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Paul LePage: "About 47 percent of able-bodied people in the state of Maine don’t work."

Posted by Truth-O-Meter rulings from National On October - 23 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

The Truth-o-Meter says: Pants on Fire! | Maine Gov. Paul LePage says 47 percent of able-bodied Maine residents aren’t working

Maine’s Republican governor, Paul LePage, has a history of making controversial comments, from telling the NAACP that the group can “kiss my butt” to charging that a Democratic legislative leader “claims to be for the people but he’s the first one to give it to the people without providing Vaseline.” Recently, LePage made another comment that has attracted national attention. On Oct. 22, 2013, a blogger for the Bangor Daily News posted an audio clip from a speech LePage made in Falmouth, Maine. Here’s what the blogger wrote: “Informed that the event was wrapping up, LePage said …

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The Truth-o-Meter says: Mostly False | Fox News’ Andrew Napolitiano says U.S. is still paying interest on World War I costs

The recent fight over raising the debt ceiling — the limit on how much debt the federal government can carry at a given time — has brought added scrutiny to the history of the United States’ reliance on debt to finance its operations. During a recent Fox News interview, legal commentator Andrew Napolitano offered an arresting factoid. “The government today will borrow money to pay debt on money it has already borrowed and spent,” he said. “I’ll give you one statistic. Woodrow Wilson borrowed $30 billion to fund World War I in 1917. That money has not been paid …

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The Truth-o-Meter says: Mostly False | Marco Rubio says he never favored a government shutdown and voted to fully fund the government

Now that the federal government shutdown is over, the blame game is well under way. On Fox News Sunday, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., emphasized that he didn’t favor a government shutdown even though many observers have accused his party of instigating the shutdown as a way of defunding or delaying President Barack Obama’s health care law. On Oct. 20, 2013, host Chris Wallace asked Rubio whether he was “really prepared to keep the government shut down” when he voted against the final deal to re-open the government and avoid hitting the debt ceiling. “Well, let me be clear,” Rubio responded. …

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Sam Stein: "No one beta-tested"

Posted by Truth-O-Meter rulings from National On October - 22 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

The Truth-o-Meter says: Mostly True | Huffington Post’s Sam Stein says ‘no one beta-tested’ health insurance marketplace website

The rollout of the Obama administration’s health insurance marketplaces website has been so roiled with problems — from a pricing glitch, to flawed data, to widespread log-in fails — that even journalists from left-leaning media are calling for top officials to be hauled before Congress. But while appearing on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Huffington Post political editor Sam Stein went a bit too far in criticizing the agency’s prep work before the Oct. 1 launch of Or at least that’s what he told us when we asked him. “It seems from all of the reporting, and from …

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The Truth-o-Meter says: False | Celebrated chef Tom Colicchio tweets that relatively little debt accumulated under Barack Obama

Tom Colicchio is a celebrated chef, restauranteur and reality TV personality. But how is he as a political tweeter? We recently noticed a tweet Colicchio sent to his 420,000-plus followers on Oct. 20, 2013, that offered the percentage increase in the federal debt under the past five presidents. Here’s the text of the tweet: “Debt increase by POTUS: “Reagan 186% “Bush 54% “Clinton 41% “Bush II 72% “Obama 23% … “Interesting.” This sounded familiar — in 2011, we fact-checked a claim by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., that President Barack Obama “increased the debt” by 16 …

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Maria Bartiromo: "As a result of Obamacare, we are becoming something of a part-time employment country."

