Federal Politics

Published — September 21, 2011 Updated — May 19, 2014 at 12:19 pm ET

FACT CHECK: Perry slams Obama presidency with inaccurate ad

A screen shot from RickPerry.org's latest web ad. YouTube

Select statements from Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s ad are shaky, while others are entirely false

Introduction

Texas Gov. Rick Perry makes another wildly false claim in a new Web ad — saying that the U.S. poverty rate has hit an “all-time high.” In fact, the rate is the highest since 1993, but 7.3 percentage points lower than it was in 1959, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s most recent annual tally.

Perry’s false claim about the poverty rate follows his false claim during his second debate appearance, when he said Obama’s stimulus measure “created zero jobs” since it was signed in February 2009. That untrue statement was called out not only by us, but other fact-finders as well, including debate co-sponsor CNN.

Perry makes much use of the word “zero” in this Internet-only ad, which runs 1 minute 45 seconds. Regarding jobs, he chooses his words more carefully than he did in the debate, saying “zero jobs” materialized — in the single month of August. That’s true enough, according to the most recent official job statistics.

Perry’s ad goes on to say (over pictures of shuttered buildings and empty factories) that Obama’s tenure is marked by “ZERO CONFIDENCE … ZERO ‘HOPE’ … ZERO ‘CHANGE.’ “ We interpret all those as statements of Perry’s opinion, and thus fair game. Anyone is entitled to agree or disagree. And polls show that Americans who say the U.S. is on the “wrong track” outnumber those who think it’s on the “right track” by more than 4 to 1. Plus, consumer confidence — while far from “zero” as measured by the Conference Board — still took a steep plunge in August to the lowest point since 2009.

But Perry’s ad simply gets it wrong about the poverty rate. The Census Bureau said on Sept. 13, when it released the most recent annual figures on poverty and income:

U.S. Census Bureau: The poverty rate in 2010 was the highest since 1993 but was 7.3 percentage points lower than the poverty rate in 1959, the first year for which poverty estimates are available. Since 2007, the poverty rate has increased by 2.6 percentage points.

So the poverty rate is not even close to being the highest in the 51 years for which we have official figures, let alone at an “all-time” high — which would be higher than even during the Great Depression, or the era of slavery.

Perry’s ad may have confused the poverty rate — the percentage of the total population in poverty — with the number in poverty. It’s true that the Census figures show more people in poverty in 2010 than at any time in the previous five decades, and thus a record number. But it’s also true that there are a record number of Americans overall (the population keeps rising every year).

– Brooks Jackson

Update, Sept. 21: The Perry campaign also did some creative editing at the beginning of this ad, where Obama is heard saying: “I love these folks who say, well, this is Obama’s economy. That’s fine. Give it to me.” But that’s not exactly the way Obama really put it, though the editing is done so seamlessly that few if any listeners would suspect his remarks had been truncated.

What the president really said — in Michigan on July 14, 2009, after GM and Chrysler emerged from bankruptcy — was this (with portions deleted by Perry campaign in bold):

Obama, July 14, 2009: “I love these folks who helped get us in this mess and then suddenly say, well, this is Obama’s economy. That’s fine. Give it to me.”

What the Perry campaign edited out was Obama’s reference to those in Perry’s party whom he accused of helping to create “this mess.”

At another point in the ad, the president is heard saying: “Despite all the naysayers who were predicting failure a year ago, our economy is growing again.” But what’s not apparent from the ad is that Obama said that in May 2010, a few days after the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the economy had added 290,000 new jobs the month before (later revised downward slightly to 277,000). But listeners might get the idea that the president said it recently.

Read more in Federal Politics

Share this article

Join the conversation

Show Comments

11
Leave a Reply

avatar
9 Comment threads
2 Thread replies
1 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
8 Comment authors
SOUTH JERSEYTed SiroisMark SullivanTom LarkinAnonymous Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Mark Sullivan
Guest
Mark Sullivan

Trump needs to conduct these activities because the entire MSM media, excluding Fox, is campaigning against him 24/7/365.

Didn’t Monica’s boyfriend’s wife and various criminal enterprises outspend Trump by almost 2-1?

CapitalistRoader
Guest
CapitalistRoader

Why wouldn’t he get an early start on fund raising? Hillary outspent him two-to-one in 2016. The Dem’s are the party of big money. The President knows this and is attempting to get a jump on it. Of course the Dem candidate will outspend him in 2020 so it’s only rational that he starts fund raising now.

George Young
Guest
George Young

Oh brother. We just 8 years of the Campaigner – in – Chief. Where was this journalistic rectal thermometer then. Just another article about 2000 words too long that merely takes another slap at Trump for something he far from initiated.

j stevenson
Guest
j stevenson

The big difference between Trump and all the rest is his refusing to accept funds from lobbyists, so they don’t have the White House access they are used to. These are the donors who buy the presidency and are as pixxed off that he won the election as are the media and the Dems. Lobbyists have never been shut out of the WH and Trump has told them he is not for sale.

jan v
Guest
jan v

all the lobbyists are running all our government agencies and all the career civil servants who know how to run the country have been fired. YOU think this is a good thing ? what a crock…

thomas alessi
Guest
thomas alessi

I am for Trump

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Trump needs to be impeached and tossed in prison. Then have the key thrown away so he will never be free. Then he can see how it feels not to have freedom.

Mark Sullivan
Guest
Mark Sullivan

Thank you for the usual insightful leftist low IQ Snowflake response.

barney
Guest

hes not imprisoning them hes sending them back to their country chill tf out

SOUTH JERSEY
Guest
SOUTH JERSEY

WHY DONT YOU HAVE FREEDOM?

Tom Larkin
Guest
Tom Larkin

First, something positive. I was happy to learn of empirical information in article. BUT, the article was so slanted against President Trump as to be deemed fake news (“Perhaps Trump just lied.” (Two different issues)). The article mentions that President Trump raised over $67 million, but ended 2018 with $19 million. President Trump spent over $40 million 2016 and 2017. President Trump conducted 57 political rallies. The article notes the hats and T-shirts sold, but NEVER MENTIONS THE INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF REPUBLICAN SENATORS during a mid-term election that lost the House and the number of political rallies in… Read more »

Ted Sirois
Guest
Ted Sirois

At least Trump is getting donations from willing donors. Fresh from his first election, Obama used billions of our children’s tax dollars to save thousands of union jobs in the car industry and bailed out the banks and many Wall Street businesses. This secured his source of reelection funds for his reelection four years later.

South Jersey
Guest
South Jersey

TRUMP 2020; IS AN AMAZINGLY SMART MAN! VERY ORIGINAL & CREATIVE. I AM HAPPY TO HAVE HIS AS POTUS.

SOUTH JERSEY
Guest
SOUTH JERSEY

THIS ARTICLE WAS OBVIOUSLY WRITTEN BY, A TRUMP-HATE-GROUP. THAT FEELS; IT IS NOT NORMAL TO BE SUCCESSFUL WITH YOUR OWN BRAND NAME. WHEN, IF FACT, IT IS NORMAL! >>>>> THIS IS >>> FAKE NEWS!!! <<<< ie: A PACK-OF-LIES; SPUN INTO; DEFAMATION OF CHARACTER. FOR A SINISTER-AGENDA OF; FASCIST DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST, COUP D'ETAT

David
Guest
David

Are you on some kind of drugs? Writing in caps makes me think that you are grumpy old fart or a uneducated hillbilly.