Aside from such subjective assertions, the speakers in Orlando made some objectively false and misleading claims — on subjects ranging from the legitimacy of the 2020 election to the state of the US energy industry to the contents of a recent terrorism memo from the Department of Homeland Security.
Here is a look at six false or misleading claims from CPAC speeches delivered on Thursday and Friday.
Kimberly Guilfoyle, a former Trump campaign adviser who is engaged to Donald Trump Jr., used part of her speech to sharply criticize Biden. And she said, “It turns out rigging elections for incompetent, weak leaders actually has consequences, does it not?”
Josh Mandel: False claims about the 2020 election
Mandel, a former Ohio state representative and treasurer, said, “I believe this election was stolen from Donald J. Trump.” He called for eliminating the committee investigating the January 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol and replacing it with a “November 3rd commission” named after the day of the 2020 election.
Gov. Ron DeSantis: False claim about his handling of the 2020 election
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis contrasted Florida’s handling of the 2020 election, which he described as a success, with the “shenanigans” he claimed had occurred elsewhere in the country. DeSantis said, “We didn’t change the rules when Covid came. We followed the law. We counted 99% of the ballots by midnight on election night.”
Sen. Marsha Blackburn: False claim about a Department of Homeland Security document
Tennessee’s Sen. Marsha Blackburn said in her speech: “Homeland Security sent out a memo saying if you hear anybody speaking against the Covid policies, education policies, of this administration: Report them to the authorities. It was a slap in the face to free speech.”
The department went on to say that measures implemented to fight Covid-19, particularly vaccine and mask mandates, “have been used by domestic violent extremists to justify violence since 2020 and could continue to inspire these extremists to target government, healthcare, and academic institutions that they associate with those measures.” The department also outlined various calls for violence by foreign terrorist entities and by various kinds of domestic extremists.
Rep. Andy Biggs: Misleading claim about US gas exports
Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona made a series of remarks about what Republicans plan to do in the future. He said, “And by the way, we’re gonna unleash America’s energy sector. Because when you unleash America’s energy sector, you flood it — we start exporting gas again like we did under Trump — the cost comes down.”
But Biggs made it sound like the US has exported less gas under Biden than under Trump. That’s just not the case.
Kelly Tshibaka: Misleading claim about a vote by Sen. Lisa Murkowski
Kelly Tshibaka, the Trump-endorsed Republican primary challenger to Alaska’s Sen. Lisa Murkowski, criticized her rival’s record. Tshibaka said of Murkowski: “She cast the tie-breaking vote to confirm the radical environmentalist Deb Haaland to be Joe Biden’s interior secretary.” She claimed that Murkowski had harmed the oil and gas industry “with that single vote.”
Under Senate rules, a committee tie would have forced the full Senate to spend some extra time debating about Haaland. But it would not have killed her nomination.
Murkowski campaign manager Nate Adams said in an email: “Anyone that thinks that Senator Murkowski cast the ‘tie-breaking vote’ for Haaland’s confirmation either has no idea how the Senate works, or is intentionally misconstruing the facts for their own political gain — both scenarios are equally concerning for someone who is seeking to represent Alaskans.”
Tshibaka’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment.