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Here are the fact-checkable statements from the May 30, 2010 episode of Meet the Press.
Transcript | Video

If you can help us research them please either email us or (preferably) post your work in the comments below. (Anonymity is fine) Also let us know how long you spent researching each fact, we will be tracking it. The success of Meet the Facts depends on the crowd-checking of people like you, please help if you can!

ROBERT DUDLEY (BP) | Original oil flow estimates were 5,000 barrels a day, (CHECKEDHALF TRUE) now it is 12-19,000

MR. DUDLEY:  The original estimates, which were government and BP estimates together, primarily unified estimates of 5,000 barrels a day, were based on satellite pictures.  We’ve always found this a difficult oil to measure because of the, the huge amounts of gas in the oil. The, the new estimate range of I think it’s 12,000 to 19,000 barrels has been issued without an actual flow measurement.  The one thing about this method that we’re about to go into, it will and should measure the majority of the flow.


1)The Deepwater Horizon accident was unprecedented.
2) The blowout preventers on the more than 5,000 deepwater wells have not failed before

MR. DUDLEY:  This is an unprecedented accident.  These, these blowout preventers which are used on oil and gas wells all around the world and have been used on more than 5,000 deepwater wells in the Gulf of Mexico have not failed before.

ROBERT DUDLEY (BP) | Industry standards include checking blowout preventers every 14 days.

MR. DUDLEY:  I don’t think so.  The industry has–all around the world these pieces of equipment are inspected regularly, and in the U.S. they’re inspected every 14 days.  This is a very unusual failure.  We need to find out why.  We need to learn from it and, and change the industry for good.|

CAROL BROWNER | Measures to handle oil spill have included: more than 80 burns which are highly successful, 1,400 vessels skimming more than 11 billion gallons of water/oil.

MS. BROWNER:  Well, the good news is, if there’s any good news here, is that we have a lot of systems in place to manage and decrease the amount of oil that comes onshore.  So, for example, more than 80 burns have been conducted. These burns are highly successful, they corral the oil, they burn it.  Now, we can’t do it all the time; weather conditions don’t always allow for it. Secondly, there is booming that is in place.  You–the president visited some of that booming.  They’re able to capture the, the little pellets, the, the little slicks of oil that come onshore.  And then finally there is the skimming.  There are over 1,400 vessels in this part of the Gulf of Mexico. We are using skimmers that skim up the oil sheen.  They bring up water, too. I think it’s over 11 billion barrels of oil and water that have now been skimmed up.  All of that is going to continue.

CAROL BROWNER | Govt. has been in control of the oil spill response since the beginning.

MS. BROWNER:  Well, the government’s been in control from the beginning.

CAROL BROWNER | There have not been similar accidents with underwater wells. (this is roughly the same check as the Dudley check above)

MS. BROWNER:  David, I, I, I think that we have to understand all of these things going forward.  But I do think it’s important to understand that these wells have been drilled for several decades now.  There have not been these kinds of accidents.

CAROL BROWNER | All deepwater rigs in the US have been shut down.

MS. BROWNER:  That is why all of those operations have been shut down. In the Arctic, they’ve been shut down; in the Gulf of Mexico, they’ve been shut down, including 33 rigs that were out there drilling right now, which, you know, we understand it’s going to be hard on those people.


1) The President of Mexico instructed the US State Dept. to have the personnel sent to the southwest not enforce immigration laws.
2) The troops that were sent are “essentially” only working to maintain vehicles or work in offices.

REP. HAYWORTH: When you go back and check the press accounts, we hear that actually the president of Mexico and the government of Mexico, not content on lecturing the state of Arizona and the majority of American citizens from a joint session of Congress, now instructed the State Department, “Hey, if you’re sending people there, don’t have them enforce immigration laws.” So what we are seeing right now is a situation where you will have troops essentially working to maintain border patrol vehicles, change oil, change tires, or work in the office dealing with computers.

REP. J.D. HAYWORTH (R-AZ) | NYC adopted a “broken windows” police policy that means minor infractions are enforced, and as a result overall crime has dropped in NYC.

