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The Gazette KCRG
Posted December 15, 2011
Fact Check: Sioux City Debate

Republican presidential candidates from left, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., prepare for a Republican presidential debate in Sioux City, Iowa, Thursday, Dec. 15, 2011. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)


By Dave Dreeszen and Chris Coates, The Sioux City Journal

FACT CHECK: Did Branstad say Gingrich was ill-suited for the White House?

WHAT THEY SAID: In a follow-up question to Newt Gingrich on the subject of whether he is a reliable conservative, Fox News debate moderator Bret Baier pointed out that Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad has questioned whether the former House speaker is suited for the presidency.

THE FACTS SAY: The Associated Press reported Thursday that Branstad was unsure whether Gingrich has what it takes to be president. “I think he’s a great idea person. I have a lot of respect for him,” Branstad said in an interview with the AP. “But whether he has the discipline and the focus, I don’t know.”

In a Tweet during the debate, Branstad press secretary Tim Albrecht said the governor’s remarks were taken out of context and were in reference to what Gingrich’s current and former House colleagues were saying about him.

VERDICT: Mostly true.


FACT CHECK: PolitiFact didn’t deem Bachmann charges ‘true’

WHAT THEY SAID: Michele Bachmann said the website PolitiFact supported her earlier claim about the scope of Newt Gingrich’s work for the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp., known as Freddie Mac.

“After the debate that we had last week,” she said, “PolitiFact came out and said that everything I said was true.”

THE FACTS SAY: PolitiFact said Bachmann wasn’t completely accurate about her earlier claim, made during the Dec. 10 GOP debate in Des Moines.



FACT CHECK: Gingrich didn’t balance budget for four years

WHAT THEY SAID: “I balanced the budget for four straight years, paid off $405 billion in debt — pretty conservative,” said Newt Gingrich.

THE FACTS SAY: The government had deficits in budget years 1996 and 1997, his first two years as House speaker. Surpluses followed in 1998 and 1999, then again in 2000 and 2001, although Gingrich was out of Congress by then.

Additionally, the national debt increased the four years he was speaker.



FACT CHECK: Did Romney really create ‘tens of thousands’ of jobs?

WHAT THEY SAID: Defending his record as a businessman, Mitt Romney said he helped turn around scores of companies that created “tens of thousands” of jobs. Though he acknowledged some investments did not pay off, and cuts were made at some businesses, Romney said far more jobs were added than lost.

THE FACTS SAY: It’s difficult to prove or disapprove Romney’s claim of a net gain of tens of thousands of jobs, according to factcheck.org. The investment firm Romney co-founded, Bain Capital, clearly created thousands of jobs at several companies. For example, Bain was an early investor in the office supply store Staples, which today has more than 90,000 employees. There also were layoffs at some of the companies Bain took over. Politico, for example, reported one such firm, American Pad & Paper, which Bain acquired in 1991, had closed two plants by 1999, laying off 385 workers.

VERDICT: Mostly true.

GOP candidates go after Obama in last Iowa debate

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