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When at first you don’t succeed, lie, lie again

PolitiFact has picked its 2010 Lie of the Year, and to nobody’s surprise it is “A government takeover of health care” repeated over and over (and over) again by the Republicans in describing Obama’s health care reform bill. PolitiFact had already evaluated statements from Republicans using this phrase five times and rated it a lie every time (and three times a “Pants on Fire” lie).

PolitiFact is not alone. Slate, the NY Times, and even, which is run by the conservative Annenberg Foundation, have rated it false. So did every expert on health care PolitiFact asked.

And yet, the Republicans continue to use this blatant lie to attack health care reform. For example:

  • more than 90 times on John Boehner’s website
  • eight times in the Republican “A Pledge to America”
  • over 200 times on the Republican National Committee’s website
  • multiple times on the websites of FreedomWorks, the Heritage Foundation, and the Cato Institute

And our lovely US mainstream media isn’t helping. The phrase was repeated:

  • 28 times in the Washington Post
  • 77 times in Politico
  • 79 times on CNN
  • uncountably many times on Fox News

Not only that, but when Republicans repeat the phrase they are almost never challenged by their interviewers. For example, on January 31, John Boehner used this lie five times on Meet the Press, but nobody bothered to challenge him on it.

© Paul Szep



  1. jonah wrote:

    What the republicans/tea party is doing is what i call fear mongering.

    Friday, December 17, 2010 at 2:21 pm | Permalink
  2. Daniel Habtemariam wrote:

    It’s stuff like this that bothers me to no end. John Boehner is going to be the Speaker of the frackin’ House of Representatives. And he’s playing out of the same playbook that President Bush used to lie us into a ridiculously expensive, long, protracted, illegal war in Iraq. They’re just going to keep doing this over and over again. It’s incredible that it works so well.

    Friday, December 17, 2010 at 4:11 pm | Permalink
  3. Laurie wrote:

    I prefer to call it ObamaCARES.

    Friday, December 17, 2010 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

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  1. Politifact's 'Lie of the Year' on Saturday, December 18, 2010 at 8:30 am

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