Second Presidential Debate Yields More Inaccuracies

Posted October 17th, 2012 at 2:45 am (UTC-5)
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The second U.S. presidential debate was a feistier exchange than the first, but experts say the candidates both manipulated statistics and used incorrect information.

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney told U.S. President Barack Obama that the Obama administration's energy policy is not working, noting that gasoline prices are twice as high as they were when Mr. Obama took office. Federal statistics confirm the numbers. But analysts say gas prices were exceptionally low when the president's term started, because of the global economic crisis. Experts also say the U.S. president can have little effect on energy costs because they are tied to financial markets around the world.

President Obama claimed that ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan frees up funding to improve roads, schools, and bridges. But he did not mention the fact that much of the funding for those wars was borrowed, meaning the government would have to keep borrowing if it transferred that spending to infrastructure projects.

Mr. Obama also misquoted his opponent on immigration, saying Mr. Romney would like a controversial Arizona immigration law to be “a model for the nation.” The law allows police officers to stop people suspected to be illegal immigrants and check their identification papers. But the web site notes that what Mr. Romney actually said, during a Republican primary debate in February, is that he supports a part of the law that requires employers to check a federal database to verify that potential employees are in the country legally.

Mr. Romney criticized the president's record on jobs for women, saying there are 580,000 fewer women with jobs today than when the president took office. A monthly government survey of employers shows that the number of employed women has dropped, but only by 283,000.

Both candidates re-used figures from the first debate that were found to be inaccurate: Mr. Obama on the number of jobs created during his term, and Mr. Romney on the number of people who are looking for work.