The following is a fact-check from the August 8, 2010 episode of Meet the Press:
REP. MIKE PENCE (R-IN) | The President’s “imposed” debt commission will not report until after the fall elections – MOSTLY TRUE
REP. PENCE: Look, we, we’ve got some terrific people on the Republican side working on the debt commission, and they’re working in good faith on it. But, but why, why the president imposed a debt commission that wouldn’t report until after the election was a bit telling.
According to the Executive Order given by President Obama, no later than December 1, 2010, the commission will vote on the approval of a final report containing a set of recommendations to achieve fiscal responsibility. President Obama did order the commission’s creation, but the commission is bi-partisan, containing 6 Republicans and 6 Democrats, as well as 3 business leaders and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institute. So in theory, the bi-partisan members could approve the finished report before the elections because President Obama only made a December deadline. But realistically, with a hot button issue such as the national deficit, the members of the commission will probably take the full allotted time.
Mr. Pence is correct in that President Obama did set the deadline for the debt commission’s report after the elections (December 1), but because the commission’s members are made up of Democrats and Republicans equally and in theory, the report could be finished before the November elections, we won’t give Mr. Pence a complete true. We rate Mr. Pence’s statement MOSTLY TRUE.
This fact-check took a combined 1 hour.
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.
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 FactCheck.org, 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.