Posted by Truth-O-Meter rulings from National On October - 22 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

The Truth-o-Meter says: False | Bartiromo says Obamacare is turning us into ‘a part-time employment country’

Among the many problems that critics of Obamacare like to highlight, one of the more common is that the health care law undermines jobs and the economy. This was Maria Bartiromo’s theme when she was on NBC’s Meet the Press. Bartiromo, anchor of CNBC’s Closing Bell, said the glitches that have beset the rollout of Obamacare are not the only issue. “Businesses have changed their plans as a result of Obamacare,” Bartiromo said. “We are becoming something of a part-time employment country. We’re seeing some groups moved off of health care from business because business is complaining that it’s …

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The Truth-o-Meter says: Mostly True | Half of all CEOs said the shutdown set back hiring plans over next 6 months, says Obama

After a Senate deal brought the 16-day government shutdown to a close, President Barack Obama wanted to make sure the impact of narrowly avoiding a default wasn’t lost on the nation. “These last few weeks have inflicted completely unnecessary damage on our economy,” he said in a public address Thursday. As proof, he offered up specific claims including, “Half of all CEOs say that the shutdown and the threat of shutdown set back their plans to hire over the next six months.” PolitiFact wanted to know whether Obama’s CEO statistic was accurate. The White House pointed us to a …

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The Truth-o-Meter says: Mostly False | Louie Gohmert says deficit ballooned from $160 billion to $1.6 trillion in just one year

One day before the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate acted to end a 16-day government shutdown, Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, appeared on Fox News to discuss the gridlock in Washington over spending and debt. Fox host Megyn Kelly asked Gohmert whether he thought the effort to defund President Barack Obama’s health care law — even to the point of closing the government and risking a default — was “nonetheless worth pushing for.” Gohmert answered by referencing a group of children who had appeared at an earlier event with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. “We have stolen from those …

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Mick Mulvaney: The "president has given 1,100 special waivers to his friends" for Obamacare.

Posted by Truth-O-Meter rulings from National On October - 18 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

The Truth-o-Meter says: Mostly False | Rep. Mulvaney says Obama gave 1,100 special waivers to Obamacare to his friends

On the last morning of the government shutdown and debt ceiling standoff, the conservative lawmakers who took the hardest line in the showdown stood firm even as they faced defeat. One of them, Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C., said it was all worthwhile given the principle at stake. Asked on CBS News what that principle was, Mulvaney said it was about fairness under Obamacare. “Our question, for the last three weeks, has been, ‘Why is it not evenly applied across all the citizens?’ ” Mulvaney said. The president, he said, “has given 1,100 special waivers to his friends. Now he gave …

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The Truth-o-Meter says: False | Sen. Ted Cruz says premiums have gone ‘up and up and up’ for ‘virtually every person’

A few hours before the Senate voted to end a 16-day government shutdown and raise the debt ceiling, the lawmaker who played a leading role in precipitating the crisis, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, spoke to reporters. Cruz’s mission had been to defund President Barack Obama’s health care law and, as he has from the start, Cruz listed the failings of the health care program. “President Obama promised the American people Obamacare would lower your health insurance premiums,” Cruz said. “I would venture to say virtually every person across this country has seen exactly the opposite happen, has seen premiums going …

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The Truth-o-Meter says: Mostly False | DNC chair says Chris Christie cut equal pay for women, called it ‘senseless bureaucracy’

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie seems poised for easy re-election this November, one step on a path toward a possible 2016 presidential campaign. As Christie becomes a more prominent figure in the Republican Party, he’s subject to more criticism on the national level. U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., who oversees the Democratic National Committee, wrote a statement attacking Christie after a gubernatorial debate that gave us a taste of what we might hear more of over the next two years. For this fact-check, PolitiFact decided to hone in on her critique of the governor’s wage policy. “He …

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The Truth-o-Meter says: Pants on Fire! | Chain email says Nancy Pelosi will earn “$803,700 Dollars a year for LIFE including FREE medical”

Okay, people, let’s chat from the heart for a second. Congressional approval ratings nearing single digits and government shutdowns do not make viral rants about lawmakers’ pay any more true. If your in-box claims to share shocking truths in ALL-CAPS underlined exclamations!! — take your hand off the mouse button. Do not click Forward. Unless, of course, it’s to your favorite fact-checkers. Take this recent example sent by one of you to Subject: Obscene Salaries – Pass this on if you believe this is all wrong Salary of retired US Presidents .$180,000 FOR LIFE Salary …

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Ann Coulter: "No doctors who went to an American medical school will be accepting Obamacare."

