‘Tis the season for top 10 lists, and Eugene Kiely, director of FactCheck.org is back with a tally of twisted truthiness.
Quite a few notable untruths fall under the umbrella of the Affordable Care Act, a subject of much distortion on both sides of the political divide. Gun regulations is another source of specious claims. Here are a few of the more notable distortions:
President Barack Obama: If you like your health plan, you can keep it.
Republicans: Congress is “exempt” from the health care law.
Sen. Rand Paul: You can go to jail if you don’t purchase health insurance.
Rep. Michele Bachmann: The Affordable Care Act needs to be repealed before it literally kills women, children and senior citizens.
Rep. Louie Gohmert: The health care law would punish those earning $14,000 a year.
Charlie Randall: Millions of kids are being killed by assault weapons
National Rifle Association: 80 percent of police say background checks will have no effect on violent crime.
Democrats: 40% of guns were acquired without a background check.
Vice President Joe Biden: U.S. workers are three times as productive as workers across the globe.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney: The State Department changed only one word of CIA talking points on the Benghazi, Libya, attack.
Sen. David Vitter: The Senate immigration bill would cost taxpayers $6.3 trillion.
There is, of course more untruth in Washington. The IRS’ Lois Lerner misled reporters about when she first learned of employees singling out conservative groups for scrutiny. There were more specious claims about guns, health care reform, the Sept. 11 hijackers, worker productivity and Obama’s judicial nominees.
However, FactCheck.org stops short of calling any statement an outright lie. “We wouldn’t say that someone is lying, becaue … that goes to motive and it goes to their mindset, and we’re not mind readers,” said Kiely. “We’ll say something is false if the facts and the evidence proves otherwise. We’ll say that it’s a distortion, that there’s some grain of truth here, but they’ve gone beyond the facts. But we won’t say that it’s an out-and-out lie.”
FactCheck.org delves deeper into all of the above in their year-end round-up.