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  • The 5 Most Misleading Statements from the Second Presidential Debate

    President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney sparred last night in the second of three presidential debates.

    Today’s Morning Bell features reaction from numerous Heritage experts. In addition, we’ve compiled a list of the five most factually-challenged statements made during the debate.

    Obama falsely claims he called Benghazi attacks “acts of terror” in Rose Garden speech

    The president’s claim that he did, contrary to Governor Romney’s critique, call the Benghazi attacks “acts of terror” in a September 12 Rose Garden speech got perhaps the most play of any questionable statement last night. In fact, that claim is false.

    In the speech in question, the president vaguely alluded to “acts of terror,” but he did not classify the Benghazi attacks as such. Given that the attacks took place on the anniversary of the most notorious terrorist attack in history, there was by no means a clear implication that the phrase referred to the then-ongoing assaults on American diplomatic facilities across North Africa.

    Even moderator Candy Crowley, who insisted during the debate that Obama “did in fact” label the Benghazi attacks terrorism in the Rose Garden, walked back that claim in a post-debate interview. She said Romney’s critique was “right, in the main,” but that he had “picked the wrong word.”

    CNN itself noted that the White House acknowledged Benghazi was a terrorist attack for the first time a full nine days after the attacks themselves, as Ezra Dulis of Breitbart News pointed out.

    Other reporters likewise declared Romney correct on that score after the debate, including Politico’s Mike Allen, the Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler, and the Washington Times’s Anneke Green.

    Obama again misleads on job creation numbers

    Obama often insists that 5 million jobs have been created on his watch, and Heritage has addressed that claim before. In order to arrive at this number, the president examines a time frame that is as friendly to his own record as possible. In short, he measures job growth not from the beginning of his term, but from the employment low-point about a year later.

    If measured from January 2009, when Obama took office, the country has actually added only about 316,000 jobs. Of course even that overstates the president’s record, since obviously the federal government is not responsible for every job created in the private sector (and the 5 million number actually refers only to private sector jobs – government jobs are down even within the timeframe Obama touts.)

    Data visualization expert Matthias Shapiro (also known by his Twitter handle @PoliticalMath) created a very informative video – a bit dated, but still highly applicable – to explain the president’s chicanery on this issue.

    Despite Obama’s claims, oil and gas production on federal land is way down

    In an exchange about domestic energy production, Obama claimed that American oil and gas companies are “actually drilling more on public lands than in the previous administration.”

    In fact, as Heritage has pointed out, fossil fuel production of federal land hit a nine-year low in 2011. ABC’s Jonathan Karl also noticed this disconnect. “Oil drilling permits on public land dropped by 37% in the first two years of the Obama administration, [and] 42% in terms of leases for natural gas,” Karl noted.

    Romney inflates the alleged effect of Chinese currency manipulation on U.S. job growth

    Governor Romney, who has frequently criticized China for “cheating” through alleged currency manipulation, falsely suggested that that currency manipulation has a significant effect on U.S. employment. As Heritage’s Derek Scissors noted in a recent report:

    [T]he exchange rate between the yuan and the dollar has no direct effect on American prosperity or American jobs. It never has. Seventeen years ago, China sharply devalued the yuan against the dollar. Yet American unemployment fell for years afterward. Since 2005, the PRC has been slowly raising the value of its currency, which is what protectionists say they want. And American unemployment has soared.

    Obama claims he saved the auto industry. In fact, he just saved the UAW

    The president is fond of inflating the impact of his auto industry bailout, and claimed again last night that his administration “saved an auto industry that was on the brink of collapse.”

    But government involvement in the General Motors and Chrysler bankruptcies amounted to a bailout not of the companies themselves, but of their largest union, the United Auto Workers, as Heritage’s James Sherk has noted.

    None of that [bailout] money kept factories running. Instead, it sustained the above-average compensation of members of an influential union, sparing them from most of the sacrifices typically made in bankruptcy—a bankruptcy they contributed to.

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities, Scribe [slideshow_deploy]

    15 Responses to The 5 Most Misleading Statements from the Second Presidential Debate

    1. blueboycott says:

      The yuan was being devalued during the American dot com and false credit housing booms. When these two bubbles popped, the value of the yuan did directly begin affecting employment in the U.S.

    2. Conservative says:

      Heriage may be right that Romney is wrong about the efect of China's money manipulations affecting job creation in the United States, but I preffer to wait a few months for the future with Romney as our president could prove Heritage wrong. We'll see.

    3. John G says:

      I'm so tired of the last falsehood the President harps on. Obama didn't save the auto industry because GM isn't the auto industry… it's 1 company in the auto industry. It's like saying Obama saved the computer industry because he bailed out Hewlett Packard.

    4. Doug C says:

      John G, The auto industry is not just GM and Ford, but lots of small parts suppliers as well. Those small businesses would have suffered greatly if GM had been broken up in a Romney style bankruptcy. There was no private investment to willing to step in and provide the capital needed to keep GM from going under, which makes Romney's plan a non-starter. Obama should not take all the credit, Bush gave them the first bailout, Obama the second.

      • Dave Johnson says:

        Doug C – Heritage is right about the auto industry. The bail-out was for the union, not the company or its owners, and to do that, Obama had to use the fallacy of executive orders to unilaterally change the US bankruptcy laws concerning who gets what in a bankruptcy.