Posted by Truth-O-Meter rulings from National On October - 16 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

The Truth-o-Meter says: Pants on Fire! | Ann Coulter says no doctors who went to an American medical school will be accepting Obamacare

Conservative commentator Ann Coulter is not known for mincing words, but a recent column prompted many PolitiFact readers to contact us, seeking a fact-check. In the Oct. 9, 2013, column — titled, “Democrats to America: We Own the Government!” — Coulter pummels Democrats over provisions of President Barack Obama’s health care law. We were most intrigued by one claim, since we hadn’t heard it before — that “no doctors who went to an American medical school will be accepting Obamacare.” Really? We tried to ask Coulter through her speaker’s bureau if she could provide any evidence for this, but …

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The Truth-o-Meter says: False | RNC says Wasserman Schultz voted to cut off veterans benefits

The House of Representatives might not have been able to hold a speedy vote to end the shutdown but that doesn’t mean it didn’t hold lots of votes. And where there are votes, there are opportunities to use those votes against your opponents. Veterans benefits are always fertile ground for this tactic and this week, the Republican National Committee launched a robocall campaign aimed at a handful of Democrats, nominally for their failure to support veterans. On the target list are Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D- Nev., Sens. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, Mary Landrieu, D-La., and Kay Hagan, D-N.C., and …

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Louise Slaughter: "Eighty percent of the antibiotics in this country are fed to livestock."

Posted by Truth-O-Meter rulings from National On October - 15 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

The Truth-o-Meter says: Mostly True | Rep. Louise Slaughter says 80% of antibiotics are fed to livestock

A salmonella outbreak traced to California chicken processing plants recently prompted Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y., to raise a pet issue on MSNBC: antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The federal shutdown was limiting government’s ability to track infection, she said. But then she pointed to a deeper issue: “the overuse and ruination of antibiotics.” An advocate for tougher requirements for farm use of such drugs, Slaughter told host Joy-Ann Reid that she’s been “trying to save antibiotics for persons — for human beings.” “Eighty percent of the antibiotics in this country are fed to livestock every single day, and it’s creating a …

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The Truth-o-Meter says: False | Democrats say U.S. Rep. Steve Daines won’t back his own bill to end shutdown

No great insight is necessary to predict that both parties will aim to use the government shutdown to their advantage in the 2014 elections. The political jabbing is already underway in the Montana Senate race to replace Sen. Max Baucus, a Democrat, who won’t run again. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee attacked Rep. Steve Daines, R-Mont., the state’s only House member and a likely contender for Baucus’ seat. “Daines is irresponsibly doing everything he can to make sure the reckless Republican government shutdown continues no matter how dire the consequences are for Montana,” the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee wrote …

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The Truth-o-Meter says: Mostly True | Bill Burton says Rep. Eric Cantor called deal with Democrats a win

Whatever damage Democrats might incur through the government shutdown, they have found some satisfaction in trying to highlight the gap between House Republican leaders and their more tea party-oriented members. Former White House deputy press secretary Bill Burton worked that theme in an appearance on CNN’s Crossfire. In response to the charge that President Barack Obama and Senate Democrats are unwilling to negotiate, Burton shot back, “We have negotiated a deal that Republicans wanted, that Eric Cantor said would be a win.” We wanted to verify the claim that House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., had signed off on a …

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The Truth-o-Meter says: False | Tom Cotton says Mark Pryor voted to give Congress a special subsidy for health care

Republicans have high hopes that they will topple Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor of Arkansas in 2014. The campaign of U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., poses a real threat in a state that has gone Republican by ever wider margins in the last four presidential elections. In 2012, President Barack Obama got just 37 percent of the vote. Cotton’s ads aim to tie Pryor to Obama, and the latest one titled “Good for the Gander” focuses on Obamacare. The tone is jaunty with geese popping up on the screen, but the message is sharp. Here’s the text: What’s good …

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Tom Cotton: The health care marketplaces have "no privacy protections."

