Five Fibs From Last Night's GOP Debate
Bachmann isn't the only one who twists the truth
There was one moment of truth in the Republican presidential debate last night, which was hosted by the ultra-conservative think-tanks The Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute. It was when Newt Gingrich testified before the conservative choir and congregation that he had sympathies for the families of immigrants.
"I don't see how [the] party that says it's the party of the family is going to adopt an immigration policy which destroys families that have been here a quarter century. And I'm prepared to take the heat for saying, let's be humane in enforcing the law without giving them citizenship but by finding a way to create legality so that they are not separated from their families."
It was one of the few truthful moments of the night, where Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, Herman Cain, Jon Huntsman, Rep. Ron Paul, Rep. Michele Bachmann and Gingrich traded barbs all evening over who was the best candidate on national security -- even as Barack "I killed Osama bin Laden" Obama's shadow loomed over all of them. Despite that one honest moment, though, much of the rest of the evening was filled with half-truths, hyperbole, exaggerations and just flat-out lies. In fact, before the debate even started, Romney came in with a TV ad that chopped up an Obama quote to make it sound like he said something that he didn't.
That was just the beginning, though -- or the pre-beginning, rather. Here's five more fibs from last night:
1. Bachmann Lying Through Her Draws: Referring to how the federal government deals with domestic terrorists, Rep. Bachmann said "Obama handed over our interrogation powers to the ACLU ... When the underwear bomber was intercepted he was given Miranda warnings within 45 minutes of his arrest, and he was not an American citizen. We don’t give Miranda warnings to terrorists, and we don't read them their rights. They don't have any." This was complete hogwash, though. As Adam Serwer at Mother Jones explains, interrogations guidelines are set by the Army Field Manual, which was last updated under George W. Bush, and which the ACLU is currently opposed to. As for the Miranda rights, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, aka the "underwear bomber" was actually cooperating with the FBI when he was read the Miranda "warnings."
2. Muslim Terrorists in Mexico? What?! Machete!!!: Texas Governor Rick Perry should know better, but last night he said that "We know that Hamas and Hezbollah are working in Mexico, as well as in Iran, with their ploy to come into the United States." Herman Cain followed saying, "We know that terrorists have come to in this country by way of Mexico." What? We got Hamas running around the U.S., and they got here through Mexico? Did they fly Airtran? According to Mark Landler at the New York Times, Perry was referring to a plot by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps to kill Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the U.S. using Mexican hitmen. That's just a plot, though -- a rumored one at that. How that equates to terrorists accessing the U.S. through Mexico is the stuff of Robert Rodriguez movies.
3. Pakistan is Six Times Larger Than it Actually Is!!!: Speaking about Pakistan -- aka "The country where Obama found and killed Osama bin Laden" -- Romeny said it is "the sixth largest country in the world." This is so false the underwear bomber's pants actually caught on fire when he heard this. Pakistan is the 36th largest country in the world. With a population of less than 800,000, it's not even bigger than Brooklyn -- scratch that, it's not even bigger than The Bronx. If we're just talking about land mass, even if you count the disputed territories with India, it only moves up to number 34.
4. Obama Pulling a Drake, Going Emo on the Rest of the World?: When Romney said Obama "went around the world and apologized for America," no one quite knows what he's talking about. It's not the first time he made this accusation, which would have us believe that the president went on a global "I'm sorry" tour, crying and telling national leaders to "Take Care." But nothing of the sort has happened. According to the Pulitzer-prize winning Politifact Obama "never used the word that is the universal hallmark of apologies: 'sorry.'" Obama has testified publicly that America has been arrogant in its dealings with other nations, but he's been equally critical of how other nations deal with America as well. This looks like a case of Romney making a lie out of Obama telling the truth.
5. Bachmann Proves The Roots Correct on Keystone XL: The Roots got in trouble the other night for playing the Fishbone song "Lyin' Ass Bitch" when Rep. Bachmann entered on the Jimmy Fallon Show. Questlove apologized for it, but he was right. Her ass do be lyin'. Especially at the debate, when she said, "Almost every decision that the president has made since he came in has been one to put the United States in a position of unilateral disarmament, including the most recent decision he made to cancel the Keystone pipeline." First of all, Obama did not "cancel" the Keystone XL pipeline. He asked for another review of the plans for it. The pipeline is still scheduled to be built, even if only re-routed around Nebraska, until someone literally pulls the plug on it.