FactCheck.org summarized the latest Republican hopefuls debate writing
Pollsters will inform
us whether the third time was the charm for any of these candidates in
the eyes of potential voters. All we can do is remind you not to
believe everything you hear.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney committed the biggest factual fouls of the night, misleadingly asserting:
- That we went to war in Iraq because Saddam Hussein refused to allow weapons inspectors to come in
there’s an ocean of difference between his Massachusetts health plan
and those “government takeover” plans of “every Democrat” running for
- That Russia’s income from oil exports is vastly larger than it actually is.
Other candidates committed factual trespass, too. Sen.
John McCain of Arizona ignored the waste disposal issue when he praised
nuclear power for being green, for instance, and Kansas Sen. Sam
Brownback exaggerated the number of illegal immigrants living in the
So things are getting better. Mitt Romney needs to do more research before he opens his mouth as he works to spin his future as President of the United States–I mean, we deserve better from presidential candidates than misleading statements and exaggeration of facts that are easily checked. While the others misspoke a bit there was nothing there that cannot be attributed to bombast and zeal.
I keep making the point that the American people deserve more from those that would seek positions of extreme leadership. Both the Democratic and Republican candidates seem to think that telling any old kind of story is appropriate because the folks that will be voting for them will not care enough to dig beyond the spin. We are all at fault because we have let politicians get away with campaigning on spin rather than on ideas and truth. The press fails to call political candidates on their gross errors. The politicians feel the need to out-perform one another as if running for president was nothing more than a long running series like American Idol.
One way to eliminate the problem might be to shorten the campaign season. Two years of running for president is far too long and far too costly to produce anything more than mediocrity in the long term.