CNN got off to a dubious start with their WWE pay per view style introduction, and it really didn’t get better. Here are the three biggest falsehoods uttered during tonight’s debate.
1). Lie: Rick Perry’s Claim That The Stimulus Created Zero Jobs
The Truth- According to a report by the non partisan CBO the stimulus created 3.7 million jobs.
2). Lie: Herman Cain’s claim that, “Obamacare Will Raise The Cost of Healthcare.”
The Truth: Healthcare reform is expected to lower premiums by 25%-28%. There is no evidence to support Herman Cain’s claim.
3). Lie: Mitt Romney, “Obama Raised Taxes By $500 Billion.”
The Truth: Romney got his numbers from some right wing spun projections on healthcare reform. What Romney considered a tax increase are actually things like a doubling of the penalties for withdrawing money from a Health Savings Account for something that is not a qualified medical expense. According to FactCheck, amount of increases in $2 billion per year for 10 years, which is nowhere near $500 billion.
Winners and Losers from tonight’s debate:
1). Rick Perry – In front of a tea party audience Perry did his thing and played to the crowd by sticking by his comments on Ben Bernacke. Perry tried to have it both ways on Social Security, but he kept up the tough talk, and his idea of making a state program for seniors or privatizing it was eaten up by the crowd and those on the right. Gov. Perry defended his executive order on HPV vaccinations as a defense of the culture of life. Perry did nothing to hurt his front runner status.
2). Mitt Romney – He bounced back from the first debate with Perry and his comment about the Texas governor being dealt four aces when it comes to the economy. His statistic that Perry has created fewer jobs than Ann Richards and George W. Bush was solid stuff, but Romney was facing a crowd that loved Perry, so he did better tonight, but he is still second in this race.
3). Ron Paul- When the conversation turned to budget cutting, Paul suggested his usual end the wars language. Paul gave a nod to the Bush abuse of executive orders, by saying that all administrations have abused them. Rep. Paul probably won’t win a primary, but he delivered a good accounting of himself.
4). Michele Bachmann - Bachmann was sleeping walking though this debate with her same talking points, but she woke up and went on the attack against Perry for his HPV vaccination executive order by claiming that Perry signed the order to benefit Merck, a company that was also a donor to his campaign. When Perry said he was offended by Bachmann’s accusation, Bachmann shot back that she was offended for all of those parents and little girls. Bachmann still did nowhere near enough, but she is settling into being the social conservative candidate.
1). Rick Santorum – A dead candidate walking. Bachmann now seems to be angling for his religious social conservatives, which leaves Rick Santorum out there as a whiny, grating, candidate with no constituency. Santorum was as usual during these debates completely forgettable.
2). Jon Huntsman – Putting the only moderate in the race in front of tea party audience was a recipe for disaster, and when four people applauded when Huntsman was announced the tone was set. Huntsman was booed by for calling Rick Santorum’s comment that the border can’t be secured treasonous. Huntsman tried to talk a good game about the private sector, but this audience walked in not on his side and he did nothing to sway them.
3). Herman Cain – Mr. 9/9/9 plan has nothing to offer. Like Rick Santorum, he is just taking up space. He offers love for flat tax, hate for Social Security, and nothing but empty talking points.
4). Newt Gingrich – Newt tried to pander to the Tea Party, but he didn’t use his attack the moderator stunt tonight and accuse them of liberal bias which means that he was non-existent.