After watching a few of the past presidential primary debates this year you might find the discussions to be a chance where the candidates call each other out on inconsistencies and some times blatant lies, but who’s the most honest?
PolitiFact.com, a project by the Tampa Bay Times, seeks to research and fact check various political statements using their “Truth-O-Meter” to determine if the statement was factual or an outright lie. Since the candidates aren’t hooked up to lie detector tests during the debates, skeptical voters have turned to websites like Politifact to get the truth out.
One article by Politifact examines a statement Rick Santorum made in a campaign ad in Michigan. The ad accuses Romney of supporting cap and trade that kills jobs, but Politifact.com claims that this accusation is a flat-out lie and provides research to show Romney may have supported it in the past but his actions during governorship and repeated denouncement of support for cap and trade show other wise.
Below is a neatly constructed table of the statistics Politifact.com has gathered up. It wouldn’t be fair to compare the candidates on data that doesn’t exactly average out or asses every statement they’ve made, so the table should be viewed as more of a self improvement report card.
Politifact also has a meter to track Obama’s Campaign promises. The ‘Obameter’ has recorded 506 campaign promises of which he has kept 168 promises, compromised on 52 promises, broken 63 promises, has been stalled on 67 promises and the remaining 156 are still in the works. So far with all this data, Obama has been better off than many conservative critics have argued he would have when Obama first took office (the pun here is that they said he wouldn’t be able keep any promises).
Micah Cohen of the New York Times wrote an article last September addressing the same topic but it’s a bit outdated considering it includes Michele Bachmann and Herman Cain. Since then Obama has been rather consistent in his percentages but the other candidates have shifted quite a bit but the large changes could have to do with more statements being recorded than actual lies said.
Of course there are plenty of political mockery websites like ‘Mitt Romney Flip-Flops‘ that poke fun at inconsistencies of targeted politicians. I won’t mention the one dedicated to Rick Santorum, but like a Wikipedia page there does seem to be a grain of truth these pages make. That there are major issues with the candidates, and it seems for the most part that issue is trust.
So which candidate is the most truthful? You can look at the data and conclude for yourself who has the most truthful statements and who tries to alternate issues between audiences for more support. Personally I acknowledge all the candidates to be politicians, therefor, they’re all liars and can’t be trusted.