Friday, October 24th, 2014

Democrats wrap up convention with Obama re-election appeal

President Barack Obama speaks Thursday night at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.
President Barack Obama speaks Thursday night at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.

President Barack Obama took the stage at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte Thursday to make his case for re-election.

PolitiFact, PolitiFact Georgia and the AJC Truth-O-Meter tested some claims by the President and others on the convention’s final day.

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 his budget plan "would cut our deficits by $4 trillion." - President Barack Obama

As they did in 2010, Republicans have used the government’s growing deficits as a cudgel to drive Democrats out of office.

Democrats say they, too, are working to reduce the deficits. In his speech at the Democratic convention, Obama said he will put the country on a path to better fiscal health. He spoke of the choice this election offers voters and said "You can choose a future where we reduce our deficit without wrecking our middle class.  Independent analysis shows that my plan would cut our deficits by $4 trillion."

The "independent" source that supports that claim is a liberal think tank. Another group, one that puts a premium on deficit reduction, gives the president credit for moving in the right direction but thinks he won’t get as far as he says he will. They think the president’s plan might get close to the $3 trillion mark, but not $4 trillion.

We rate the statement Half True.


"Jeb Bush recently noted, Reagan himself would have been too moderate, too reasonable for today's GOP." - Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist

In his speech to the DNC, Republican-turned-independent Crist said he didn’t leave the GOP, the GOP left him.

"Half a century ago, Ronald Reagan, the man whose optimism was inspiring to me to enter politics, he famously said at one time that he did not leave the Democratic Party; but the party left him," Crist said. "Listen, I can relate. I didn't leave the Republican Party; it left me. Then again, my friend Jeb Bush recently noted Reagan himself would have been too moderate, too reasonable for today's GOP."

Did Crist characterize Bush’s comments accurately?

We think it’s clear Bush said the partisan divide would make it difficult for Reagan to govern the way he did. What’s murky is whether Bush said -- or suggested -- Reagan would be "too moderate" and "too reasonable for today's GOP."

In this case, we think it’s fair to dock Crist points for cherry-picking one interpretation of Bush’s statement and for failing to factor in Bush’s subsequent remarks. On balance, we rate this statement Half True.


When Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid were created, "Republicans stood on the sidelines" - Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C.

During his speech at the DNC, Clyburn, the third-highest-ranking Democrat in the House, offered an extended metaphor about how Democrats have protected Americans over the years.

"When too many of our elderly found their lives darkened by unaffordable and inaccessible health care, Lyndon Johnson and a Democratic Congress lit the candles of Medicare and Medicaid, while Republicans stood on the sidelines and cursed the darkness," he said.

Although some of the biggest and most vocal opponents of the bills were Republicans, it’s wrong to say that "Republicans stood on the sidelines" when the bills were being considered. On the final vote on Social Security, Republicans overwhelmingly supported the bill. On Medicare and Medicaid, a majority of Republicans voted for the bill in the House, as did a significant minority in the Senate. We rate Clyburn’s claim False.