Mitt Romney ignored the most significant expansion of trade ties in nearly two decades when he accused the Obama administration Monday night of doing nothing to open new markets. Rick Santorum claimed to be taking purely the high road in campaign ads even as a new one from him veered from that path.
Newt Gingrich mischaracterized the Chilean retirement system that he favors as a partial model for the United States, declaring that the system of private accounts is voluntary when it’s not.
So it went in the latest Republican presidential debate as the candidates took shortcuts with complex realities and committed some outright distortions. A look at some of the claims and how they compare with the facts:
ROMNEY: “Three years into office, he doesn’t have a jobs plan.”
FACT CHECK: Like them or not, Obama has proposed several plans intended to spur the economy and create jobs. The most well-known was his stimulus plan, introduced in February 2009, which included about $800 billion in tax cuts and spending.
At the end of 2010, Obama struck a deal with GOP congressional leaders on a package intended to stimulate hiring and growth. The deal cut the Social Security payroll tax, which provided about an extra $1,000 a year to an average family. It also extended an unemployment benefits program that provided up to 99 weeks of aid.
And in September, Obama introduced his most recent jobs plan, rolling it out in a speech to the full Congress in which he urged Congress to “pass it right away.” It included $450 billion in tax cuts and new spending, including greater cuts to payroll taxes and tax breaks for companies that hire those who’ve been out of work for six months or more. Almost none of it has been passed into law.
Read all the GOP South Carolina Debate fact checks here…