Tag Archives: Fact Check

2012 Presidential Debate Number #3 – Horses, Bayonets, Flip-Flops, and Buckets of Sweat

Last night was the last of the trio of presidential debates between President Barack Obama and the Republican Party candidate Mitt Romney which took place at Lynn University in Boca Raton, FL.

For the foreign policy face-off, Obama looked his opponent square in the eye, appearing dominant branding the former Romney’s policies as “wrong and reckless,” while unapologetically exposing his opponents recurring bouts of  “Romnesia.”

Romney on the other hand much of the night looked shaky and uncertain and at a few points during the evening visibly sweating. Only when Romney felt he had enough ammunition to challenge Obama did Romney attempted to bully the moderator, Bob Schieffer, much as he did in times past, but fell short of his goal with the CBS News veteran not having any of it.

Romney shied away from some of his hard positions on foreign policy, most especially American standing with Israel and often agreed with a number Obama’s talking points in an attempt to come off as less “right-wing extremist” which he played pandering to the GOP base.

But in what had to be one of the highlights of the debate President Obama exposed Romney’s lack of knowledge on America’s military and strategy  when speaking on the size of the Navy and its request for more ships:

Well, governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets,” Obama said, seeming to mock Romney’s outdated comprehension of what constitutes military might. “We have these things called ‘aircraft carriers,’ and planes land on them.

“We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines. And so, the question is not a game of Battleship, where we’re counting ships; it’s, ‘What are our capabilities?’”

Another zinger to Romney came later in the evening as he tried once again to shift the debate to domestic policies, something Romney feels more comfortable with.  But Romney brought up Detroit automakers and attempted to flip-flop now saying that he was for the auto bailout.  Obama checked Romney on his hard saying:  “Governor, you keep on trying to airbrush history,” Obama said. ”You were very clear that would not provide government assistance to the U.S. auto companies even if they went to bankruptcy.”  to which Romney stared blankly away from the President and into the camera.

Mini Cliff’s Notes Fact Check:

*Romney repeatedly and wrongly accused the president of traveling the  world early in his presidency and apologizing for U.S. behavior

*Romney accused the Obama administration of not dealing with Syria.  This is FALSE.  Under Obama, the United States has taken a lead in trying to organize Syria’s  splintered opposition, even if the U.S. isn’t interested in military  intervention or providing direct arms support to the rebels. The administration  has organized dozens of meetings in Turkey and the Middle East aimed at rallying  Syria’s political groups and rebel formations to agree on a common vision for a  democratic future after Syrian President Bashar Assad is defeated.

*Romney stated that being in business he had experience balancing budgets and used the Utah Olympics as an example.  What Romney didn’t state is that he balanced the Olympic’s budget using Federal Funds.

All in all President Obama was the clear winner of last nights debate.  But at this point in the game with almost virtually no undecided votes left to sway and with only 3 weeks to go in the end it might not make much difference.

But it was nice to see Romney scramble and sweat!

Debate Video Highlights

2012 Presidential Debates #2 – Obama RETURNS, Romney’s SMARMAGEDDON and Fact Checks

He’s baaaaaaaack!

With exactly three weeks to go, and the presidency on the line, , Obama needed to rebound in his second showdown against Romney to erase the bad memories of the first. He also needed a strong performance in Tuesday night’s second presidential debate to energize the Democratic base and win over independent voters. And he did just that.

The 2nd 2012 Presidential debate which was held at Hofstra University on Long Island Tuesday night and moderated by CNN’s chief political correspondent Candy Crowley, was a Town Hall forum in which both candidates answered questions from uncommitted voters.  While President Obama this time was energized and focused, Mitt Romney’s attack strategy backfired on him making him seem boorish, thugish and disrespectful of the venue especially when a mere 15 minutes into the debate Romney threw the negotiated rules out the window and purposely started asking pointed questions to The President and constantly tried to talk over moderator Crowley by eating time to evade questions and then take more than his alloted time which Crowley handled professionally and with a firm hand stopping Romney in his tracks many times throughout the night.

On the facts…….

Fact-Check: Automatic Weapons – When Mr. Romney was asked about his position on gun control, he erred when he said “We, of course, don’t want to have automatic weapons, and that’s already illegal in this country to have automatic weapons.”

The sale of new fully automatic machine guns to civilians has been outlawed since 1986, older machine guns were grandfathered into the law and can be sold to civilians in certain states. The law, posted on the Web site of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms contains a section called “transfer or possession of machine guns.”

Fact-Check: Different From Bush? – Romney was asked how he and former President George W. Bush were different, he said they were different people and because the times were different, “my five-point plan is so different from what he would have done.”

