In an interview aired on his Fox News show, Sean Hannity failed to correct Mitt Romney for repeating a string of long-debunked conservative falsehoods.
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Hannity Lets Romney Claim That Repealing Health Care Reform Will "Save $100 Billion Per Year"
Hannity Lets Romney Claim That "It Saves $100 Billion A Year To Get Rid Of" "Obamacare." On the June 19 edition of his Fox News show, Hannity aired parts of his interview with Mitt and Ann Romney. From the show:
HANNITY: If you become president -- and we know that one of the things you're going to do is cut spending by 5 percent from day one -- how could you get this country to a balanced budget when we borrow so much money at this point? Forty cents of every dollar.
ROMNEY: Well, the good news is you don't have to do it entirely in the first year, meaning, you don't have to take out a trillion dollars in year one spending. In fact, doing that could cause us to have an economic slowdown that would put a lot more people back to work -- out of work. So what you have to do is take action in the first hundred days of the first year that eliminates programs which, if you didn't get rid of them, would take a larger and larger share of the deficit. So what you're going to have to do is, number one, get rid of Obamacare. We can't afford it. It's not a good piece of legislation. It saves $100 billion a year to get rid of it. [Fox News, Hannity, 6/19/12]
Fact: Health Care Law Lowers Deficit By Estimated $100 Billion
CBO: Health Care Reform Lowers The Deficit By More Than $100 Billion. In March 2011, the Congressional Budget Office and Joint Committee on Taxation issued a joint report saying that "[o]n net, CBO and JCT's latest comprehensive estimate is that the effects of the two laws on direct spending and revenues related to health care will reduce federal deficits by $210 billion over the 2012-2021 period." The CBO subsequently determined that the Obama administration's decision to indefinitely suspend implementation of the portion of the Affordable Care Act that enacted the CLASS Act lowered the deficit savings of the Affordable Care Act by $83 billion. [Congressional Budget Office, 3/30/11, 10/31/11]
Hannity Lets Romney Claim That Obama "Has Cut Medicare By $500 Billion"
Hannity Lets Romney Say That Obama "Cut Medicare By $500 Billion." From Hannity:
HANNITY: What about the issue of the third rail? Every time a politician says they're going to save Social Security or Medicare -- if Paul Ryan says it, it's a Paul Ryan lookalike throwing granny over the cliff. Isn't it true that to really get to a balanced budget, we've got to deal with entitlements? Is it possible to do that in a political atmosphere where anybody that makes such a suggestion will be demonized in such a way?
ROMNEY: Well, what I think a lot of people are forgetting is there's only one president in history that's cut Medicare by $500 billion, and that's President Obama. He somehow points at Republicans and says that we're doing something wrong by talking about how to save these programs and make sure they're solvent for coming generations, but he's the guy that cut Medicare by $500 billion. [Fox News, Hannity, 6/19/12]
Fact: Medicare Savings Come From Reducing Inefficiency; Experts Predict Quality Of Care Under Medicare Will Not Decline
FactCheck: Cost-Saving Provisions In Health Care Reform Are "Not A Slashing Of The Current Medicare Budget Or Benefits." According to FactCheck.org:
Whatever you want to call them, it's a $500 billion reduction in the growth of future spending over 10 years, not a slashing of the current Medicare budget or benefits. It's true that those who get their coverage through Medicare Advantage's private plans (about 22 percent of Medicare enrollees) would see fewer add-on benefits; the bill aims to reduce the heftier payments made by the government to Medicare Advantage plans, compared with regular fee-for-service Medicare. The Democrats' bill also boosts certain benefits: It makes preventive care free and closes the "doughnut hole," a current gap in prescription drug coverage for seniors. [FactCheck.org, 3/19/10]
PolitiFact: "Experts Say The Quality Of Care Should Not Be Shortchanged." From PolitiFact:
[E]ven though $500 billion in spending is being reduced, health care experts say the quality of care should not be shortchanged.
"Some (reforms) increase Medicare spending to improve benefits and coverage," said Tricia Neuman, vice president and director of the Medicare Policy Project at the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation, in a video on the foundation's website.
"Other provisions reduce the growth in Medicare spending to help the program operate more efficiently and help fund coverage expansions to the uninsured in the underlying health reform legislation," Neuman said. "Other provisions are designed to improve the delivery of care and quality of care." [PolitiFact.com, 5/10/11]
For more on the misleading claim that the Affordable Care Act cut "$500 billion" from Medicare, click here.
Hannity Lets Romney Claim That Obama Has Gone On An "Apology Tour"
Hannity Lets Romney Say That Obama "Should Have Gone On A Jobs Tour Instead Of An Apology Tour." From Hannity:
ROMNEY: Frankly, you know, when [Obama] came into office with so many people out of work and so many falling out of work, he should have gone on a jobs tour instead of an apology tour. He should have been around the country meeting with employers and asking them, "What do we have to do to make it easier for you to hire people? What do we have to do to get jobs to come back in America?" Everything in his lexicon relating to employment and job creators relates to punishment of some kind. How can we penalize you for doing things we don't like? No, Mr. President. Make America the best place in the world for small business, and you'll see jobs again. [Fox News, Hannity, 6/19/12]
Fact: Obama Has Never "Apolog[ized]" For America
Associated Press: "Obama Has Not Apologized For America." In a fact-check of Romney's previous claim that Obama has "traveled around the globe to apologize for America," the Associated Press wrote that Obama "never made" any apologies for the U.S.:
ROMNEY: "A few months into office, he traveled around the globe to apologize for America."
THE FACTS: Obama has not apologized for America. What he has done, in travels early in his presidency and since, is to make clear his belief that the U.S. is not beyond reproach. He has told foreigners that the U.S. at times acted "contrary to our traditions and ideals" in its treatment of terrorist suspects, that "America has too often been selective in its promotion of democracy," that the U.S. "certainly shares blame" for international economic turmoil and has sometimes shown arrogance toward allies. Obama, whose criticisms of America's past were typically balanced by praise, was in most cases taking issue with policies or the record of the previous administration, not an unusual approach for a new president -- or a presidential candidate. Romney's actual point seems to be that Obama has been too critical of his country.
But there has been no formal -- or informal -- apology. No saying "sorry" on behalf of America. [Associated Press, 6/3/11]
PolitiFact Has Repeatedly Labeled "Ridiculous" Apology Claim "False." PolitiFact has repeatedly labeled the claim that Obama "apologized" for America "false," saying "it's a ridiculous charge." [PolitiFact, 9/22/11, 1/20/12]