REP. HAYWORTH:  For example, in New York City, a policy was adopted called the “broken windows” theory of policing, where you enforce the law for infractions no matter how seemingly minor and, as a result, overall crime drops.

DAVID GREGORY (NBC) | The 12 million unauthorized immigrants in the US are all Mexican. (just pointing out a mistake here)

MR. GREGORY:  …reflecting the fact that you can’t just deport 12 million people back to Mexico.

REP. J.D. HAYWORTH (R-AZ) | Representatives Hayworth and Gutierrez both have remarkably clean driving records (this one is just for fun, if somebody knows how to check it, on the off chance they have speeding tickets or something)

REP. HAYWORTH:  Now, David, you set up a situation.  Let’s talk about the commonality of the experience.  First of all, Luis and I are remarkably safe drivers.


1) In 2007 the Heritage Foundation reported that unauthorized immigrants would cost 2.6 billion in retirement benefits if made citizens
2) Let’s fact check the Heritage Foundation report, since it is a partisan organization.

REP. HAYWORTH:  And would remind the viewers that in the 2007 bill with the late Senator Kennedy, the Heritage Foundation estimated that long-term retirement benefits alone for illegals granted citizenship would be $2.6 trillion.  So much for fiscal responsibility from my opponent.

DAVID GREGORY (NBC) | Economy is on track to create 1.7 million jobs this year

MR. GREGORY:  The, the economy now is growing.  It’s on track to create on the order of 1.7 million jobs this year.  If that happens, does the Obama administration deserve credit for a turnaround?

EJ DIONNE | The majority of jobs created by the stimulus package are/were in the private sector

MR. DIONNE:  The jobs created from the stimulus are largely in the private sector.  It’s rule number one of the–of economics that when the government pushes out this money it has an effect across the economy.

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Here are the fact-checkable statements from the May 23, 2010 episode of Meet the Press.
Transcript | Video

If you can help us research them please either email us or (preferably) post your work in the comments below. (Anonymity is fine) Also let us know how long you spent researching each fact, we will be tracking it. The success of Meet the Facts depends on the crowd-checking of people like you, please help if you can!

SEN. JOHN CORNYN (R-TX) | Rand Paul is leading Jack Conway by 25 points in the KY Senate race. – CHECKED: TRUE

SEN. CORNYN:  But the fact of the matter is Rand Paul’s leading his opponent in the, in the general election by 25 points.

RAND PAUL (video) | The US has an annual deficit of $2 trillion. CHECKED: HALF TRUE The interest to that debt is $383 billion. CHECKED: TRUE

DR. PAUL:  We have an annual deficit of nearly $2 trillion.  Interest alone on the debt is $383 billion.  I think there is a day of reckoning coming.  I don’t want that day of reckoning to involve chaos as we’re seeing in Greece.

SEN. ROBERT MENENDEZ (D-NJ) | At the time the Obama administration took over, the Iraq/Afghanistan wars, a trillion dollars in tax cuts, and a new entitlement program were all unpaid for.

SEN. MENENDEZ:  Well, we’ll have to remind, David, the, the public that Republicans left this president and this Democratic majority with two wars raging abroad unpaid for, a couple of trillion dollars in tax cuts unpaid for, a new entitlement program unpaid for;

1) Since President Obama was sworn into office the national debt has increased 23%.
2) Under Obama’s budget the debt-to-GDP ratio will increase to 90% by 2020.
3) Greece’s debt-to-GDP ratio is 115%

SEN. CORNYN:  There they go again blaming it on George Bush.  I don’t know when this administration, when the Democratic leadership that got the majority in November 2008 are going to take responsibility for the 23 percent increase in the national debt since President Obama was sworn into office.  Under the president’s own budget, our debt-to-GDP ratio will be up to 90 percent by 2020, 90 percent, according to the Congressional Budget Office.  Greece is at a 115 percent

SEN. JOHN CORNYN (R-TX) | A recent NY Times poll said that 57% of independents sympathize with the tea party movement. – CHECKED: FALSE

SEN. CORNYN:  The fact is, as a New York Times poll said recently, that 57 percent of independents, the people who actually win elections, or, or tip the balance of elections, sympathize with the tea party movement.

