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Democrats make case for Obama re-election

By Janel Davis
Published on Friday, September 7th, 2012 at 6:00 a.m.

The Democrats wrapped up their convention Thursday night in Charlotte with President Barack Obama making his case for four more years on the job.

Prior to the president’s culminating speech, PolitiFact, PolitiFact Georgia and the AJC Truth-O-Meter tested some claims made by former President Bill Clinton and political leaders during convention appearances.

We will complete a full fact-check of claims made by Obama in Saturday’s paper, and a roundup of claims made throughout the convention on Sunday.

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

Says U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan attacked the president for "the same amount of Medicare savings that [Ryan] had in his own budget." -- Former President Bill Clinton

Clinton used his nominating address at the DNC on Sept. 5, 2012, to respond to the Republican critiques leveled at President Barack Obama during the GOP’s Tampa convention. But there was one attack in particular, he said, that "takes some brass."

"When Congressman [Paul] Ryan looked into that TV camera and attacked President Obama's Medicare savings as, quote, the ‘biggest coldest power play,’ I didn't know whether to laugh or cry," Clinton said in his Wednesday night speech. "Because, that $716 billion is exactly, to the dollar, the same amount of Medicare savings that he had in his own budget.

Clinton is correct that the Ryan budget plan included cost savings that were part of the health care law. Just recently, the Romney campaign backed away from that plan, saying Romney’s plan would restore the spending that the health law is set to curtail.

Still, Clinton was right about the Ryan plan. We rate his statement True.

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney said we should let foreclosures "hit the bottom." -- California Attorney General Kamala Harris

To demonstrate the contrast between President Barack Obama and Romney, Harris pointed to the housing crisis.

"We don't have to guess what Mitt Romney would have done if he were president. Because he told us," Harris said in a Sept. 5, 2012, speech at the Democratic National Convention. "He said we should let foreclosures — and I quote — ’hit the bottom’ so the market could — I quote — ’run its course.’"

The Democratic National Committee made this claim in an ad last year, and PolitiFact checked it out. We found that a significant portion of Romney’s quote was omitted.

Harris quoted Romney as saying the housing market should be allowed to "hit the bottom" so the crisis could "run its course."

He did say that, but he also said that when new investors come in and rehab homes, the market could then "turn around and come back up." Romney also suggested he’d be open to refinancing options that would help some homeowners stay in their homes.

That’s important context omitted from Harris’ speech. We rate her statement Half True.

Women "receive only 77 cents for every dollar a man earns."  -- Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo.

DeGette invoked a well-worn statistic to illustrate how women earn less than men during her speech at the Democratic National Convention.

"More and more in this economy, the women are the family breadwinners. We are managing our family budgets, struggling to pay health care bills and facing the challenge of saving for college," DeGette said during her Sept. 5, 2012, speech. "We feel it in our paychecks when we receive only 77 cents for every dollar a man earns."

We’ve heard this statistic often, and not during just the convention. Lilly Ledbetter, for whom President Barack Obama’s first signed bill was named, used it in her speech the night before, and Obama used it -- inaccurately -- in a campaign ad this summer.

DeGette claimed women "receive only 77 cents for every dollar a man earns." The measure comes from a valid source, though other comparisons indicate the gap is tighter. Also, some occupations have smaller gaps than others.

We rate the claim Mostly True.

Says House Republicans "tried to change the definition of rape." -- Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Wis.

Moore was among women members of the House who made speeches on Sept. 4, 2012, at the DNC. Moore said she is working to end violence against women, then blasted her Republican colleagues, declaring:

"No victim of domestic violence or bullying -- man or woman -- should feel unprotected in America. Yet when Democrats acted to strengthen the Violence Against Women Act, Republicans in the House moved to weaken it. In other legislation, they have even tried to change the definition of rape."

Did House Republicans try to redefine what constitutes rape and thus affect what would put a perpetrator in prison?

Moore’s statement contains an element of truth, in that GOP members sought to change when federal money for abortions could be used in cases of rape, by using the term "forcible rape."

But the claim ignores critical facts that would give a different impression -- the House Republicans’ effort was not to change the definition of rape, but rather to restrict the use of federal funds in abortions.

We rate Moore’s statement Mostly False.

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