Ron Paul and John Huntsman the Most Honest of the 2012 GOP Presidential Candidates

Micah Cohen at 538 reports on Politifact’s grading of the veracity of 2012 GOP Presidential candidate statements. Probably the most important caveat to note is that it just grades those statements that piques Politifact’s interest; so there is a sampling bias.

That said, Ron Paul and John Huntsman, come off looking best in terms of truthfulness. More than half of what Ron Paul said was graded as “true” or “mostly true.” Huntsman scores 4 of 7 in those categories and without any “pants on fire” or “false” ratings (much smaller sample size, however.)

Michelle Bachmann, on the other hand, came off looking worst. 80% of her grades are “mostly false,” “false,” or “pants on fire.” Rick Perry doesn’t do well either – about 50% “mostly false,” “false,” or “pants on fire.” Mitt Romney is in the 36% range for those categories.

By way of contrast, President Obama is at about 29% in these categories


  1. says

    It’s actually Jon, without the “H”.

    It’s also pretty easy to get a good “truth” score when you get less time to make statements. Narrow Perry or Romney’s time down to the time Huntsman got, and they might get away with a similar score.

    Paul doesn’t have a chance at the GOP nod though. His ideology is way far outside of the GOP primary base from all sides. And the 10-12% he gets in some primary states, these aren’t people that are then going to go support another GOP candidate. They’re only in it for Paul.

    Huntsman has slightly better than no chance, but because he’s perceived to be Romney without some of the baggage, it’ll require a huge shakeup in the top tier for him to break through. He’s polling a BIT better recently, but 1.2% to 2.1% isn’t much to brag about.

  2. MarcD says

    Paul –

    This link on the Politifact site:
    has a very long list of people. Click on a person and it shows you an overview. At the bottom is a “See all Rulings” link that will show all the statements and Politifact’s judgment. If you click on a specific statement box, they will describe any evidence they found and their reasoning for their judgment.

  3. Paul C. says

    It seems more than a bit unfair to compare any of these candidate’s comments in debates to the prepared comments Obama makes as President in State of the Union Addresses and the like.

    Granted, Obama is periodically “questioned” by the Press Core, but even on those questions, Obama sets the parameters of the “discussion”, and can also choose not to discuss the issue in any more depth than he wishes.

  4. Paul C. says

    Fair point. Still, I think there is enough ad-lib responses in a debate that doing so accurately and persuasively is more difficult than prepared remarks about a single topic.

  5. says

    I dug through and fact checked politifact. The very first statement I checked was Herman Cain’s rating of false that this was the worst jobs recovery since the great depression. Politifact states that the November 2001 through January 2004 recovery was worse than this one (June 2009 to present). The relevant figures are 5.4% and 5.5% respectively vs. 9.5% to 9.1%. I ask you, which situation would you rather be hunting for a job in? Which one do you find “better”?

    I didn’t bother going further to check other assertions because I have a life but I’d give politifact a “pants on fire” rating of my own for this one. We’re looking at a lost generation, disproportionately men, who are out of the labor market for so long they become virtually unemployable. Nobody’s predicting a fast recovery at this point but a best case scenario of horrible unemployment as far as people dare predict. And these people win pulitzers for this sort of fact checking?

Leave a Reply