Republicans have accused Vice President Al Gore of embellishing his achievements and accomplishments, dating from 1988.
On Texas fires
Statement: Mr. Gore claimed in a debate with his Republican rival, Texas Gov. George W. Bush, that he accompanied Federal Emergency Management Agency Director James Lee Witt to Texas during a spate of wildfires several years ago.
Fact: The day after the debate, Mr. Gore conceded he made no such trip. “I was there in Texas. I think James Lee went to the same fires. I’ve made so many trips with James to these disaster sites. I got that wrong.”
On school overcrowding
Statement: Mr. Gore said in the debate a Florida school forced a female student to stand in an overcrowded classroom. “She is the 36th student in that classroom… . They can’t squeeze another desk in for her, so she has to stand during class.”
Fact: Sarasota High School Principal Daniel Kennedy said that isn’t true. The class was short a desk for a day. “We don’t really have any students standing in class and we have more than enough desks for all of our students.” The Gore campaign said the candidate based his story on a news account.
On the Strategic Petroleum Reserve
Statement: Mr. Gore said he was involved in talks about the Strategic Petroleum Reserve “since the days it was first established.”
Fact: Mr. Gore entered the House in 1977 two years after the reserve was created.
On union songs
Statement: Mr. Gore told a Teamsters meeting that the “Look for the Union Label” song was one of the “lullabies I heard as a child” and he sang a bit of it as the audience cheered.
Fact: The song was written in 1975, when Mr. Gore was 27. He subsequently claimed he was joking.
On prescription drugs
Statement: Mr. Gore said his mother-in-law and his dog take the same arthritis medicine, Lodine, but his mother-in-law’s prescription costs nearly three times as much as the dog’s $108 a month vs. $38.
Fact: Gore campaign aides conceded the anecdote was a “composite” that used numbers from a Democratic congressional report, not from family expenditures.
Statement: Mr. Gore said he “always, always, always” supported Roe vs. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion.
Fact: In 1977, Mr. Gore voted for the Hyde Amendement, which says that abortion “takes the life of an unborn child who is a living human being.” Mr. Gore wrote to a constituent in 1984: “It is my deep personal conviction that abortion is wrong… . Let me assure you that I share your belief that innocent life must be protected.”
On being a speechwriter for Hubert H. Humphrey
Statement: Mr. Gore told The Washington Post that as a youth he had contributed important lines to Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey’s presidential-nomination acceptance speech at the 1968 Democratic convention.
Fact: When challenged, Mr. Gore conceded the story was false. “Faulty memory. Faulty memory,” he said.
On discovering the Love Canal
Statement: Mr. Gore told a New Hampshire high school forum that he discovered the Love Canal hazardous-waste site and started the investigations. “I found a little place in upstate New York called Love Canal. Had the first hearing on that issue. That was the one that started it all… .”
Fact: Mr. Gore did hold hearings on Love Canal two months after the state did. By then, the problems of the canal were already known and the federal government had declared the town a disaster area.
On the McCain-Feingold campaign-finance reform bill
Statement: Mr. Gore said during a debate with Democratic rival Bill Bradley: “Unlike Senator Bradley, I was a co-sponsor of it.”
Fact: Mr. Gore and Sen. Russell D. Feingold, Wisconsin Democrat, never served together in the Senate. Mr. Gore later said: “What I meant to say was that I supported it.”
Earned Income Tax Credit law
Statement: Mr. Gore said, “I was the author of that proposal. I wrote that.”
Fact: The EITC law was enacted in 1975, two years before Mr. Gore entered Congress.
On action in Vietnam
Statement: Mr. Gore said he “walked through the elephant grass and was fired upon” in Vietnam. “I carried an M-16… . I pulled my turn on the perimeter at night.”
Fact: He was a journalist in Vietnam and never saw combat action.
On inventing the Internet
Statement: Mr. Gore told CNN: “During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet.”
Fact: The Internet, originally called ARPANET, dates to 1969, when the Defense Department began funding the project. Mr. Gore, then 21, was still eight years away from joining Congress.
On his sister in the Peace Corps
Statement: Mr. Gore called his sister “the very first volunteer for the Peace Corps.”
Fact: Nancy Gore Hunger was a paid midlevel employee at the Peace Corps’ Washington headquarters office from 1961-64, but never volunteered for overseas work.
On the Superfund
Statement: Mr. Gore said in campaign ads in 1988 that he “led the fight to clean up toxic waste” and was the “author of a tough Superfund law to protect the environment and crack down on toxic polluters.”
Fact: Then-Rep. Jim Florio, New Jersey Democrat, wrote the law in 1980. Mr. Gore played only a supporting role as one of 42 House co-sponsors.
On growing up
Statement: Mr. Gore said that he grew up in Carthage, Tenn. “I’m Al Gore. I grew up on a farm,” he said in a 1988 campaign ad.
Fact: Mr. Gore grew up at the Fairfax Hotel in Washington, D.C., in a suite overlooking Embassy Row.
On being a ‘brilliant student’
Statement: Mr. Gore is called a “brilliant student” in a 1988 campaign ad.
Fact: Mr. Gore’s transcripts show that his high school and college grades were predominantly B’s and C’s.
On his days as a reporter
Statement: Mr. Gore said he “got a bunch of people indicted and sent to jail” as an investigative reporter in the 1970s.
Fact: Two city council members were indicted; one was acquitted, the other given a suspended sentence. Mr. Gore later conceded to “a careless statement that was unintentional.”
Source: Lexis/Nexis, USA Today, Boston Globe, nationalreview.com