Friday, October 31st, 2014

Turning up the heat in Denver

SUMMARY: On Day 2 of the convention, Democrats pump up the rhetoric and go after John McCain.

After a warm and fuzzy opening night that focused on Barack Obama's biography, Democrats went on the offensive on Day 2 in Denver, accusing John McCain of being too cozy with George W. Bush, Washington lobbyists and Big Oil.

After hearing from a parade of elected officials ranging from the Republican mayor of Fairbanks, Alaska, to former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner, the main event was an address by Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The Truth-O-Meter is keeping busy. Here are a few items we finished from Monday night, a couple of new ones from Tuesday night and one that we learned about at a late-night party:

• In our first Truth-O-Meter ruling about a condom package, we found that a clever anti-McCain condom wrapper from Planned Parenthood correctly quoted McCain as being "stumped" about whether contraceptives help stop the spread of HIV. We gave that one a True.

• We checked on another claim from Michelle Obama's speech, that her husband passed a bill in Illinois that made sure women got equal pay for equal work. We rated that one Mostly True.

• We found the Democratic platform was right that "Less than four cents of every health care dollar is spent on prevention and public health." We gave that a True.

• In his speech, Warner said the U.S. energy policy is to "borrow money from China to buy oil from countries that don't like us." The claim mirrors one we checked earlier this year. Yes, the United States has been borrowing from foreign countries to pay the bills, and we import large quantities of oil. But the two phenomena aren't causally related. Not to mention that given how the borrowing works, you could just as easily say that we're borrowing from a number of other countries to pay for oil. We rated this one Half True.

• And finally, Clinton launched a strong attack against McCain saying, "We don't need four more years of the last eight years." One line jumped out: "John McCain wants to privatize Social Security." But though McCain has repeatedly warned that the Social Security system is going broke and needs to be fixed, he is not proposing anything as ambitious — or as concrete — as what Bush attempted in 2005. We ruled this Barely True.