Democrats on offensive before President Obama’s convention speech
By Janel Davis
Published on Thursday, September 6th, 2012 at 6:00 a.m.
President Barack Obama makes his case tonight for four more years in office during the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.
Before he takes the stage, PolitiFact, PolitiFact Georgia and the AJC Truth-O-Meter tested a few more claims made this week during the convention by Democratic leaders.
We will continue monitoring speakers throughout the Charlotte gathering, just like we did for the Republicans in Tampa.
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Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has put forward a plan "that would cut taxes for millionaires while raising them for the middle class." Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley
O’Malley made a hard-charging case for President Barack Obama and against Romney in his remarks Tuesday at the Democratic National Convention.
"Instead of a balanced, achievable plan to create jobs and reduce the deficit, Mitt Romney … puts forward a plan that would cut taxes for millionaires while raising them for the middle class."
Is that really what Romney wants to do?
Actually, Romney’s plan includes across-the-board tax cuts for everyone, including millionaires. It does not specifically include tax increases on the middle class.
But Romney’s tax plan is vague and doesn’t appear to be able to keep all its promises, including eliminating deductions, cutting tax rates for everyone and bringing in the same amount of revenue for the government.
Romney’s plan may cut taxes for millionaires and raise them for the middle class, but that’s not what Romney says his intentions are. We rate O’Malley’s claim Half True.
"Seven presidents before [Barack Obama] -- Republicans and Democrats -- tried to expand health care to all Americans." San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro
Obama’s health care law has been one of the most polarizing aspects of his presidency. But Castro, who was keynote speaker Tuesday night at the Democratic National Convention, applauded Obama for pursuing and succeeding in expanding health care.
"Seven presidents before him -- Republicans and Democrats -- tried to expand health care to all Americans," Castro said. "President Obama got it done."
We checked with a variety of public policy and health care historians and found that Castro’s in the ballpark -- but that a lot of caveats are in order.
Presidents Harry Truman, Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton almost certainly fit Castro’s definition. And Lyndon Johnson signed into law Medicare and Medicaid.
Loosening the standards adds more presidents who supported expanded care, had good intentions or whose plans didn’t quite pan out.
It’s easy getting to three or four presidents, and possible to reach seven presidents, but doing that requires a looser interpretation of expanding coverage "to all Americans." We rate the statement Mostly True.
"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 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.
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