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Tag: FC-2010/05/02

FACT-CHECK: Rep. Mike Pence on AZ Immigration Stats

Rep. Mike Pence (R – IN) | Arizona Immigration/Crime Stats | TRUE

From the 5/2/2010 transcript:

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 States of America.

According to a 2009 report from the Pew Hispanic Center, in 2008 the estimated number of unauthorized immigrants in Arizona was between 475,000 to 550,000 (6th highest in America among states). While we were unable to find a government report with official numbers to back it up, last year both ABC News and the LA Times reported that in 2008 Arizona had the highest number of kidnappings in America. Both articles indicate the high rate is due primarily to the activity of drug cartels.  Therefore we rate both of these facts from Rep. Pence as TRUE.

Special thanks to Jonah and Scott for contributing work on this fact-check.

Fact-Check: Rep. Pence on Stimulus/Employment

Rep. Mike Pence (R – IN) | Stimulus Effect on Employment | HALF TRUE

From the 5/2/2010 transcript:

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.

According the the US Govt. Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment in February 2009 when President Obama signed the stimulus bill into law was 8.1%. In March of 2010 the BLS has the unemployment number at 9.7%. Also according to the BLS, Michigan currently has an unemployment rate of 14.1%. Therefore while Rep. Pence is slightly incorrect on the numbers, this statement is true. However, Rep. Pence clearly uses these numbers to indicate that the “so-called stimulus bill” has made unemployment worse. According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office report we found via, the CBO estimated ( pg.8 ) that in the fourth quarter of 2009 the unemployment rate would have been 0.5 to 1.0% higher had the stimulus bill not been passed. Additionally in a recent USA Today survey of economists, they agreed that unemployment would have been (a median estimate of) .8% higher in December without the stimulus bill. Therefore it seems clear that the stimulus bill did not contribute to unemployment but instead reduced it. Because this makes Rep. Pence’s statement obviously misleading, we rate it HALF TRUE.

It’s also worth noting after Rep. Pence’s above comment and a few additional remarks about the Florida race, this was Mr. Gregory’s response:

MR. GREGORY:  All right.  I want to move on.

*In the transcript of the 5/2 show that Meet the Press provided, they incorrectly quote Rep. Pence as saying the “employment” rate was 7.5% – he said “unemployment.”

Special thanks to Jonah, Scott, and Brian for all helping with this fact-check.

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) | Joe Lieberman’s 2006 Campaign | 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.

Senator Alexander here was trying to differentiate Senator Lieberman’s 2006 Senate campaign from Florida Governor Crist’s current Senate campaign. Senator Alexander is correct that Lieberman ran in 2006 not only as an Independent but as an “Independent Democrat.” However he is very incorrect regarding Lieberman’s war stance, as he was not only an original supporter of the Iraq War but remained a vocal one during his 2006 campaign. It was one of the main reasons Democratic voters supported Lieberman’s primary opponent, who he later defeated in the general election. Finally, while Senator Alexander is correct that Democratic leadership did not support Lieberman’s independent bid, it is worth noting that he did continue to have the support of several Democratic senators even after he chose to become an independent. After he won the general election he was welcomed back by the Democratic leadership and encouraged to caucus with them. We rate this statement HALF TRUE.

In Conn., Lieberman Defends Seat, War Stance (Washington Post, 7/6/2006)
Support for War Tests Lieberman’s Re-election Prospects (New York Times, 4/2/2006)
In Lieberman Fight, Some Faithful Feel Torn (New York Times, 8/2/2006)
Enter, Pariah: Now It’s Hugs for Lieberman (New York Times, 11/15/2006)

Fact-check: Name of UK Political Party

David Gregory (NBC) | Name of UK Political Party | FALSE

Let’s start the week with this quick and minor fact-check (more of a correction really):

MR. GREGORY: Madam Secretary, I’d like to spend a couple minutes on some other global hot spots that you’re dealing with. The first one is actually with America’s strong ally in the U.K., in Great Britain. Very interesting election going on. You’ve got three candidates, a resurgent third party in the Social Democrats, televised debates. You know something about those.

Mr. Gregory is incorrect here, the name of the political party of which he speaks is the Liberal Democrats. The Social Democratic Party in the UK with which we assume he is confused existed from 1981-1988, when it merged with the Liberal Democratic Party, which retained that name. The only party by the name of Social Democrats now in the UK is a variation of the original SDP formed by some who eventually left the Liberal Democrats after the merger. The current Liberal Democratic Party, led by Nick Clegg, about which Mr. Gregory was obviously referring has no current relationship with the present day SDP.

Source: The History of the SDP