The following are the statements to fact-check from the July 11, 2010 episode of Meet the Press:

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Statements are listed in chronological order

ROBERT GIBBS (White House Press Secretary)

1) In the last 6 months of 2008 the economy lost 3 million jobs.
2) In the first six months of 2010, 600,000 private sector jobs were created.
3) The US currently produces 2% of the world’s batteries.
4) As a result of Recovery Act investment (met with private capital), the US will [are projected to?] manufacture 40% of the world’s batteries by 2015.

MR. GIBBS:  Well, David, I don’t think it’s surprising that the American people are frustrated after having lost eight and a half million jobs.  But that’s exactly the argument that he’s making.  Understand, the last six months of 2008, right, we saw an economy that shed three million jobs.  The first six months of 2010, this economy has created 600,000 private sector jobs.  The, the point the president was making and the point that the president will make this fall is, do you want to go backward to an economy that led us into this mess, that saw the greatest financial calamity since the Great Depression, that turned record surpluses into record deficits?  Or do you want to continue on the track that the president has put us on, that has started to create private sector jobs.

The president will travel this week to Holland, Michigan.  Michigan, everybody in this country knows, is, is, is home to auto manufacturing in a big way. But what the president’s going to go visit is the ninth of nine advanced battery manufacturing plants–this will be a ground breaking–that will create jobs, that will supply advanced batteries for the Chevy Volt, an electric car that Chevy’s going to manufacture and will get a hundred miles on a single charge.  This is the ninth of nine that’s are–as a result of that recovery act plan.  Just in 2010, we produced 2 percent of the world’s advanced batteries.  In other words, to produce something like the Chevy Volt, we were going to have to bring batteries in from overseas.  As a result of this Recovery Act investment that is met with private capital, in just five years, by 2015, we’ll manufacture 40 percent of the world’s batteries.  That creates the jobs of tomorrow.  So we have a choice.  Are we going to go back to the movie that we’ve already seen and we know the results, or are we going to look forward?

DAVID GREGORY (NBC) | The stimulus has produced less jobs than were promised, with unemployment at 9.5% instead of 8% as promised.

MR. GREGORY:  And we know that there’s a sense that even the stimulus is not producing the jobs that it was promised to; 9.5 percent unemployment now.  The original reporting was we’d keep unemployment with the stimulus at 8 percent.

ROBERT GIBBS (White House Press Secretary)

1) In the last two quarters of the Bush administration the economy was contracting by 6%.
2) Now the economy is growing by 3%.

MR. GIBBS:  Well, let’s take a look at it.  Again, the quarter before–the, the two quarters of economic growth that we had before the president came to office, our economy was contracting by 6 percent.  Now we’re growing by 3 percent.

ROBERT GIBBS (White House Press Secretary)

1) John Boehner would be Speaker of the House if the Republicans regained the majority in the House of Representatives.
2) Last week Rep. John Boehner compared the financial problems of 2008 to an ant.

MR. GIBBS:  Well, look, let’s take financial recovery as something were, again, we can look backward and we can look forward.  John Boehner, who would be the speaker of the House if the Republicans were to take the House back over, last week equated the wreckage that was left as a result of the financial calamity to an ant, OK?

DAVID GREGORY (NBC) | Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guarantee 90% of US mortgages.

MR. GREGORY:  …proved unsuccessful.  And the, the two largest former private companies and now quasi-government agencies, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, they guarantee 90 percent of the mortgages in this country.

DAVID GREGORY (NBC) Vs ROBERT GIBBS | [Possibly more of a clarification than a fact-check] What are the differences, if any, between the Bush and Obama administration’s policies regarding North Korea and Iran?

MR. GREGORY:  More broadly on foreign policy, I can remember back two years ago, as you certainly can, July of 2008, the president giving a major foreign policy speech in Berlin.  Still a candidate and yet really well received. This was, in effect, an attempt to show the world a new face of foreign policy that would happen under President Barack Obama.  And yet, as the president tried to do a 180 from Bush foreign policy, you find how difficult it is.  The promise to close down the prison at Guantanamo Bay, yet it’s still open.  The Afghanistan war is not scaled down, it’s been escalated.  This administration has upheld the state secrets exemption in its pursuit of terrorists legally. It appears the worst-kept secret in Washington is that there appears to be abandoned plans to put Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in front of a civilian trial. Same strategy for North Korea and Iran basically.

MR. GIBBS:  Well, hold on, let’s…


MR. GIBBS:  I hate to interrupt, but let’s understand this.  We have the toughest sanctions on North Korea that we’ve ever had as a result of unanimous U.N. Security Council resolution.

MR. GREGORY:  Same strategy.  Same strategy.

MR. GIBBS:  Same strategy…

MR. GREGORY:  Pursued by the Bush administration.

MR. GIBBS:  More important, better tactics.  We’ve got the strongest sanctions regime on Iran that has ever been in place.  And, David, go back…

MR. GREGORY:  Same strategy as the Bush administration.

MR. GIBBS:  But, but understand–let’s go back to the Bush administration.


MR. GIBBS:  You brought this up.  I know the next panel’s going to say I blamed this all on the Bush administration…

MR. GREGORY:  No, no, no.  But can I just finish?

MR. GIBBS:  But–let me…

MR. GREGORY:  The predicate here, which is, is it harder to do a reversal from Bush foreign policy than you originally thought?

