Both sides of the presidential election launched ads this week that were, well, controversial. As reviewed yesterday, the pro-Obama super-PAC Priorities USA released an ad linking Mitt Romney to a woman’s death from cancer, which we would rate as “Technically Not False But Really Misleading And Kind Of Unfair.” Meanwhile, Mitt Romney’s campaign released an ad claiming that Barack Obama has gutted the welfare laws, which we would rate as “Dude, Seriously???” (The legislation backed by Obama actually increased the work requirements, and the Republican author of the law says there’s “no plausible scenario under which [the legislation] really constitutes a serious attack on welfare reform.”)
And so we got to wondering, are our politicians being truthful to us? Hahahahahahaa….just kidding, we stopped wondering that a long time ago. Actually, we got to wondering which politicians and pundits lie to us the most. Specifically, which political figures have received the most “Pants on Fire” ratings from Politifact? Here’s what we found:
Mitt Romney had 14 “Pants on Fire” Statements (9% of all statements by Romney which were reviewed by Politifact), while 65 of his statements as reviewed by Politifact were in the “Mostly False,” “False,” or “Pants on Fire” category (43%), and 45 were “True” or “Mostly True” (30%). The largest single category of statements by Romney as reviewed by Politifact were “Half-True” (43 statements, or 28%).
Meanwhile, Barack Obama had 6 “Pants on Fire” statements (2%). 111 of his statements as reviewed by Politifact were in the “Mostly False,” “False,” or “Pants on Fire” category (29%), while 182 (46%) were “True” or “Mostly True.” The largest single category of statements by Obama as reviewed by Politifact were “Half-True” (98 statements, or 25%).
How do these numbers stack up? Well, let’s see… Mitt Romney had 14 “Pants on Fire” Statements, whereas:
Michele Bachmann had 12 (23%).
Newt Gingrich had 10 (16%).
Sarah Palin had five (9%).
Rush Limbaugh also had five (33%).
And finally, Harry Reid had two (13%).
In fact, in terms of the absolute numbers, we were unable to find any individual or group with higher “Pants on Fire” statements than Mitt Romney (although we’re happy to hear if you were able to find more). It’s worth noting, though, that the percent of statements rated POF was higher for Bachmann, Gingrich, Limbaugh, and Reid than for Romney (still tied with Palin!).
Photo: Gage Skidmore