Romney’s five-point plan, which is light on specifics, is an echo of the platform that Mr. Bush ran on in 2000 – energy independence, education, expanded free trade and a get-tough stance toward China, balanced budgets and small business. – Their campaign platforms similar

Fact-Check: Obama would raise taxes on the middle class by $4,000.- Romney’s claim that Obama would raise taxes on the middle class by $4,000 has been caught as a lie at least three times in the past. The figure is drawn from a dry report from the American Enterprise Institute and is unwarranted and has no evidence.

And the ZINGER of the night Fact-Check: Libya –

OBAMA: The day after last month’s attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, ‘‘I stood in the Rose Garden and I told the American people and the world that we are going to find out exactly what happened. That this was an act of terror and I also said that we’re going to hunt down those who committed this crime.’’

ROMNEY: ‘‘I want to make sure we get that for the record, because it took the president 14 days before he called the attack in Benghazi an act of terror.’’

OBAMA: ‘‘Get the transcript.’’

THE FACTS: Obama is correct in saying that he referred to Benghazi as an act of terrorism on Sept. 12, the day after the attack. From the Rose Garden, he said: ‘‘No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for. … We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act.’’

Romneys lie was so blatant and hideous that even the Moderator news journalist Candy Crowley did the near impossible and fact checked Romney from her position as moderator.

But the pièce de résistance of the evenings debate came as the candidates made their final statements and  Romney himself had the nerve to claim he cared about “100 percent” of Americans.

And as if on cue Obama replied in his statement.

“I also believe that when he said behind closed doors that 47 percent of the country considered themselves victims, who refuse personal responsibility, think about who he was talking about,” the president began. “Folks on Social Security who have worked all their lives. Veterans who have sacrificed for this country. Students who are out there trying to hopefully advance their own dreams, but also this country’s dreams. Soldiers who are overseas fighting for us right now. People who are working hard every day, paying payroll tax, gas tax, but don’t make enough income.”

President Obama was the clear winner of last nights debate and there’s little doubt that Obama won back all the undecided voters he lost two weeks ago

DEBATE HIGHLIGHTS –


Read MORE Fact Checks from last nights debate at Boston.com

FACT CHECK: “Malarkey” Isn’t All That Paul Ryan Was Full Of At The 2012 VP Debates

Last night in Danville, KY Vice President Joe Biden and Republican Paul Ryan gave voters the kind of substantive showdown that was everything the presidential debate was not. Abandoning his boss’ caution, Biden called out his opponent for what he was.

A liar.

Not a single thing he said is accurate,’’ Biden shot back when Ryan leveled a charge that President Barack Obama was projecting U.S. weakness.

And that was not the only lie Ryan told last night.

From FactCheck.org

*Ryan said Obama’s proposal to let tax rates rise for high-income individuals would “tax about 53 percent of small-business income.” Wrong. Ryan is counting giant hedge funds and thousands of other multimillion-dollar enterprises as “small” businesses.

*Ryan was wrong when he said a rise in the jobless rate in Biden’s hometown was “how it’s going all around America.” The rate nationally has sunk back to where it was when Obama took office. And in Ryan’s hometown, it’s more than 4 percentage points lower that it was at the start of Obama’s term.

*Ryan claimed the Obama administration spent stimulus money on “electric cars in Finland.” Not true. Although the cars have been assembled in Finland, the money went for work in the United States.

*Ryan twisted the words of a Medicare official as saying “one out of six hospitals and nursing homes are going to go out of business” as a result of the Affordable Care Act. Not quite. The official said that many could become “unprofitable,” and the the situation could be monitored to head off bad outcomes.

*Ryan claimed that the ACA contains “taxpayer funding” of abortion. In fact the law provides no direct funding of abortion except in cases of rape or incest or to save the mother’s life. And it’s a matter of interpretation whether subsidized private insurance would amount to indirect federal support for abortion.

*Ryan was off base when he said of a cost-saving panel created by the Affordable Care Act, “not one of them even has to have medical training.” Actually, the board must include physicians and other health care professionals among its members.

*Ryan at one point ground out a collection of shopworn misstatements about the health care law that have been disproven  time and again, claiming “20 million people … are projected to lose their health insurance” (not true), that premiums have gone up $3,000 (no, they haven’t) and that 7.4 million seniors “are going to lose” Medicare Advantage plans (maybe, but they’d still be covered by traditional Medicare).

Last nights debate which was sharply run by ABC News moderator Martha Raddatz, with the exception of the last question about  “their personal and religious thought of abortion”  gave the American people what they wanted and needed to see.

And it also gave Joe Biden the much-needed chance to expose the Romney/Ryan “malarkey” (ie lies, garbage and bullshit) machine.

REMEMBER:  Facts Matter