, Conn., and assassination survivor Gabby Giffords, Obama emphasized how broadly Americans support expanded background checks for gun purchases. At one point, Obama invoked his gun-policy adversary, the National Rifle Association. "Even the NRA used to support expanded background checks," he said. "The current ...>> More
Gabrielle Giffords, the former Arizona congresswoman who was shot in the head while meeting with constituents on Jan. 8, 2011, has become a leading advocate for Americans who support tighter restrictions on guns. More than two years later, the Senate moved to consider an amendment that would have expanded background checks. But the amendment failed to win the necessary 60 votes to proceed to a final vote. The day after the vote, Giffords wrote an op-ed for the New York Times decrying that vote. In her op-ed, Giffords wrote, "Some of the senators who ...>> More
A reader recently sent us a letter he received from his congressman, Rep. John Duncan Jr., R-Tenn., asking us to check a surprising claim. "Well over 90 percent of felony cases, all over the nation, are committed by defendants who grew up in father-absent households," Duncan wrote. Patrick Newton, a spokesman for Duncan, said the letter was based on the congressman's "knowledge obtained from nearly eight years as a criminal court judge dealing with mostly felony cases." The spokesman went on to say that on Duncan’s first day as a criminal court judge ...>> More
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio took on a public relations role ahead of the release of a bill to overhaul immigration. Rubio appeared on seven Sunday talk shows -- a new record, by most accounts -- to promote the legislation and make a pre-emptive strike against conservative resistance. A possible flash point of that resistance: the notion that the bill would provide amnesty for the millions of immigrants living in the United States illegally. "This is not amnesty," Rubio said on Fox News Sunday on April 14, 2013. "Amnesty is the forgiveness of something. Amnesty is anything that ...>> More