What better way to celebrate this April 4 holiday than to take a look at some of the best -- or worst -- whoppers told by the five men who are running for the U.S. presidency?
Take a cue from these pros and celebrate National Lie Day with your own fib. You can pull someone's leg, play a prank, tell a tall tale, or allow a little white lie. But don't go overboard; when you lie about something big, like these guys did, you're bound to get caught!
Mitt Romney: Time and again, I pointed out I'm not in favor of a health care plan that includes a national mandate.
This comment was made in March 14 during a Fox News interview with Megyn Kelly. The assertion sounds cut-and-dry, but in fact Romney's statements on the issue have wobbled all over the place.
Romney has often had to defend his own statewide healthcare plan, which included a personal mandate when it was implemented in the state of Massachusetts. The mandate, he argued during an appearance with Glenn Beck in 2007, encouraged personal responsibility and was therefore the ultimate conservatism. Later, during a debate in 2008, he said point blank: I like mandates. The mandates work.
Romney's real position on the mandate is in the gray area -- he liked it for a single state, but doesn't think the government should mandate it on a national level. The problem is that he's still trying to paint himself as a guy with a clear-cut stance, and that's simply not truthful.
Barack Obama: I'm confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress.
Obama said this during a Monday news conference. If it was supposed to be an April Fools joke, he's a day too late.
For the Supreme Court, overturning a Congress-approved law is far from unprecedented. In fact, it's what the nine judges are there for.
And Obama should know. He not only has a law degree from Harvard -- he taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago. So he must be familiar with Article III of the Constitution, which affirms that the judicial power of the United States, shall be vested in one Supreme Court, as well as the 1803 case Marbury v. Madison, which gives the Supreme Court the right to overturn congressional decisions.
If the court decided against the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, or any of its parts, Obama knows that it would not be unprecedented or extraordinary. It would simply be a giant defeat for the electoral incumbent.
Rick Santorum: The California universities -- I think it's seven or eight of the California system of universities don't even teach an American history course. It's not even available to be taught.
In trying to condemn what he sees as a liberally biased higher education system, Santorum pulled out this outright untruth during a stump speech on Tuesday.
The fact is, nine of the 10 schools in the University of California system not only offer American history -- they require it as a core class to graduate. The tenth school is just for medical students, reports ThinkProgress.
Condemning higher education in general is nothing new for Santorum. President Obama once said he wants everybody in America to go to college. What a snob! Santorum said in February. There are good, decent men and women who go out and work hard every day and put their skills to test that aren't taught by some liberal college professor.
Santorum himself has an undergraduate degree, an M.B.A. and a professional doctorate under his belt... and he's still not getting the facts right.
Ron Paul: Libertarians are incapable of being a racist because racism is a collectivism idea.
This statement came during a 2008 interview on CNN; Paul was defending himself after the media took him to task for racist comments published in pro-Paul newsletters decades ago. The issue came up again in the 2012 election.
The Ron Paul Political Report of 1992, for instance contains the following rant about race riots that had garnered national attention earlier in the year: Order was only restored in L.A. when it came time for the blacks to pick up their welfare checks three days after rioting began.
Ron Paul has repeatedly said that he never approved that kind of language and has no idea who wrote it. But his claim that libertarians cannot, by definition, be racist, is clearly false. Libertarians in support of Ron Paul put together those newsletters, and nobody argues that the writings therein are chock full of prejudices.
Newt Gingrich: I do.
Newt Gingrich was so serious about his wedding vows, he made them three times.
In sickness and in health? Not quite. He married his first wife, Jackie Battley, when he was just 19. He'd met her in high school -- she was his geometry teacher. But the union didn't work out, and Gingrich filed for divorce while his wife was battling uterine cancer.
The second attempt at marriage, to Marianne Gingrich (née Ginther), ended after Newt began having an affair with a congressional aide. Marianne alleges that her then-husband advised her to simply tolerate the affair, and that she refused.
Gingrich later married that aide, whose name was Callista Bisek. They're still going strong... for now.