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FactCheck: False Claims in Second Presidential Debate

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The second debate between President Barack Obama and the Republican challenger, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, provided plenty of lively moments. And once again, both candidates were making false claims and misleading attacks, according to FactCheck.org. Deputy Director Eugene Kiely analyzes the candidates' statements. (Published Wednesday, Oct 17, 2012)

    This report is based on work by our partners at FactCheck.org, a nonpartisan project of the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg Public Policy Center.


    Tuesday night's presidential debate between President Barack Obama and Republican challenger and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was more heated than the first meeting, and the confrontations often stretched the truth.

    The second debate provided plenty of lively moments and, once again, both candidates were making false claims and misleading attacks, according to FactCheck.org.

    First, there was the exchange about September's embassy attack in Benghazi. Romney questioned the president calling it an act of terror.

    Obama: The day after the attack, governor, I stood in the Rose Garden and I told the American people in the world that we are going to find out exactly what happened. That this was an act of terror and I also said that we’re going to hunt down those who committed this crime. ...

    Romney: You said in the Rose Garden the day after the attack it was an act of terror. It was not a spontaneous demonstration.

    Obama: Please proceed.

    Romney: Is that what you're saying?

    Obama: Please proceed, Governor.

    Romney: I -- I -- I want to make sure we get that for the record, because it took the president 14 days before he called the attack in Benghazi an act of terror.

    Obama: Get the transcript.

    "Well, actually President Obama called it an act of terror twice in the same day on Sept. 12, the day after the attack occurred," said Eugene Kiely, deputy director of FactCheck.org. "He said it in the Rose Garden, and he also said it again that night at a fundraiser in Las Vegas."

    But Romney isn't entirely wrong. Obama did refrain from calling it a terrorist attack in the following weeks.

    Next, Obama misquotes Romney on green energy:

    “Governor Romney says these are imaginary jobs, when you've got thousands of people right now in Iowa, right now in Colorado who are working, creating wind power, with good-paying manufacturing jobs," Obama said during the debate.

    "He got it wrong when he said that Romney had called clean energy jobs imaginary jobs," Kiely said. "That’s not what he said. He referred to it as an imaginary world in which the economy could be powered by green jobs and solar and wind."

    Finally, Romney gives an inflated figure about women who have lost jobs under Obama.

    "In the last four years, women have lost 580,000 jobs," Romney said during the debate. "That's the net of what's happened in the last four years. We're still down 580,000 jobs."

    "The 580,000 figure he used is way off," Kiely said. "The number is actually 283,000 during Obama’s period from Jan ’09 to the most recent data."

    And the Bureau of Labor Statistics has announced its annual benchmarking process will result in adding jobs to official historical figures. So the current loss of women's jobs would be closer to 93,000.

    This town hall faceoff definitely kept fact-checkers busy, and viewers can count on hearing more of these repeated claims during Monday's debate.

    For more fact-checking of the second debate, click here.