1) There is currently $80-100 billion in tax loopholes for Wall Street.
2) There is currently $80 billion in tax loopholes for oil companies.
3) Oil companies are currently having record profits. CHECKED: HALF TRUE
4) There is currently $352 billion in tax loopholes for individuals and small businesses.

MR. GREGORY:  …which is what specific, painful choice would you advocate as United States senator to deal with the debt?

REP. SESTAK:  Close those tax loopholes.  All right?  Carried interest for Wall Street upwards of $80 billion to $100 billion a year, they get taxed at 15 percent.  Eighty billion dollars for tax loopholes for oil companies that literally have record profits, $352 billion a year that’s not collected in taxes from small businesses and individuals…(unintelligible)…corporations.

SEN. JOHN CORNYN (R-TX) | 56% of Americans want to repeal the healthcare bill. – CHECKED: LIKELY FALSE

SEN. CORNYN:  Sixty percent of the people–I think it’s 56 percent nationwide–believe the healthcare bill that my friend Mr. Menendez and my friend Mr. Sestak support, they want to repeal it because they realize we can’t afford because it raises premiums, raises taxes, and cuts Medicare in order to create a new entitlement program.

SEN. ROBERT MENENDEZ (D-NJ) | CT Senate candidate Linda McMahon tried to intervene in an investigation on narcotics use in the professional wrestling industry.

SEN. MENENDEZ:  These are, these are the veterans of Connecticut.  But, listen, I’ll, I’ll take a crusading attorney general who did serve in the Marines vs. John’s candidate who–Linda McMahon–who actually operated the World Wrestling Entertainment which became a dirty business.  She tried to intervene in an investigation on a narcotics issue in, in that industry.  She peddled violence to kids, let wrestlers have their bodies ultimately be damaged, all for the purposes of making money.

SEN. ROBERT MENENDEZ (D-NJ) | There are 12 million unauthorized immigrants in America. – CHECKED: TRUE

SEN. MENENDEZ:  And I’ve said to–you know, I’ve mentioned various times that the governor of Arizona should speak to her two U.S. senators and to her Republican colleagues in the Senate to make sure that they join us in an effort to make sure we control the borders and, at the same, time deal with the 12 million people in this country.

1) The “Arizona bill” expressly bans racial profiling.

2) Pres. Obama’s budget essentially maintains previous level of spending for securing the border.
3) 23,000 people have died in Mexico since 2006.

SEN. CORNYN:  David, I wish that the president of the United States, the president of Mexico, the attorney general, and the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security would have done what anybody can do with Internet access, which is to download a copy of the Arizona bill and read it for themselves. It expressly bans racial profiling. And, frankly, the people of Arizona have had to step up in the absence of a sensible immigration reform plan, starting with border security.  The president’s budget is essentially a flatline in terms of additional boots on the ground and additional resources to, to secure the border, with drug wars raging in Mexico–23,000 people have died in Mexico since 2006.  This is having a spillover effect in the United States, and we’ve got to secure the border as a predicate to dealing with the larger issue.

ANDREA MITCHELL (NBC) | The Gulf of Mexico accident was preventable. Negligence was involved.

MS. MITCHELL:  Yes, but this is not an inevitable accident.  This was an accident caused by systems that were not there, systems that they had promised would be there, valves, we are now reading today, that were, were disregarded. There are, there are real mistakes here that need to be fixed

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Checkable Facts from 5/16/2010 Meet the Press

Below are the statements that seem to be the most important to confirm from this week’s Meet the Press. Lots to look into this week. Help us research them and either email us your work or (preferably) post it in the comments below. We will publish the results as they become available. Please include all your work, sources/links/etc, and also tell us how much time you spent.

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER | When Elena Kagan ran HLS, it had a $160 mil. budget and 500 employees

SEN. SCHUMER: To have someone practical, someone who ran a big legal business, Harvard Law School–which she ran by all reports very well, $160 million budget, 500 people.