Posted by Truth-O-Meter rulings from National On October - 9 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

The Truth-o-Meter says: False | The health care marketplaces have ‘no privacy protections,’ Cotton says

When it comes to Web design, everyone’s a critic. The Affordable Care Act’s new online marketplaces certainly aren’t an exception. But some Internet complaints directed in President Barack Obama’s general direction go beyond cosmetics, attacking security, too. Rep. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., who opposes Obamacare, was particularly vocal on MSNBC about the issues he saw with the new system. He said lawmakers now realize some of the downfalls of the system, including technical concerns. “They realize that the websites aren’t ready, that there’s no privacy protections, that there’s likely to be data breaches,” he said. Now, it’s clear that there …

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The Truth-o-Meter says: True | Rep. Dennis Ross says U.S. spending has fallen two straight years for first time since Korean War

U.S. Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Lakeland, is one of a small group of Republicans calling for an end to the government shutdown. After all, Republicans have succeeded in reining in government spending, Ross wrote in an op-ed in the Tampa Bay Times (the parent of PolitiFact), on Oct. 7, 2013. “In the few years since I was elected to Congress in 2010, we have achieved huge savings and taken monumental steps. For the first time since the Korean War, total federal spending has gone down for two years in a row,” Ross wrote, adding, “That is why I would support …

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Charles Schumer: Because of the 2011 debt ceiling fight, "the stock market lost 2,000 points."

Posted by Truth-O-Meter rulings from National On October - 8 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

The Truth-o-Meter says: Mostly True | Charles Schumer says Dow Jones lost 2,000 points after last debt ceiling fight

If the nation hits the debt ceiling later this month without it being raised by Congress, economists predict a wide spread of economic harm: higher interest rates, lower economic growth and plunging consumer confidence in the United States and overseas. One particularly high-profile sign of economic distress would be a plummeting Dow Jones Industrial Average. During an appearance on ABC’s This Week With George Stephanopoulos, Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., cited that scenario as one of the reasons why Congress should take action soon. Stephanopoulos asked Schumer whether both sides were “posturing” and “playing with fire” on the debt ceiling, …

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Tweets: The Obama administration shut down the Amber Alert program because of the government shutdown.

Posted by Truth-O-Meter rulings from National On October - 7 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

The Truth-o-Meter says: False | Tweets and bloggers say Obama used government shutdown to close Amber Alert system

The government shutdown has cranked up the volume on the blame game of who is causing the most misery for whom. The latest move comes from the right, where accusations began to fly that President Barack Obama was willing to put missing children’s lives at risk to score political points. From what we found, the claim started in the Twitterverse with tweets late on Friday night, Oct. 4, 2013. “Did u see how the amber alert system was shut down & they even produced a screen to declare it!?” said one. Amber Alert is the system that draws the …

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The Truth-o-Meter says: Half-True | John Boehner says U.S. will have record revenues this year

As the nation moved closer to breaching the debt ceiling, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that the country has enough money, it just needs to stop spending. On the Oct. 6, 2013, edition of This Week, Stephanopoulos asked Boehner about his stance on passing a “clean” debt limit bill — that is, a bill that lifts the amount of debt the nation can take on without adding any additional provisions. “So under no circumstances will you pass a clean debt limit?” Stephanopoulos asked Boehner. Boehner responded, “We’re not going down that path. … George, we’ve spent …

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The Truth-o-Meter says: Pants on Fire! | A closer look at a Facebook post on a man’s struggle with the Obamacare marketplace

Shortly after the the Obamacare insurance marketplace launched on Oct. 1, users of social media experienced a burst of complaints on Twitter and Facebook, ranging from technical glitches to substantive concerns. But for our readers, one post stood out. Many readers sent us a Facebook post that went viral and has since been circulated by chain-email. It was originally posted on the Facebook page of, the federal government’s portal to the new insurance marketplace created under President Barack Obama’s health care law. The marketplace is designed to offer one-stop shopping for health insurance plans …

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