To assess the truth for a numbers claim, the biggest factor is the underlying message. In Paul's case, his point was a simple one, that many people have died in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He overstated the number, but not by all that many.
--Bill Adair, PolitiFact
The fact checkers:
Meghan Ashford-Grooms: writer, researcher
Brenda Bell: editor
W. Gardner Selby: editor
In many ways, this fact check of Texas governor Rick Perry is fine and dandy. PolitiFact provides a transcript that pretty clearly indicates that "Houston" was not the first word spoken from the moon. And experts apparently agreed on that point. Case closed. The statement is False.
Or is it?
Hearken back to PolitiFact head honcho Bill Adair's description as to how PolitiFact handles number claims. The most important thing, Adair says, is the underlying argument. And Gov. Perry clearly has an underlying argument, that being the central role of the city of Houston in space exploration.
So, either PolitiFact erred by failing to consider Perry's underlying point in its rating or else "first" is somehow not a number claim.
Meghan Ashford-Grooms: I
Brenda Bell: I
W. Gardner Selby: I
Each receives an incomplete grade (I) until I have more information on which to base a grade.