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Just in time for Election Day, here are PolitiFact's greatest hits of the 2012 presidential campaign.

Obama and Romney and their campaigns have both frequently moved the needle ... on the Truth-O-Meter.

New York Times

Obama and Romney and their campaigns have both frequently moved the needle ... on the Truth-O-Meter.

PolitiFact, the national fact-checking website of the Tampa Bay Times, has been covering the 2012 race for president. Here are the most significant rulings of the campaign between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama. You can find the complete reports with extensive source lists at Angie Drobnic Holan, deputy PolitiFact editor

The statement: "Mitt Romney's companies were pioneers in outsourcing U.S. jobs to low-wage countries."

Barack Obama, July 3, in a campaign commercial

The ruling: Half True. Bain invested overseas but it's a stretch to call them "pioneers." The trend was well-established by the time Romney and Bain joined in.

The statement: President Obama promised "he'd keep unemployment below 8 percent" if the stimulus passed.

Mitt Romney, May 17, at a private campaign fundraiser

The ruling: Mostly False. Obama didn't say that. Rather, his Council of Economic Advisers predicted that the stimulus would hold it to that level. Their report included heavy disclaimers that their number was a projection and might not hold true.

The statement: The Obama administration has created "5 million jobs … over the last 30 months in the private sector alone."

Barack Obama, Oct. 16, in the second presidential debate

The ruling: Half True. It's correct using only the most cherry-picked time frame. A more reasonable method — starting the count at the beginning of the recovery — shows a gain of 3.6 million jobs.

The statement: Romney's response to the auto crisis was "Let Detroit go bankrupt."

Jennifer Granholm, Sept. 6, at the Democratic National Convention

The ruling: Half True. Romney did not support Obama's plan for the auto industry, which ultimately proved successful. This line came from an op-ed Romney wrote for the New York Times, suggesting he wanted to let the auto companies go out of business. Actually, he advocated a managed bankruptcy for the automakers.

The statement: Stimulus dollars paid for "windmills from China."

Mitt Romney, July 18, in a campaign ad

The ruling: Mostly False. Many American firms connected to the wind industry expanded during the years of the stimulus. In some cases, they purchased wind turbine parts from companies in China. But no windmills were built in China using stimulus money.

The statement: Says Mitt Romney "backed a bill that outlaws all abortions, even in cases of rape and incest."

Barack Obama, Oct. 24, in a TV ad

The ruling: Pants on Fire! There's no evidence that Romney ever specifically opposed exceptions for rape and incest. While he supported the "human life amendment," there are many versions and the most recent ones allow abortion after rape or incest. Romney said recently he supports those exceptions.

The statement: President Obama "funneled" $716 billion out of Medicare "at the expense of the elderly."

Paul Ryan, Aug. 29, at the Republican National Convention

The ruling: Mostly False. The law limits payments to health care providers and insurers in order to spur efficiency and reduce the rapid growth of future Medicare spending. The cuts do not reduce benefits. Those savings, spread out over 10 years, are used to offset costs created by the health law, so that it doesn't add to the deficit.

The statement: Paul Ryan attacked the president for "the same amount of Medicare savings that (Ryan) had in his own budget."

Bill Clinton, Sept. 5, in a speech at the Democratic National Convention

The ruling: True. Both Democrats and Republicans are trying to rein in future spending, and Ryan included Medicare savings from the health care law in his own budget. Ryan said later he did so only because it is current law.

The statement: Romney "would turn Medicare into a voucher program."

Barack Obama, Aug. 15, in remarks at an event in Davenport, Iowa

The ruling: Mostly True. The Romney-Ryan approach pretty much matches the dictionary definition of "a form or check indicating a credit against future purchases or expenditures."

The statement: Barack Obama "sold Chrysler to Italians who are going to build Jeeps in China" at the cost of American jobs.

Mitt Romney, Oct. 29, in a campaign ad

The ruling: Pants on Fire! Italy-based Fiat was in talks to buy Chrysler before Obama took office. The Jeeps it makes in China are sold in China. Meanwhile, its American auto plants have expanded and added jobs since the auto bailout.

The statement: Says Mitt Romney plans to "fire" Big Bird.

Barack Obama, Oct. 8, at a campaign event

The ruling: Pants on Fire! Romney wants to cut federal funding for PBS, and his idea isn't specific to Big Bird. A Sesame Street executive said the show itself receives little funding through PBS, and the character is safe.

