In recent years, various media outlets have established self-styled truth squads to "fact check" politicians. Today on CNN Newsroom anchored by Brooke Baldwin, correspondent Tom Foreman examined statements made at last night's GOP presidential candidate debate. One was former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's criticism of Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s support for a law allowing children of illegal immigrants to qualify for in-state tuition at public universities and colleges. Romney said: "Four years of college, almost $100,000 discount if you're an illegal alien to go to the University of Texas. If you're a United States citizen you have to pay $100,000 more."
Foreman's verdict was that Romney's assertion was correct, but faulted him because he didn't mention other states have similar programs:
FOREMAN: If you were an out of state student, you would pay an additional around $23,000 to go there, so over four years that, would add up to about $100,000 break as an in-state student. What he doesn't mention, however is that Texas is not alone. Sure, he wants to punch Rick Perry with this. But California does this, New Mexico does it, Illinois, Nebraska, Kansas, Maryland, I can't remember them all.
BALDWIN: So not just Texas.
FOREMAN: A whole bunch of them. The bottom line, there are a good number who do the same thing. Some states don't allow it. But for him to present it in a way as if it's just Texas doing it, that's really one of those things that's a little misleading and more along the lines of being true but incomplete. So I think we're going to see an awful lot of this Brooke as this whole campaign goes on. Campaigns always cherry-picking their information.
The thing is, they often have a valid point to make, but they can't resist just shoving aside everything that doesn't fit. That's why we have this barbecue to throw them on later.
BALDWIN: Keep that truth-ometer handy, Mr. Foreman. Thank you very much. Have a good weekend to you.
Contrary to Foreman's claim, Romney did not "present it in a way as if it's just Texas doing it." His opponents don't include the governors of Illinois, Nebraska, Kansas, or Maryland. They do include the governor of Texas, and it's eminently appropriate for candidates to discuss each other's records without providing "complete" information on everyone else who isn't a candidate.
Foreman couldn't just admit that Romney was accurate. No, Romney's argument had to be found "a little misleading and more along the lines of being true but incomplete." Seems like Mr. Foreman's "truth-ometer" needs recalibrating.