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER | Justices Marshall, Frankfurter, Jackson, and Rehnquist had limited/no judicial experience CHECKED: HALF TRUE

SEN. SCHUMER: And this idea that she has to be a judge and has judicial writing, some of our greatest justices had no judicial–Justice Marshall, Justice Frankfurter, Justice Jackson. Rehnquist, who many conservatives would consider a great justice, had about as much judicial experience as Kagan has.

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER | NYC’s anti-terrorism funding was cut by 27% – will only get 12% of port anti-terrorism funding

MR. GREGORY: And we’ll put that up on the screen. “For the administration to announce these cuts two weeks after the attempted Times Square bombing shows they just don’t get it and are not doing right by New York City on anti-terrorism funding.” You say it was cut by 27 percent. Secretary Napolitano of Homeland Security says, “Hey, wait a minute. New York has unused anti-terror funding available to it now.” And you got additional stimulus money to help in this regard. What’s at issue here?

SEN. SCHUMER: Should New York get only 12 percent of the port anti-terrorism security funding? You know, Secretary Napolitano points out that not all the money is spent. That’s how Washington works. Bottom line is, a lot of the money hasn’t been spent because FEMA, an agency under the jurisdiction of the Homeland Security, hasn’t spent it.

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER | When Sec. Napolitano says not all the NYC anti-terrorism money has been spent, her context is incorrect.

SEN. SCHUMER: In other words, when you do a three-year contract to put in radiation detectors, she’s saying “Well, years two and three haven’t been spent yet.” That’s true. But they’ve been accounted for.

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER | Polls indicated the stimulus package is getting more popular CHECKED: FALSE

SEN. SCHUMER: The stimulus, which was unpopular at first, now, if you look at the polls, is getting more popular.

SEN. MITCH McCONNELL  | Elena Kagan argued it would be OK to ban books/pamphletsCHECKED: MOSTLY TRUE (but highly misleading)

SEN. McCONNELL: Number one, the, the case that Chuck Schumer mentioned, the Citizen’s United case, which was a blow for the First Amendment, a very important free-speech case. Solicitor Kagan’s office in the initial hearing argued that it’d be OK to ban books. And then when there was a rehearing Solicitor Kagan herself, in her first Supreme Court argument, suggested that it might be OK to ban pamphlets.

SEN. MITCH McCONNELL  | Elena Kagan attempted to ban military recruiters from HLS and the Supreme Court decided 8-0 against that position – CHECKED: TRUE

SEN. McCONNELL: Secondly is the issue of the military recruitment at Harvard.  She took the position that Harvard should not allow military recruiters at the law school, later supported that position in a decision in the–in a, in a case in the court system that ended up with the Supreme Court ruling 8-to-nothing against the position that she took.

SEN. MITCH McCONNELL  | Pres. Obama, VP Biden, Sen. Harry Reid, & Sen. Patrick Leahy filibustered the S.C. nomination  of Sam Alito CHECKED: TRUE

SEN. McCONNELL: the way Sam Alito was, who was filibustered by the president, the vice president, the Democratic leader and the chairman of the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee. I’ve never filibustered a Supreme Court nomination.

SEN. MITCH McCONNELL  | Sen. McConnell has never filibustered a S.C. nomination CHECKED: TRUE

SEN. McCONNELL: I’ve never filibustered a Supreme Court nomination.

SEN. MITCH McCONNELL  | While running HLS, Elena Kagan decided they would take their chances re: losing fed funding after banning recruiters

SEN. McCONNELL: Well, you left out the most important point, and that was that the law, the Solomon Amendment, required that military recruiters be allowed on campus or the university give up their federal funding. So I think a more appropriate response might have been to follow the law. I think it’s something we’re going to look into at the committee because the decision was apparently made, “We’ll take our chances on federal funding by not allowing those recruiters at Harvard Law School.”

MR. GREGORY: Right. But they did, of course, have access to students through other military groups and, and veterans groups associated with campus.

