The Malarkey Score for the 2nd Presidential Debate

Who won the Malarkey contest in the second presidential debate?

My wife and I think that President Obama deliberately tanked the first debate. Here is why we think this.  It’s a popular plot for film and novels that a character starts out looking as if he or she is going to fail and/or lose because the odds are against him or her, and then he or she turns it around and comes back like a Rocky Balboa. Many Americans love to see an underdog take a beating as the victim of a bully, and then stand up and fight back to win later when the odds seem stacked against him or her. An example of this is the classic It’s a Wonderful Life with Jimmy Stewart as George Bailey that is popular around the Christmas and New Year holidays. Then there is Jimmy Stewart’s Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.

There is a bully in both of these films, and the winner of the malarkey contest will reveal who the bully is in this Post’s plot.

Fact said, “The second Obama-Romney debate was heated, confrontational and full of claims that sometimes didn’t match the facts.”

After I compared the claims that did not match facts, Romney’s score was 367% higher than Obama’s. This means that Romney won the spitting contest for malarkey, but lost to his vice presidential running mate who scored 433% for the use of malarkey in the VP debate.

As usual, I wanted to compare the claims of each candidate that did not match the facts. However, it wasn’t easy keeping score this time, and I had to avoid the Summary and focus on the more detailed Analysis at Fact If a candidate said something that was correct, it will not appear in this comparison. If you want to see more details with links to cited sources, I recommend clicking Fact

Romney’s Malarkey Score

1. Romney was wrong when he claimed Obama waited 14 days before he called the attack in Benghazi and act of terror. In fact, Obama said in the Rose Garden speech the day of the attack that “No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation …”

2. Romney changed his campaign statement about cutting taxes for the wealthy, and when Obama pointed this out, Romney tone and the substance of his reply did not match what he has been saying on the campaign trail.  Obama was correct.

3. Romney was wrong when he said “the middle class will see $4,000 per year in higher taxes as a result of Obama’s fiscal policies. It seems that Romney was quoting an opinionated AEI blogger and, in fact, there is no proof this will happen.

4. Romney was wrong about women’s jobs. He said “in the last four years, women have lost 580,000 jobs” under President Obama. But that loss was really 93,000, making Romney’s exaggerated false-claim six times higher. Fact then mentions that in the last four months of the Bush presidency, 833,000 women lost jobs and the large majority of women’s job were lost before Obama was sworn in as president.

5. When Obama claimed Romney said he would let Detroit (the auto industry) go bankrupt and a million more jobs would have been lost, Romney defended himself saying that he meant he was against a government bailout but for a managed bankruptcy. However, a Congressional Research Service Report said that without U.S. Government assistance, GM would not have been able to survive the bankruptcy. I cannot call this a lie or false or an exaggerations but it may indicate that Romney was ignorant about the danger of the US losing its auto industry. Something I haven’t heard mentioned yet is the fact that the US auto industry is vital to the defense of the United States in case of a conventional war. During World War II, the US auto industry was a crucial factor in turning out more weapons than Nazi Germany and Japan.

6. Romney has made confusing and conflicting statements about Pell Grants for college students. Fact shows that Romney does not seem to have a fixed position on this issue, but pretends that he does.

7. Romney made the misleading claim (an inflated exaggeration that ignores many facts) that “gasoline prices have gone up $2,000.” … “But the $2,000 figure is greatly inflated because gasoline prices were much higher during most of 2008 than they were at the moment Obama was sworn in.”

8. Romney claimed that Obama “doubled” the deficit. Romney was wrong. Obama inherited a projected $1.2 trillion deficit when he took office and the deficits remained high. However, what Fact does not say is that Obama had no choice. Revenues from taxes were down and could not be increased without raising taxes, while the cost of running the government increased 20%. In fact, Obama did not “double” the deficit with new, carless spending programs as Romney inferred. For example, many programs such as Social Security and Medicare are mandated by law and cannot be changed without cooperation from Congress.

9. Romney accused Obama of saying “NO” to an oil pipeline from Canada, which isn’t entirely accurate making this one a false claim. In fact, no final decision has been made yet on this pipeline and the project stands a good chance of being approved early in 2013.

10. Romney claimed health insurance premiums have gone up by $2,500.  Fact says, “Not True.”

11. Romney claimed, as he has in many campaign speeches across the country, that Obama “said that by now we’d have unemployment at 5.4 percent.” This is a false claim. In fact, Romney is referring to a speculative report issued at the beginning of Obama’s presidency projecting the lower unemployment rate. It was a prediction—not a promise.

Obama’s Malarkey Score

1. Obama was wrong when he claimed that Romney called Arizona’s 2010 immigration enforcement law “a model for the nation”.

2. Obama misquoted something Romney said about renewable energy.

3. Obama claimed he would return tax rates for the richest Americans to where they had been under President Clinton. However, according to the  numbers, these rich people will actually pay more in federal taxes under Obama’s proposed rates than they did under Clinton.

Note: For anyone that wants to discover more Malarkey for each candidate, I have provided this link to a written transcript of the debate and there is the embedded video in this post of the complete debate. However, for Malarkey to count, there must be evidence equal to the quality of evidence that Fact uses to support what is reported on its site.

See my posts about the First 2012 Presidential Debate and Two days after the first 2012 Presidential Debate.


Lloyd Lofthouse, a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran, is the award winning author of The Concubine Saga.

His latest novel is Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

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