Many conservatives and libertarians are cheering Politifact’s decision to name President Obama’s claim, “If you like your health care plan you can keep it,” as lie of the year. A bit less enthusiasm is in order.
Sean Higgins of the Washington Examiner has been tracking Politifact’s “evolving” position on Obama’s claim and dubs its current stand as an “impressive display of chutzpah”:
And in an October 2008 column — just before the election — PolitiFact actually rated Obama’s promise as “true.” It said at the time: “Obama is accurately describing his health care plan here. He advocates a program that seeks to build on the current system, rather than dismantling it and starting over.”
In other words, it rated him on the basis of whether he was accurately stating his own campaign promise, a hurdle no politician could fail to clear.
By contrast, Higgins notes how Politifact treated GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney:
In June 2012, PolitiFact rated a claim by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney that “up to 20 million Americans” could ultimately lose their insurance under Obamacare as “false.” It did this even though it acknowledged that the Congressional Budget Office analysis that Romney was citing included the 20 million figure as a possible scenario.
Cato’s Michael Cannon also had some good takes on Politifact:
For more, see Cannon’s Twitter feed.