Reality Check: Perry's first presidential campaign ad

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by BRAD WATSON

WFAA

Posted on October 26, 2011 at 6:31 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 26 at 6:34 PM

Gov. Rick Perry released the first over-the-air television ad of his presidential campaign on Wednesday. It is airing in Iowa, where he hopes to persuade Republican voters to elect him president.

The focus of the 30-second positive ad is his strength: Job creation.

In the commercial, Perry claims: "As president, I'll create at least two-and-a-half million new jobs... and I know something about that."

That's false. No president can unilaterally "create" jobs.

Beyond that, Perry's campaign claims more drilling for oil and natural gas and a lower tax rate on U.S companies' foreign earnings to lure the money back home would create jobs, but Congress would have to go along.

"In Texas, we've created over one million new jobs, while the rest of the nation lost over two million," Perry says in his new ad.

That's true... but not so fast, since it needs clarification.

PolitiFact Texas by the Austin American-Statesman already did the heavy lifting on this claim, concluding it is only half true.

Although the net job claim is accurate, Texas isn't alone. More than 20 other states could make the same claim, with some adding jobs at a faster pace than Texas.

In his ad, Perry explains how he will create more jobs. "I'll start by opening American oil and gas fields. I'll eliminate President Obama's regulations that hurt other sources of domestic energy, like coal and natural gas."

That's misleading.

Business and environmental groups say a president could order some federal lands open to drilling, but even Perry's campaign Web site acknowledges Congress must approve in areas like Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

As president, Perry could end or not enforce some regulations, but others covering greenhouse gases and cross-state air pollution are backed by court orders.

"I'm Rick Perry and I approve of this message," the candidate concludes in his commercial.

But the Federal Election Commission wouldn't approve, since there is no text disclaimer on the screen confirming that that Perry approved the message.

Perry's campaign said it will add that to the commercial.

E-mail bwatson@wfaa.com

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