MR. GIBBS:  No, because I think you’ve greatly oversimplified it.  It–if you ask Ed Gillespie, ask any of the folks that you had right now, if in September of 2008 or October of 2008 or November of 2008 whether China and Russia were going to come on board for strengthening sanctions against Iran.  The answer to that would be a flat no.  You wouldn’t have gotten to the security council because you would have had at least two countries raise their hand to veto those.  This president has put together a coalition that includes Russia and China, that’s actually strengthened our sanctions regime on South Korea***(as spoken).  We have better relationships with virtually every country in the world as a result of the president’s foreign policy outreach.  We’re reducing nuclear weapons in this world that we know can cause the type of calamity, whether, whether they accidentally launch or whether they fell, fell into the hands of a terrorist.  There’s no doubt, David, that we have taken foreign policy in a different direction.  We have improved relationships with countries, but not just as a means to an ends.  That’s actually making our country safer and more secure as a result.  I, I think you created oversimplified sort of what the president is trying to do, because the things that he’s instituted couldn’t have been done in the last administration.

MR. GREGORY:  Right.  But those are all accurate issues?  I mean, I didn’t misstate any of that, did I?

MR. GIBBS:  Well, I think I–I think you and I had a little interchange there on North Korea and Iran because, again, whether you go through the same strategy is not necessarily what is at case here, and that is we have built–and the president has taken a different strategy with Iran, right?  He said to the world, “I’m happy to discuss Iran with Iran if its–if it will come to the table and live up to its obligations.” That’s what brought the Chinese and the Russians to the table at the United Nations.  That’s what showed the world that it wasn’t, it wasn’t anything that had to do with American or our allied aggression toward Iran, it was that Iran was hiding a secret nuclear weapons program.  And if Iran is unwilling to, in front of the world, discuss that, as the president invited them to do, then it becomes clear for everybody in the world that this is an Iranian secret nuclear weapons program.  That’s why everybody’s at the table, and that’s what we have the strongest sanctions regime on Iran that we’ve ever had.

ED GILLESPIE (Republican strategist)

1) The national deficit is currently $1.4 trillion.
2) The national debt is currently $13 trillion.
3) The Obama administration has doubled the national debt since taking office.
4) Under Obama administration policies, the national debt will triple in 10 years.

MR. ED GILLESPIE:  The fact is that we’ve got unemployment at 9.5 percent.  They said it wasn’t going to go above 8 when they passed the stimulus.  We have a $1.4 trillion deficit.  We have $13 trillion in debt.  They’ve doubled it since coming in, and they’re going to triple it in 10 years.

RACHEL MADDOW (NBC) | During the Bush administration while the Republicans controlled Congress, the following government actions were instituted without any plan to pay for them: the Iraq war, the Afghan war, the [Medicare] prescription drug plan, and two tax cuts.

MS. MADDOW:  Well, you end, you end up with the situation which again you’re back to choice vs. referendum because Republicans, like great strategists like Mr. Gillespie, can argue about how it’s all about spending, it’s all about debt.  But it’s not just talking about the past to say, “When Republicans have had the reins, this is what they’ve done:  two wars not paid for, prescription drug benefit not paid for, two tax cuts that mostly benefited the rich not paid for.” They put all that stuff on the deficit, $1.3 trillion sitting there as–in a deficit when Obama took over, after the previous Democratic president had handed him a surplus.  If you talk about–if Republicans want to run as this fiscally responsible party, it’s neat, but it’s novel.  It’s not how they’ve actually governed.

ED GILLESPIE (Republican strategist) | Virginia governor Bob McDonnell eliminated a $4.2 billion budget deficit, which was the largest deficit in the history of the state.

MR. GILLESPIE:  Oh, I think, I think there’s a great opportunity for conservative policies, and I think the public is open to hearing from us on that.  And I just disagree with David.  Look, in New Jersey and Virginia, we have two Republican governors just been elected, one in a purple state, Virginia, one in a deep blue state, or at least royal blue, New Jersey, who are acting on what they said they would do, they’re governing as they campaigned.  In New Jersey, Governor Christie is trying to change the tailspin, turn things around in New Jersey, taking on the government employee unions there.  In Virginia, Bob McDonnell as governor eliminated a $4.2 billion deficit, the largest in the history of the Commonwealth of Virginia. We will govern as we said we would.


1) Extending unemployment benefits have been proven to work in stimulating the economy during a recession
2) Congressional Republicans are currently blocking the extension of unemployment benefits

MS. MADDOW:  If you really want, if you really want a stimulus, do what we–what’s proven to work in stimulus, which is things like extending unemployment benefits, which is something that Republicans are completely blocking.

ED GILLESPIE (Republican strategist)

1) After the Bush administration tax cuts, there were 52 months of continuous job creation. (and)
2) It was the largest such period in American history.
3) US revenues in 2007 were the highest in American history.

MR. GILLESPIE:  Well, my point was not wanting to go back to the math because the fact is, under the Bush tax cuts, we did have 52 months of–in uninterrupted job creation, longest in the history of the country, and revenues were at an all-time high in 2007.  The problem wasn’t lack of revenue, the problem still remains today too much federal spending, and this administration’s not addressing that.


1) Similar statement to Ms. Maddow’s above regarding Bush administration spending.
2) The Medicare prescription plan passed under the Bush administration was the largest entitlement program passed since the introduction of Medicare.

REP. FORD:  Because–largely because people don’t see job numbers and the economy improving for middle class people, for small business owners.  Again, Republicans can’t–aren’t totally off the hook.  Rachel is right.  We–I was there when the Medicare drug prescription bill passed.  That’s the largest entitlement that we’ve passed since–with the introduction of Medicare.  The fact is the tax cuts, these things were not paid for, the war was not paid for.  However, when you become president, you can’t argue all the time that the last guy before you created all the problems and he deserves no credit. TARP was a George Bush idea.  The Detroit bailout was a part of a, a Bush idea.  The reality is people are going to look at today.

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