News roundup: October 12, 2011

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The Republican presidential candidates took many liberties with the truth at last night's New Hampshire debate, according to fact checkers from the Washington Post and Bloomberg. Mitt Romney was among the violators, claiming President Obama's health reform bill increases spending by $1 trillion, when it actually costs much less and creates nearly $1 trillion in savings over 10 years.

The Republican presidential candidates spent last night's debate pointing the finger at government for America's economic woes. Ezra Klein writes that rather than giving specifics for how they would reform Washington, the candidates turned the debate into a contest over who could offer the most radical proposals to marginalize important government protections and services.

Despite being labeled as the GOP frontrunner, Mitt Romney has not gained the support of 70 percent of his party and did little to improve his standing at the debate last night. Bloomberg reports that many Republican voters still have cold feet about Romney.

In a letter to supporters, President Obama's campaign manager Jim Messina called the Republican economic strategy an attempt "to suffocate the economy for the sake of what they think will be a political victory." This was in response to the President's American Jobs Act failing to pass the Senate last night amid unanimous Republican opposition.

The more voters learn about the American Jobs Act, the more they like it, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. When asked whether Congress should pass the bill, 30 percent said yes, 22 percent said no, and 44 percent had no opinion. But when details of the legislation are mentioned in a follow-up question—that the bill would cut payroll taxes, fund new infrastructure construction and extend unemployment benefits—63 percent say they support the President's plan, while only 32 percent oppose it.