Study Confirms Lies, Manipulations Abound in Republican Party

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Whether you’re a liberal or a fiscal/social conservative, let’s hope that you value honesty. If so, you should realize that today’s Republicans have damaged GOP credibility beyond repair.

Proving what many of us already know, Republicans lie three times more often than Democrats, according to an analysis by the Center for Media and Public Affairs (CMPA), a non-profit, non-partisan research organization at George Mason University.

For this latest study, CMPA analyzed 100 statements made by members of both parties during Obama’s second term that had been fact-checked by PolitiFact.com. The analysis included 46 claims by Democrats and 54 by Republicans. In sum, the study found that:

  • 32 percent of Republican claims sampled were rated as “false” or “pants on fire,” compared to just 11 percent of Democratic claims, meaning Republicans were three times more likely to tell a bold-faced lie than Democrats.
  • Conversely, the majority of Democratic statements (54 percent) were rated as “mostly true” or “entirely true,” compared to only 18 percent of Republican statements, showing that Democrats were three times more likely to be honest.

While the current CMPA study looks only at the past four months, its findings of widespread Republican deceit are consistent with other analyses. A 2012 CMPA study, which also compiled PolitiFact-rated statements, demonstrated that:

  • 26 percent of the Romney campaign’s statements were rated as either “false” or “pants on fire,” compared to only 5 percent of the Obama campaign’s statements, meaning the Romney campaign was 5 times more likely to tell blatant lies.
  • On the flip side, a majority of the Obama campaign’s statements (55 percent) were rated as “true” or “mostly true,” compared to just one out of four statements (26 percent) by the Romney campaign.

A 2011 study by the University of Minnesota’s Smart Politics blog looked at 500 PolitiFact-checked statements over a 13 month period and again found that deceit was stacked on the Republican side of the aisle. The study found:

  • Republicans were responsible for a whopping 76 percent of the statements PolitiFact had judged as “false” or “pants on fire” over the 13-month period.
  • Democrats were responsible for only 22 percent of false statements over the same time period, the same 3-1 ratio CMPA found this year.

While some may question whether PolitiFact has a political bias, it does fact-check statements by both parties at nearly equal rates. The Smart Politics analysis found that PolitiFact had devoted almost equal time to analyzing Republicans (191 statements, 50.4 percent) and Democrats (179 stories, 47.2 percent).

As for why it picks the statements it does, PolitiFact says the criteria for analyzing remarks is the question: “Did a politician, pundit or organization make a claim that would make an average person stop and wonder: Really?” For details on PolitiFact’s rating system, click here.

Here’s a quick overview of Republicans’ “pants on fire” ratings in 2013:

  • "Science has not shown greenhouse gases to be a problem.” – Wayne Smith, Republican state representative in Texas
  • Democrats told the Catholic Church they’ll use federal powers to close church charities and hospitals if the church doesn’t change its beliefs, said U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX).
  • "There's no plan from Senate Democrats or the White House to replace the sequester.” – Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH)
  • Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-MN) earned three pants on fire ratings this year for statements about food stamps, Alzheimer’s research and the IRS. Additionally, she received “false” and “mostly false” ratings for two other recent comments about the IRS. Today, she announced her upcoming retirement.

To be fair, Democrats earned recent “pants on fire” ratings as well, which seem to be limited to the state level:

  • Florida Democratic Party said Gov. Rick Scott cut more government jobs than were created in the private sector in Florida in 2012.
  • Leon Young, a Democratic state senator in Wisconsin, said the Wisconsin legislature only worked 7 days in 2012.
  • Barbara Buono, a Democratic state senator in New Jersey, claimed Gov. Chris Christie continued to propose an income tax cut that disproportionately benefited the wealthy. Christie had proposed such a plan, but later back off it.

Has this article convinced you that most Republicans are manipulative liars? If not, why do you retain faith in Republican politicians despite overwhelming evidence of dishonesty?

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Sources: CMPA, Smart Politics