Sunday talk shows contain their usual share of misstatements

Posted on October 28, 2012 by


On “Fox News Sunday,” Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) (pictured, home page) offered some numbers about the economy:  “There are 22 million Americans struggling to find work, 3.5 million more women in poverty, take home pay has gone down 4,300 bucks per family on average.”

The figures are accurate but Portman is implying that the President is responsible for them.

Here’s the link to the PolitiFact analysis of  whether the President can be blamed for the drop in pay.

On the same program, Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) (pictured, this page)  distorted the Republican candidates’ position on abortion. He said, “And unfortunately, what — my understanding of it is, Romney-Ryan Republican platform is exactly the same issue that Mr. Mourdock and Mr. Akin and other candidates put forward and is a reason why you are seeing in Virginia — ”   

At that point, host Chris Wallace interrupted, pointing out that Mitt Romney’s position is that the he would allow exceptions in the case of rape, incest and the life of the woman. 
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ABC’s “This Week”  had Stephanie Cutter of the Obama campaign, who had a bizarre take on Romney’s record in Massachusetts. She talked about an editorial supporting the governor:

“It says that he’d reach across the aisle, which he’d do the exact opposite. It’s the exact opposite of what he did in Massachusetts … So the fact that he’s going to bring people together and work across the aisle is just nonsense. ”

These comments are a bit of a stretch.  Gov. Romney did get legislation through with the help of Democrats. He is criticized by those who say the governor had no choice but to compromise, however some of his agenda did get through so Cutter’s claim is at best an exaggeration.

Former House speaker Newt Gingrich, also on “This Week,”  made a questionable claim about Romney’s record on jobs.:  “The fact is, Barack Obama would trade the job creation of Romney as governor in a second.”

Romney’s record on hiring is mixed. The unemployment rate went down during his term but the state as a whole was 47th in job creation among all the states. So it’s safe to say that the President wouldn’t want to have adopted all of Romney’s jobs policies..

Gingrich also talked about gas prices being high although they’ve been dropping recently: “Sure, because it goes down every fall when the summer travel goes in. It is still the most expensive for this time of year in American history. It is still $2 a gallon more than it was when Obama became president.”

Gingrich is wrong.  In 2008, gas prices in the early fall were higher than they are now. And most experts say that a president is not responsible for fluctuations in price.  For one thing, it takes years for new policies to take effect.Prices are determined largely by world demand and speculation, not just by the numbers in any one country .