Intel Report: Truth Squad

October 16, 2012 (CHICAGO)

The Truth Squad had a lot of help from the candidates themselves who were quick to offer their own on-the-spot fact-checking. On one occasion, debate moderator Candy Crowley herself chimed in with a fact check.

Compared to the first debate, Tuesday night was far more nuanced in the presentation of statistics and data, leaving many of the statements from both sides in the eye of the beholder.

The debate was peppered with Gov. Romney and President Obama nicely calling each other liars.

During the initial burst of questions on the economy and gas prices, Mr. Romney said that oil production on federal lands decreased 14 percent during the Obama presidency.

According to U.S. Energy data, it is absolutely mostly true. In 2011, production from federal leases dropped nearly 14 percent, but overall U.S. oil production, including state and private land, grew ten percent during Mr. Obama's first two years.

. During a discussion on taxes, President Obama claimed tonight that he has cut taxes by $3,600. That much of the statement is true. But the I-detector has found the $3,600 figure wasn't a lump sum; actually it was spread over four years, nor is it ongoing. Taxes next year would actually go up if Mr. Obama is re-elected.

Mr. Obama charged that Gov. Romney said the restrictive Arizona state immigration law should be a model for the nation. That is false. There is no record of Romney stating that Arizona's immigration law is a model and should be made the law of the land.

Finally, in a heated exchange about last month's deadly attack on a United States consulate in Libya, Gov. Romney suggested the president downplayed the incident and didn't call it a terrorist attack for two weeks. Whether that is true or false depends on how you interpret what Mr. Obama did say the day after the incident. He said "no act of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation" in the 10th paragraph of a 13-paragraph statement.

One curious claim that jumped out at the Truth Squad: President Obama said that he didn't support the controversial keystone oil pipeline because the U.S. Has built enough new pipelines to wrap around the earth. That isn't true.. According to federal statistics, there are enough oil and gas pipelines in the U.S. to wrap around the earth about 100 times.

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