SEN. MITCH McCONNELL  | The US receives 30% of it’s oil from the Gulf. W/o it gas would be $14 (a gallon) – CHECKED: FALSE if consumption, TRUE if production

SEN. McCONNELL: As horrible as this is, it’s important to remember that we get 30 percent of our oil from the Gulf and, if you shut that down, you’d have $14 gasoline.

SEN. MITCH McCONNELL  | The Obama admin. is running banks, insurance companies, and car companies

SEN. McCONNELL: They’re running banks, insurance companies, car companies.

SEN. MITCH McCONNELL  | The Obama admin. has nationalized the student loan business, resulting in the loss of 31K private jobs – CHECKED (Jobs #): FALSE

SEN. McCONNELL: They nationalized the student loan business, which will kill 31,000 private sector jobs.

SEN. MITCH McCONNELL  | The Obama admin. has “taken over” the health care industry

SEN. McCONNELL: They’ve taken over health care.

SEN. MITCH McCONNELL  | The Obama admin. financial regulation plan will “take over” the financial services industry

SEN. McCONNELL: They’re in amount–they’re about to do to financial services what they did to health care.

SEN. MITCH McCONNELL  | The Obama admin. FCC is trying to “take over” the internet

SEN. McCONNELL: Their appointees over at the FCC are trying to take over the Internet.

SEN. MITCH McCONNELL  | The Obama admin. will have doubled the national debt in the next 5 years, triple it in 10 – CHECKED: TRUE

SEN. McCONNELL: They’ve doubled the national debt in the last–will double the national debt in the next five years, triple it in 10.

SEN. MITCH McCONNELL  | During the Obama admin.  3,000 private sector jobs have been lost and 260,000 government jobs have been added

SEN. McCONNELL: What we know right now is there have been 3,000 private sector jobs lost when the president–since the president came to office. We know they’ve added 260,000 government jobs. We know the only boomtown in America is Washington because they’re exploding government employment, hiring new government workers by borrowing money from our grandchildren.

JONATHAN ALTER  | In Jan 2009 the US economy was losing 740K jobs a month. Now it is gaining 250K jobs a month. CHECKED: MOSTLY TRUE

MR. ALTER: When Barack Obama came to office, the economy was losing 740,000 jobs a month in January of 2009. We’re now adding about 250,000 jobs a month

SHERIFF PAUL BABEU (from McCain political ad) | Half the unauthorized immigrants in the US enter through Arizona

SHERIFF PAUL BABEU (Pinal County, Arizona): We’re outmanned. Of all the illegals in America, more than half come through Arizona.

MIKE MURPHY | Violent crime in Arizona as a result of unauthorized immigration has increased during the Obama admin. / Obama admin has done nothing – CHECKED: FALSE

MR. MURPHY: It’s a lawless frontier because of the failure of the Obama administration to protect the American border…

MR. GREGORY: Right. This goes back before Obama, though, to be fair.

MR. MURPHY: It–but it’s gotten, it’s gotten worse and worse…People are getting killed and murdered. It has become really bad in Arizona. It’s a crisis the Obama people have failed to address. They’ve had a year to do something, they’ve done nothing.

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Help Fact-check the 5/2 Meet the Press

Below are the statements we think were the most important to dig into from this week’s
Meet the Press. Let’s crowdsource the work that Meet the Press won’t do!

Please help us research these statements – you can either email us the information you’ve found confirming or refuting the statements to or post in the comments.

The specifics to check are in bold.
This week we will be posting the results individually and as soon as possible.

Secretary Janet Napolitano | Govt. Response to Oil Spill

MR. GREGORY:  Secretary Napolitano, there are questions about when the government acted, whether it did everything it could at the right moment.  Is the government playing catch-up here?  You yourself didn’t even request, until late in the week, for additional DOD resources to be brought to bear.  Is this a, a situation of playing catch-up?

SEC’Y NAPOLITANO:  No, not at all.  We had DOD resources there from day one. This was a situation that was treated as a possible catastrophic failure from, from day one.  So we had prepositioned in place hundreds of thousands of feet of boom.  There were 73 vessels, now over a hundred ships there to work on preventing the oil from actually reaching the shore, to, to stage that fight offshore, as it were.

