Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - October 10, 2010

October 11, 2010 10:34 am ET — Media Matters Action Network

Yesterday on Meet the Press, Illinois senate candidates Mark Kirk (R) and Alexi Giannoulias (D) debated economic policy and traded personal barbs. Despite the National Republican Senatorial Committee declaring victory before the debate even took place, Congressman Kirk fumbled over the truth more than once in the half-hour segment.

At one point Kirk described himself as "a fiscal hawk" who "foreswore earmarks," but the truth isn't so pretty: Kirk requested over $200 million in earmarks in from 2007 to 2008, including millions for organizations that donated to his campaign. Later, Kirk argued that the Recovery Act "largely failed," and implied that small businesses weren't helped by the bill. In fact, the Recovery Act's mixture of tax relief for businesses and investments in industry and infrastructure helped us avoid another Great Depression and turned the economy around.

Meanwhile, on Face the Nation, former RNC chair Ed Gillespie misled CBS viewers about the balance of political power in the world of soft-money electioneering groups. In reality, 2008 saw conservative and liberal groups each spend about $200 million — far from Gillespie's imagined gap between the parties. Then, Gillespie proved he just isn't good at math when he exaggerated the value of stimulus payments to dead people by 200,000%.

Read our full fact check HERE.