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Facts Matter: The Complete American Bridge Post VP Debate Fact Check Video

Our friend Lyin’ Ryan was at it again tonight. Like the Vice President, American Bridge saw a lot of malarkey on stage. Here’s the complete American Bridge fact check video on tonight’s debate.

See full supporting research below.

Auto Industry

2008: Romney Called On Government To “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt.” According to a New York Times op-ed, Romney wrote, “If General Motors, Ford and Chrysler get the bailout that their chief executives asked for yesterday, you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye. It won’t go overnight, but its demise will be virtually guaranteed. […]A managed bankruptcy may be the only path to the fundamental restructuring the industry needs. […]In a managed bankruptcy, the federal government would propel newly competitive and viable automakers, rather than seal their fate with a bailout check.” [Op-Ed, New York Times, 11/19/08]

Medicare Savings

The Ryan Budget Proposed The Same Medicare Savings As The Affordable Care Act, Which Romney Attacked. According to NPR, “Romney said he supported the Ryan budget the day it was unveiled. ‘I applaud it,’ he said. ‘It’s an excellent piece of work, and very much needed.’ Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., a member of the budget committee, says Romney’s praise is a contradiction. ‘Mitt Romney and the Republicans are trying to have it both ways,’ he says. What they’re trying to have, he says, is $500 billion in projected Medicare savings. Those savings are part of the Affordable Care Act, President Obama’s health care law. They’re achieved through slower payments to hospitals and a reduction in the overpayment of premiums to Medicare Advantage providers. Those savings are something Romney hits President Obama on day after day on the campaign trail. ‘There’s only one president in history who’s cut $500 billion out of Medicare, and that’s your guy, Barack Obama,’ Romney said recently. ‘And if I’m president, I’m going to preserve Medicare. I’m not going to cut $500 billion out of the Medicare that we have.’ But here’s the rub: The Ryan budget assumes that very same $500 billion cut. Well, ‘cut’ isn’t the right word; ‘savings’ is more accurate. The reality is that in real dollars, Medicare spending will keep rising — just not by as much. ‘Their budget — the Romney-Ryan budget — takes all of those savings that they complained about,’ Van Hollen says.” [NPR, 3/29/12]

Six Non-Partisan Studies Say Romney-Ryan Math Adds Up

Two Of The Studies Were Blogs And “None Was Nonpartisan.”  According to FactCheck.org, “When the president referred to the Tax Policy Center’s criticisms, Romney claimed it was contradicted by several others. ‘Romney: There are six other studies that looked at the study you describe and say it’s completely wrong.’ That’s not quite true, as we previously reported when the count was at five. We found that two of those “studies” were blog items by Romney backers, and none was nonpartisan.  [FactCheck.Org, 10/4/12]

Sequester

2010: Ryan Plan Proposed Automatic Spending Cuts To Mandatory And Discretionary Programs Including the Defense Department. According to the Washington Post, “As introduced in 2010, Ryan’s ‘Roadmap for America’s Future’ would have created ‘a mechanism to automatically slow the growth in faster-spending entitlement programs’ by requiring the White House budget office ‘to make across-the-board spending reductions in both mandatory and discretionary programs’ if overall federal spending breached specified limits. The Defense Department would have been a target for cuts, House Budget Committee aides confirmed Monday, though the impact would have been limited to 1 percent of any agency’s budget. ‘It’s fair to say we think we need to have enforcement mechanisms to achieve these reductions,’ said one senior budget aide, who spoke only on the condition of anonymity. ‘But every time Paul Ryan has done it, it’s been part of a plan to actually get spending down to these levels. . . . It was meant as a backstop to force action.’ That enforcement mechanism was not included in the budget resolutions that passed the House in 2011 and earlier this year, the aides said, in part because budget resolutions lack the legal power to create and enforce such caps. Ryan included the mechanism only in the fiscal “roadmaps” he offered as stand-alone legislation beginning in 2008, when House Republicans were in the minority.” [Washington Post,9/17/12]

Ryan Voted In Favor Of Budget Control Act, Which Included $500 Billion Defense Sequester. According to CNN, “Romney’s running mate Paul Ryan blamed President Barack Obama for insisting on “irresponsible defense cuts” during last year’s budget negotiations, which the House Budget Committee chairman, himself, helped guide and pass through Congress… the Wisconsin congressman—along with other House Republicans—voted for the original debt ceiling deal that put sequestration on the docket.” [CNN, 8/21/12]

“Death Panels”

The Affordable Care Act Established An Independent Advisory Board (IPAB) To Find Additional Savings Who Are Confirmed By The Senate. As explained by the Kaiser Family Foundation: “The 2010 health reform law (the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also referred to as the ACA) establishes a new Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) with authority to issue recommendations to reduce the growth in Medicare spending, and provides for the Board’s recommendations to be considered by Congress and implemented by the Administration on a fast-track basis. […]As authorized by the health reform law, IPAB is an independent board housed in the executive branch and composed of 15 full-time members appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. [Kaiser Family Foundation, April 2011]

Iran

PolitiFact: Romney’s Claim That Obama Did Not Get Crippling Sanctions Against Iran Was Rated Mostly False Because Some Experts Believe That Some US And International Efforts Were Crippling Iran’s Economy. According to PolitiFact, “Mitt Romney said, ‘this president … could have gotten crippling sanctions against Iran. He did not.’ The reality is that a combination of international and U.S. efforts are now in place that some consider crippling to Iran’s economy. Romney’s campaign argues he was specifically referring to a failure to get the United Nations to enact sanctions against Iran’s Central Bank in 2010. But some experts argue he couldn’t have achieved tougher U.N. sanctions, given opposition from Russia and China. Meanwhile, Romney’s campaign argues Obama hasn’t fully supported U.S. sanctions against Iran. It’s true that Obama resisted Congress dictating the administration’s strategy. But that’s not support for the statement that he ‘could have gotten crippling sanctions against Iran’ but ‘did not.’ We rate Romney’s statement Mostly False.” [PolitiFact, 2/22/12]

Navy

Politifact: Pants On Fire Lie! Comparison To 1917 Ignores That Us Is World’s Unquestioned Military Leader, With  Top-Of-The-Line Technology And Highly Trained Personnel.  According to Politifact, “This is a great example of a politician using more or less accurate statistics to make a meaningless claim. Judging by the numbers alone, Romney was close to accurate. In recent years, the number of Navy and Air Force assets has sunk to levels not seen in decades, although the number of ships has risen slightly under Obama.  However, a wide range of experts told us it’s wrong to assume that a decline in the number of ships or aircraft automatically means a weaker military. Quite the contrary: The United States is the world’s unquestioned military leader today, not just because of the number of ships and aircraft in its arsenal but also because each is stocked with top-of-the-line technology and highly trained personnel.  Thanks to the development of everything from nuclear weapons to drones, comparing today’s military to that of 60 to 100 years ago presents an egregious comparison of apples and oranges. Today’s military and political leaders face real challenges in determining the right mix of assets to deal with current and future threats, but Romney’s glib suggestion that today’s military posture is in any way similar to that of its predecessors in 1917 or 1947 is preposterous.  In addition, Romney appears to be using the statistic as a critique of the current administration, while experts tell us that both draw-downs and buildups of military equipment occur over long periods of time and can’t be pegged to one president. Put it all together and you have a statement that, despite being close to accurate in its numbers, uses those numbers in service of a ridiculous point. Pants on Fire.”  [Politifact, 1/18/12]