The statement: "We're only inches away from no longer being a free economy."

Mitt Romney, Jan. 7, at a Republican primary debate

The ruling: Pants on Fire! International statistics show that the United States still ranks low in total tax burden and high in economic freedom.

The statement: Says Romney wants to "take away early childhood education, slash K-12 funding, and cut college aid … to pay for a $250,000 tax break for multi-millionaires."

Priorities USA Action, Oct. 8, campaign ad

The ruling: Mostly False. The Ryan budget that Romney supports could impact education, but the ad takes liberties as it tries to fill in the blanks.

The statement: "Under President Obama: $4,000 tax hike on middle-class families."

Mitt Romney, Oct. 10, in a campaign ad

The ruling: Pants on Fire! The campaign makes a giant leap and assumes interest on the public debt will be paid for with increased taxes on all income levels. We actually don't know how the tax code will spread around the pain of paying for the debt. Obama proposes tax increases only on high earners.

The statement: Says Mitt Romney "called the Arizona law a model for the nation."

Barack Obama, Oct. 16, in a presidential debate

The ruling: False. Romney was actually praising Arizona's mandate that employers electronically verify the legal status of employees, which was passed in 2007, and was not part of the later law that allowed local police to ask people for immigration papers.

The statement: The U.S. military is at risk of losing its "military superiority" because "our Navy is smaller than it's been since 1917."

Mitt Romney, Jan. 16, at a Republican primary debate

The ruling: Pants on Fire! A wide range of experts told us it's wrong to assume that fewer ships means a weaker military. The United States is the world's unquestioned military leader today because each ship is stocked with top-of-the-line technology and highly trained personnel.

The statement: "Over the last four years, the deficit has gone up, but 90 percent of that is as a consequence of" President George W. Bush's policies and the recession.

Barack Obama, Sept. 23, in an interview on CBS's 60 Minutes

The ruling: False. Obama misstated his own source by using four years rather than the 10 included in the analysis. And he engages in cherry-picking by assigning pricey programs to Bush's column even though he himself supported, or supports, many of them.

The statement: In July 1996, Mitt Romney helped locate the missing teenage daughter of a partner at Bain Capital.

A chain email, Jan. 30, circulated on the Internet

The ruling: True. The effort by Bain employees was central to the effort to locate the girl, and Romney reportedly played a significant role. She was found and returned safely to her parents.

The statement: "Obamacare adds trillions to our deficits and to our national debt."

Mitt Romney, June 28, at a press conference

The ruling: False. The government's official estimates find that the health care law does not add to deficits, due to its new taxes and reductions in future Medicare spending.

The statement: Says Romney wants to add $2 trillion to the defense budget that the military hasn't asked for.

Barack Obama, Oct. 3, in a presidential debate

The ruling: True. Independent analysts confirm that number, which the Romney campaign does not refute. Military leaders have testified in support of the president's spending plan, and we found no evidence of disagreement behind the scenes.

The statement: Says six studies verify that the math adds up for Mitt Romney's tax plan.

Paul Ryan, Oct. 11, in a vice presidential debate

The ruling: Mostly False. We found only one fully independent study out of the six claimed. None of the studies could accurately model Romney's tax plan because he has said so little about how it would work.

The statement: "Redistribution" has "never been a characteristic of America."

Mitt Romney, Sept. 19, in a press conference

The ruling: Pants on Fire! Reasonable people can disagree about the wisdom of it, but redistribution has been a basic principle of the U.S. tax system and many federal programs that have long attracted support from Republicans.

The statement: Oil production is "down where Obama's in charge."

Crossroads GPS, April 10, in a Web ad

The ruling: Half True. The decline represents a single year that followed years of substantial gains and occurred only offshore in the wake of a major oil disaster. Also, federal policies take years to affect oil production.

PolitiFact staffers Louis Jacobson, Molly Moorhead, Becky Bowers, Jon Greenberg, Aaron Sharockman, Katie Sanders, Maryalice Gill and W. Gardner Selby contributed to this report.

PolitiFact staffers Louis Jacobson, Molly Moorhead, Becky Bowers, Jon Greenberg, Aaron Sharockman, Katie Sanders, Maryalice Gill and W. Gardner Selby contributed to this report.

Just in time for Election Day, here are PolitiFact's greatest hits of the 2012 presidential campaign. 11/03/12 [Last modified: Saturday, November 3, 2012 4:30am]
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    Times Staff Writer

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