Politicians lie. Or so we’ve learned through excessive fact-checking and analysis of the many speeches that have come in recent days from both sides of the political aisle. This week, it’s the Democrats who are under scrutiny, with TheBlaze already publishing the five biggest lies (we also shared a subsequent fact check last night) that were told during Tuesday’s convention. Today, we’re coming back with analysis from the second day of the festivities in Charlotte, North Carolina.
As was the case during the first day of the convention, Wednesday, too, was colored with untruths, generalizations, fact-bending and plenty of other rhetorical blips that did anything but reflect reality. Below, find the top five biggest lies and untruths from Wednesday’s convention addresses:
1) The Associated Press debunked the first lie we’ll be examining today. During his speech, former President Bill Clinton targeted Republicans as unbending and claimed that those on the right don’t revere compromise. He said, “When times are tough, constant conflict may be good politics but in the real world, cooperation works better…Unfortunately, the faction that now dominates the Republican Party doesn’t see it that way. They think government is the enemy and compromise is weakness.”
Clinton went on to say that Obama is committed to cooperation. But, as the AP notes, both parties have been inflexible and have taken actions that have led to stagnation on the compromise front. Earlier today, in fact, TheBlaze covered author Bob Woodward’s new book, which deals with failure to reach across the aisle at the hands of both parties on the debt and deficit front.
“The problem with compromising in Washington is that there are few true moderates left in either party,” the AP contends. “The notion that Republicans are the only ones standing in the way of compromise is inaccurate.”
2) Then comes Delaware Gov. Jack Markell and his claims that Republican candidate Mitt Romney has said that “he likes to fire people.” This, of course, isn’t accurate and PolitiFact has rated the claim “false.” According to the fact-checkers, the statement “cherry-picks what Romney actually said, which was a comment on the advantage of being able to switch health insurance companies if a provider isn’t giving good service.”
Romney’s complete statement, which was uttered on January 9, 2012, was as follows:
“I want individuals to have their own insurance. That means the insurance company will have an incentive to keep you healthy. It also means if you don’t like what they do, you can fire them. I like being able to fire people who provide services to me. You know, if someone doesn’t give me a good service that I need, I want to say I’m going to go get someone else to provide that service to me.”
Markell’s main argument, as PolitiFact noted, was that Romney doesn’t necessarily deserve to be president simply because he was successful in business. While he may believe this, he used a slanted quote to drive the point home.
3) Also on Wednesday, the Democrats continued their rhetoric surrounding the “War on Women.” A few claims were found to be untrue surrounding contraception and abortion when explored by FactCheck.org.
First, Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy made the claim that the Republican platform would “take away a woman’s right to choose even if she is a rape victim.” This simply isn’t true. While the GOP document does take a strong stance against abortion, it is silent on any exceptions and relies upon the states to make their views heard on the matter. Also, it should be noted that Romney has stated his support for abortion in cases of rape and incest numerous times before.
Also, Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards maintained that both Romney and Ryan are committed “to ending insurance coverage for birth control.” This simply isn’t the case. In contrast, both men have called for the government not to mandate that employers to cover contraceptives at no cost to employees — quite a different scenario.
4) Democrats also attempted to scare the audience into fearing a Romney-Ryan White House by claiming that their budget would cut domestic spending across the board. With a large proportion — 20 percent — allegedly being sliced away from every federal program, the Democrats alleged that the plan would be extensively damaging.
Here are the untrue Democratic allegations that were waged:
Ken Myers, a deputy sheriff from Carroll County, Iowa: The Romney-Ryan budget could cut federal funding for first responders by nearly 20 percent.
Education Secretary Arne Duncan: Under the Romney-Ryan budget, education would be cut — cut by as much as 20 percent. Now, take a minute and think about what that would really mean: 200,000 fewer children in Head Start, fewer teachers in the classroom, fewer resources for poor kids and students with disabilities, fewer after school programs and 10 million students could see their Pell Grants reduced, putting higher education further out of reach.
Gov. Dannel Malloy of Connecticut: Education would be slashed by 20 percent — from Head Start through college, and everything in between.
But, Ryan’s plan never highlighted where cuts would be made and Romney, as FactCheck.org notes, said they would not be applied evenly.
5) We started with Clinton and we’ll end with him. The Washington Post’s The Fact Checker found that Both Clinton and Democratic Rep. Chris Van Hollen from Maryland, made the incorrect claim that Obama’s plan would cut the deficit by $4 trillion.
“He [Obama] has offered a reasonable plan of $4 trillion in debt reduction over a decade,” Clinton proclaimed. “For every $2.5 trillion in spending cuts, he raises a dollar in new revenues, 2.5 to 1. And he has tight controls on future spending.”
Hollen mirrored these comments, saying, “President Obama’s plan uses the bipartisan commission’s balanced approach. It reduces the deficit by more than $4 trillion.”
These bold statements, though, are based on a false premise and are, thus, untrue. The Fact Checker explains, in detail:
The repeated claim that Obama’s budget reduces the deficit by $4 trillion is simply not accurate.
By the administration’s math, you have nearly $3.8 trillion in spending cuts, compared to $1.5 trillion in tax increases (letting the Bush tax cuts expire for high-income Americans). Presto, $1 of tax increases for every $2.50 of spending cuts.
But virtually no serious budget analyst agreed with this accounting. The $4 trillion figure, for instance, includes counting some $1 trillion in cuts reached a year ago in budget negotiations with Congress. So no matter who is the president, the savings are already in the bank.
Moreover, the administration is also counting $848 billion in phantom savings from winding down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, even though the administration had long made clear those wars would end.
In other words, by projecting war spending far in the future, the administration is able to claim credit for saving money it never intended to spend. (Imagine taking credit for saving money on buying a new car every year, even though you intended to keep your car for 10 years.)
So, there you have it. Five of the biggest lies told on the second day of the DNC. Be sure to stay tuned for tomorrow morning’s coverage of the next set of untruths. To read more about Clinton’s blunders go here and read about other shaky DNC statements, click here.