It is not unknown for politicians to bend the truth. Sometimes they are ‘taken out of context’ or ‘misinterpreted’, while on occasion their words just come out wrong. Such incidents are often more frequent during election campaigns, which is why two American news outlets have joined forces to come up with what they are calling a ‘Truth-o-meter’ to gauge the accuracy of the statements made by candidates for next year’s presidential election.
NPR radio and PolitiFact.com are offering their Message Machine, which takes candidates’ statements about each other and rates them according to whether they are a downright lie or the gospel truth.
For instance, readers can see quickly and clearly that when Jon Huntsman accused fellow Republican Mitt Romney of flip-flopping on abortion, his claim was found to be ‘true’.
However when another Republican candidate, Rick Perry, alleged that Romney’s healthcare program in Massachusetts had “killed 18,000 jobs”, his statement was mostly false.
As for Barack Obama, when he claimed to have achieved “about 60 percent” of his campaign promises during his presidency, what he said was false according to the Message Machine.
Tea Party favourite Michelle Bachmann went one further. She said that “Under Barack Obama’s watch, we have expended $805 billion to liberate the people of Iraq and, more importantly, 4,400 American lives.” The Truth-o-metre’s verdict ? Pants on Fire.