FactCheck: Obama, Romney political ads

July 30, 2012 10:45:21 PM PDT
Presidential campaign ads are beginning to make their way to California TV screens, that is in large part due to the Olympics.

The political ads are pretty upbeat, positive, and pretty short on hard facts because who wants a hard hitting political ad in the middle of cheering on the Olympic athletes? However, apart from the Olympics, the campaigns are continuing to toss around some real whoppers. Here are the latest.

In one Mitt Romney's campaign ad supporters ask "Where did all the Obama stimulus money go?" Then they blame: "Friends, donors, campaign supporters, special interest groups."

FactCheck: That's misleading. A breakdown of the $840 billion stimulus shows most of the money went for tax credits to U.S. taxpayers and grants to states for Medicare, Medicaid and education.

The Romney ad also says, "Where did the Obama stimulus money go? Solyndra, $500 million taxpayer dollars, bankrupt."

FactCheck: That's accurate, but to imply that Solyndra was a company run by Obama supporters ignores the Menlo Park venture capital firm Madrone which was a big investor in Solyndra and which invests for the Walmart family, well known for backing conservative Republicans.

The ad then says, "So where did the Obama stimulus money go? Windmills from China, electric cars from Finland."

FactCheck: That's misleading. Of the 33,000 wind turbines turning in the U.S., three were made in China with stimulus dollars. As for the electric cars, the stimulus money went for engineering, sales, and design and marketing in the U.S. The Energy Department reports that the money could not and was not spent on overseas operations.

An ad from the Obama campaign says Romney has a history of campaigning as a job creator. Obama's ad said, "'I know how jobs are created,' but as a corporate raider he shipped jobs to China and Mexico."

FactCheck: It's inaccurate to describe Romney as a corporate raider. Romney's company Bain Capital is a private equity firm. Private equity investments are non adversarial with no hostile takeovers. As for shipping jobs to China and Mexico, Romney left Bain a year before, the two examples that were cited in the Obama campaign ad.

Obama's ad says, "As governor he did the same thing -- outsourcing state jobs to India."

FactCheck: What governor Romney did was veto a bill that would've prevented the state from doing business with companies that outsourcing state work to other countries. The veto was supported at the time by leading papers as a savings to taxpayers, and the Democratically-controlled legislature did not override as it did with most of Romney's vetoes.

Our partners at FactCheck.org have a lot more detail on these ads and the facts.

Load Comments