Gov. Charlie Crist | Florida’s Health Care

MR. GREGORY:  All right, couple more issues.  Would you support legislation that repealed the president’s healthcare legislation?

GOV. CRIST:  Yeah, I think we need to start over.  I really do.  We’ve got a great plan here in Florida, David.  There’s no government mandate, no tax increases.  It offers coverage to those who can’t afford it, who have lost a job.  It’s a compassionate way to do it, and I think that’s a good model for the country.

Sen. Lamar Alexander | Joe Lieberman’s 2006 Campaign CHECKED: HALF TRUE

MR. GREGORY:  But why–you know, when Senator Lieberman ran as an independent, the Democratic Party did not push him away.  They said, “No, we’re still, still–stay with us here.” And yet the Republican leadership has said, “No thanks, Governor.” You know, “We’ve changed our mind about you,” as you just said.  Is that a right strategy?

SEN. ALEXANDER:  Senator Lieberman was different.  First, he ran as an independent at the same time he was running as a Democrat.  Second, he had a very strong principled opposition to the Iraq war.  And third, the Democratic leadership in that case said that they didn’t, they didn’t support him.

Rep. Mike Pence | Stimulus Bill Employment Effects CHECKED: HALF TRUE

MR. GREGORY:  His–the, the stimulus plan.

REP. PENCE:  Yeah.  The so-called stimulus bill that has taken us from 7.5 percent unemployment to nearly 10 percent unemployment nationwide; worse in Michigan.

Sen. Lamar Alexander | Energy

MR. GREGORY:  Well, senator and the former secretary of energy is here as well.  But, Senator, this was the Tampa Tribune editorial on Monday on this point:  “The tragic explosion of a drilling rig off the coast of Louisiana exposes the big lie espoused by the oil industry and its minions in the Florida Legislature:  Modern drilling is harmless.  …

“Americans have to accept some tradeoffs if we want an abundant and affordable energy.  But we must balance the risks intelligently…To permit drilling in Florida’s coastal waters where there is no margin for error is unnecessary and irresponsible.” This has to be seen as a setback for offshore drilling.

SEN. ALEXANDER:  It is a setback, and we ought to stop for a moment and see if there’s anything we can do to make it safer.  All 40 Republican senators, now 41, support electrifying half our cars and trucks, the best way to reduce the use of oil.  If we were to do that, it’d probably take 20 years and we’d still need 12 million barrels of oil a day in this country.  And one-fourth of all the air–oil that we produce for ourselves comes from the Gulf of Mexico. So, unless we want $14 a gallon gasoline and tankers bringing oil from Saudi Arabia, which has been 99 percent of the oil spills in history, we’re going to have to find a way to continue to drill safely in the Gulf of Mexico.

Gov. Bill Richardson | BP Role in Oil Spill

GOV. RICHARDSON: I believe BP is to blame.  They have to pay for this.  This is something that, obviously, they saw coming. They predicted wrongly.

Rep. Mike Pence | Arizona Statistics re: Unauthorized Immigration CHECKED: TRUE

REP. PENCE:  Well, well, let, let’s be clear for a second.  This is no laughing matter for the people of Arizona who are–have been profoundly affected by the fact that there’s nearly a half a million illegal immigrants and, and a rampant drug trade and, and, and human trafficking trade that’s been besetting.  Phoenix, Arizona, is, is the kidnapping capital of the United State of America.

Rep. Mike Pence | Federal Spending for Border Security

REP. PENCE:  David, here’s the numbers.  Fiscal 2007, the last year Republicans wrote a budget, $1.2 billion for border security and fencing.  By 2010 that was cut by–to $800 billion.  If you’d kept funding level…

MR. GREGORY:  Right.

REP. PENCE:  I mean, the Democrats have cut three-quarters of a trillion out of this…

MR. GREGORY:  All right.

REP. PENCE:  …and the president wants to go to 50 percent of the level that Republicans

MR. GREGORY:  Governor…

REP. PENCE:  …spent on border security.  We have got to take border security seriously.

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All statements were taken from the transcript here