Fact check: Miscues with numbers in GOP debates

By Calvin Woodward

Associated Press

Published: Sunday, Jan. 8 2012 12:00 a.m. MST

Staples, now with close to 90,000 employees, and Sports Authority, with about 15,000, were startups supported by Romney. The direct workforce at Domino's has grown by nearly 8,000 since Romney's intervention. But Romney got out of the game in 1999, which has not stopped his campaign from crediting him with jobs created at those companies since then.

Romney toned down the braggadocio in the Saturday debate, saying that of the Bain-supported companies that grew, "we're only a small part of that, by the way." But he insisted his claim of more than 100,000 jobs was a "net net" figure that takes into account job losses elsewhere, even though his campaign has defended the assertion only by reporting on the performance of Sports Authority, Domino's and Staples.

No one has been able to produce a full accounting of job gains and losses from the scores of companies Romney dealt with at Bain. But a Los Angeles Times review of Bain's 10 largest investments under Romney found that four of the big companies declared bankruptcy within a few years, costing thousands of jobs and often pension and severance benefits.

PAUL about RICK SANTORUM: "So he's a big government person, along with him being very associated with the lobbyists and taking a lot of funds. And also where did he get — make his living afterward? I mean, he became a high-powered lobbyist in Washington, D.C. And he has done quite well. We checked out Newt, on his income. I think we ought to find out how much money he (Santorum) has made from the lobbyists as well."

SANTORUM: "When I left the United States Senate, I got involved in causes that I believe in.... I was asked by a health care company to be on their board of directors. Now, I don't know whether you think boards of directors are lobbyists. They're not."

THE FACTS: Santorum was not, as Paul suggested, a registered lobbyist after he left the Senate. But Santorum did trade his Washington experience for lucrative work afterward, not unlike Gingrich, who has faced plenty of tough questions about money he earned from the corridors of power despite never being registered as a lobbyist.

Financial disclosure records show that from January 2010 to August 2011, Santorum earned at least $1.3 million working as a corporate consultant, political pundit and board member. Santorum reported that the American Continental Group, a Washington lobbying group, paid him $65,000 in consulting fees. The firm's lengthy client list includes Microsoft Corp., Comcast Corp. and the American Gaming Association.

"The senator did general consulting and provided his advice and opinion on which way the Senate may go, based on his record in the Senate and his history in leadership," said David Urban, president of American Continental Group.

ROMNEY: "I was in a state where the Supreme Court stepped in and said, marriage is a relationship required under the Constitution for — for people of the same sex to be able to marry. And John Adams, who wrote the Constitution, would be surprised."

THE FACTS: John Adams would be surprised to hear he wrote the Constitution. He was a minister to Britain at the time, after having been minister to France. He was not a delegate to the Constitutional Convention. He was, though, an architect of the Declaration of Independence. And he constructed the Massachusetts Constitution.

Associated Press writers Nancy Benac, Charles Babington, Joan Lowy, Matthew Lee and Tom Raum contributed to this report.

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