        The issue you invoke about small parts producing businesses being hurt is the real non-starter here. If GM had been broken up, a void would have been created in the market, and that would have had to be filled by other manufacturers, either by producing more of their own cars, or by picking up GM. Either way, while the small parts producers would have felt a pretty good bump in the road, their business would still have been needed to provide the parts for continued manufacture of enough cars to satisfy the market.

      • John says:

        Doug, GM is about to declare bankruptcy due to not being able to pay its loans on time. So, the bail out did not help GM, but only the UAW. I lived in Michigan until last year. The town we lived in (Lansing-the capitol) had 6 GM plants at one time, now it only has one!!. The auto industry has been hurting since the mid 1980's due to GM and Ford and Chrysler poor management practices and many MI cities have been sorely affected (Flint, Detroit, Wixom, Dearborn,Bay City, etc). Ford, to its credit, did not take Obama Money in the bail out and is doing better than the others and holding their own. This bailout is a huge tax on the American people and your great grandkids will be paying on it. Not including Obamacare!!. The Auto companies (except maybe Ford) are facing Bankruptcy again, so did the Bail out work? NO!! Wasted money!!

      • John Scoby says:

        Like John G said the auto industry is not just GM and Chrysler. Ford needed no bailout and neither did Toyota or Nissan or any other auto manufacturer in this country. Chrysler's bailout only got them to a buyout by Fiat. The way the bailout was done was not legal either. In a Bankruptcy the people that lent the company money get first payback. When obama was through the lenders and bondholders got nothing. The union got it all and the taxpayer got screwed. With all the talk about being paid back the taxpayer is still on the hook for about 24 billion. As far as all the jobs in the industry saved. How many plants were closed?? How many dealers were forced to close?? Some jobs were saved. Mostly union jobs.

    5. Tired-of-Crap says:

      Barack Obama is a chronic liar, and I don't believe anything he says. NOTHING!!! EVER!!!! May the great impersonator go down in defeat!!!!!!! He hates the U.S. and his goal has been to destroy it – financially and every other way. He sure has done a good job at that. He is so arrogant that he doesn't think anyone should question anything his administration does – even lieing repeatedly about the Libya situation. How dumb does he think the American people are? Okay, so he now wins over Jimmy Carter – for the WORST PRESIDENT award ever!!!!!

    6. Concerend voter says:

      I just called my local Planned Parenthood to schedule a mammogram and guess what?!…they don't do mammograms!

      • Scott says:

        No they don't perform mammograms. But they will screen you for breast cancer and refer you to a provider that does perform mammograms. They may also arrange for a mobile mammogram unit to be on site to perform mammograms for all patients who did not pass screening. And if you are from a lower income group, they may provide grant money to you for the cost. Like the president said, women rely on Planned Parenthood for mammograms.

      • Mel says:

        Are you the only person who didn't know that?

    7. George Fleites says:

      GM and Chrysler almost got in bankruptcy due to their lack of quality and poor design using taxpayers money for saving their lack of respect for consumers is the worst thing that a government can do. Romney proposed to let them to go in bankruptcy allowing them to keep in business. That will force GM and Chrysler to find a better way for doing business and that will be translated into a better product on the hands of the consumers.

    8. Jennifer says:

      seriously,sometimes it is a bit ridiculous to me,US borrowed HUGE amount of money from China,US owns china big money and spent those "debts" on some other countries but not try to safe US's economy situation,in the same time,US blamed China a lot of things about economy crisis and jobs etc,US does the same thing,those business men underpaid illegal mexicans or even reported to custom there are illegal workers in here,so they don't even have to pay them money,low wages and being illegal all over the place and those business make their own bug money,so compare to China,they underpaid their own citizens is very wrong,then why dont they say a word about people here illegal people or being a jerk just call cops and customs to send them back home without paying them a dime,yea right,here we go,if thats how we see things black and white,we own china big money and never be able to return it,in the mean time,we open our big wide mouth to blame things on china,china shouldnt lend us a dime…us=china

    9. Greg Godek says:

      The significance of the Obama administration’s disinformation and outright lies is that it is an effective way to sway the opinions of people in the public domain who are not well-informed. The victory is in putting the lie, or piece of disinformation out there, like the distorted truth about Obama’s Libya response. It completely took the focus off a critical issue that should bury this corrupt administration deeper than Watergate ever could’ve! There is an ongoing congressional investigation, and many Americans are oblivious because it just doesn’t fit into the “9 to 5″ routine. All this administration has to do is get the lie or piece of disinformation in front of the American people and it becomes fact. Even if it is ripped apart the next day, as Fox had done with Obama’s very misleading Libyan claim, most Americans haven’t learned about it. THAT is the sin and this administration has effectively deluded the public with a startling campaign of lies and distortions of the truth, over and over again!

    10. Bobbie says:

      As women we'd like to thank the GOP for not signing the Lilly Ledbeder desperation into law. we are American women that can follow the rule of law as all people are expected. To be privileged because of gender only shows weakness. Yes, we have health issues that we are woman enough to handle without the guidance of the federal government in any areas of our womanhood. We work in harmony when we know what to expect from each other under the same rules and extra privileges for being a woman, doesn't send a good message to our male counterparts, society or the economy. This is an irrational impractical law that serves government controlled corruption, more than favor. And like Lilly, we'll fight in a court of law over injustices even though she won on ignorance. She doesn't represent the true American woman! Mr. Obama advocating any regard to women is dangerous as he supports sharia law (established punishments on women) that only exploits the weakness of unAmerican men…

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