Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

Political issues revisited as Democrats convene in Charlotte

Attendees hold up signs during the Democratic National Convention at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, N.C., Sept. 4, 2012.
Attendees hold up signs during the Democratic National Convention at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, N.C., Sept. 4, 2012.

By Janel Davis

Democrats head into the second day of their convention in Charlotte, trying to convince voters that President Barack Obama deserves another four-year term.

PolitiFact and PolitiFact Georgia and the AJC Truth-O-Meter will be monitoring speakers throughout the Charlotte gathering, just like we did for the Republicans in Tampa.

Want to comment on our rulings? Go to our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/politifact.georgia) or find us on Twitter (http://twitter.com/politifactga).

And check our Facebook page throughout the day. We update it with new convention fact-checks morning, noon and night.



Says President Barack Obama is a Muslim. Country singer Hank Williams Jr.

Williams, who prides himself on being politically incorrect, took a moment during a Sept. 2 concert in Fort Worth, Texas, to hammer misgivings about President Barack Obama.

As reported by critic Thor Christensen, who reviewed Williams’ performance at the Stockyards Music Festival for The Dallas Morning News, Williams said to a less-than-unanimous cheer: "We’ve got a Muslim for a president who hates cowboys, hates cowgirls, hates fishing, hates farming, loves gays, and we hate him!"

Most everything in the singer’s statement shakes out as matters of opinion, which can’t be fact-checked. But the idea that Obama is a Muslim can be determined as factual or not factual.

Such claims also have been gauged before -- and found lacking in evidence. PolitiFact noted in August 2010 that the president’s memoirs and independent biographies indicate that Obama became a Christian in his 20s. Other independent reports have also documented Obama’s faith life.

Our ruling is that Obama is not a Muslim, which has been clear for years. We give Williams a Pants on Fire for this claim.



"The first [state] budget that came out of our Republican leadership slashed funding to Planned Parenthood. … It resulted in the reduction of hours, the elimination of days, elimination of access to women in my city and all over my state."  Newark Mayor Cory Booker

Booker didn’t mention Gov. Chris Christie by name, but the Democratic leader took a shot at his Republican governor Tuesday for cutting funding for women’s health services.

"I come from a state where we’ve seen what Republican leadership will do to things like Planned Parenthood," Booker said during a rally for the organization in Charlotte, according to a video posted on YouTube. "We’ve seen it. The first budget that came out of our Republican leadership slashed funding to Planned Parenthood.

"It resulted in the reduction of hours, the elimination of days, elimination of access to women in my city and all over my state."

PolitiFact New Jersey found that Booker’s claim is on target. Christie eliminated nearly $7.5 million for family planning services in his first budget for fiscal year 2011 and has rejected efforts by the Democratic-led Legislature to restore that funding.

As we discovered in a previous fact check, that reduction in funding led to the closure of six family planning clinics, including two facilities run by affiliates of Planned Parenthood.

We rate the statement True.



"By the time [Mitt Romney] left office, Massachusetts was 47th in the nation in job creation." Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick

Repeating a favorite talking point, speakers at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte took aim at Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s job-creation record as governor of Massachusetts.

"By the time he left office, Massachusetts was 47th in the nation in job creation," said Patrick, the Democrat who succeeded Romney in 2006.

We first rated this claim when President Barack Obama’s campaign adviser, David Axelrod, made it in June 2011. We rated it Half True then and Half True again a year later. A counterattack by the Romney campaign at the time was that Massachusetts initially ranked last among states in job growth but was in the middle of the pack by the end of his governorship. We gave that claim a Half True as well.

This time around, we determined that it’s correct that Massachusetts ranked 47th of 50 in job creation on Romney’s watch. Governors, however, simply don't have that much impact on a state’s job market. We still think this claim merits a Half True.