Sunday, November 23rd, 2014

Wednesday night at the GOP convention: the running mate and more

Republican vice presidential nominee articulated pointed criticisms of President Obama at the Republican National Convention.
Republican vice presidential nominee articulated pointed criticisms of President Obama at the Republican National Convention.

On the second night of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, speakers kept up a drumbeat of outrage about excessive government regulation. The most outrageous example came from South Dakota Sen. John Thune, who said the Obama administration "proposed banning farm kids from doing basic chores!"

Say what?

We explored Thune's claim and found that the truth wasn't close to what he said. The Labor Department proposed a rule tightening safety rules for minors working on farms. What it specifically did not do: disallow kids from doing basic jobs on their parents' farms.

The ruling: Pants On Fire.

Wednesday's theme at the convention was "We can change it," with a full lineup of speakers imploring the need for a new direction in the White House.

Rob Portman, a U.S. senator from Ohio, earned a False for saying President Obama "never even worked in business." While there's no question he has less business experience than Republican rival Mitt Romney, Obama worked in the 1980s as a research assistant for a New York company, and later was a partner in a Chicago law firm.

Vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan, the House budget chairman, was the headliner. His speech was frequently interrupted by cheers and ovations from the enthusiastic delegates. But it was not without inaccuracies.

Ryan said Obama broke a promise to keep a Wisconsin GM plant from closing. We found no evidence that Obama ever explicitly made such a promise. More importantly, the Janesville, Wisc., plant shut down before he took office. We rated the claim False.

He earns a Half True for the shaky statement that when Romney was governor of Massachusetts, "unemployment went down, household incomes went up," and the state "saw its credit rating upgraded." Ryan also repeated a claim he has made before about Medicare, that Obama "funneled" $716 billion out of the program "at the expense of the elderly" to pay for his health care law. In fact, the law limits payments to health care providers and insurers to try to reduce the rapid growth of future Medicare spending. It does not take money from the program's current budget. Mostly False.

We checked Ryan's earlier statement  that wealthy taxpayers, not middle-income earners, get "most of the deductions" in the tax code. The claim is on target, with the caveat that it depends on the definition of "wealthy." We rated it Mostly True.

Another speaker was Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi. We fact-checked a statement she made on Monday during an interview on CNN.

"Women care about the same issues as men, and that’s getting jobs, keeping jobs," Bondi said. The polls support her assertion that jobs, more so than social issues, are forefront on women's mind. The rating: True.