Monday, December 22nd, 2014

Celebrating Democrats, past and present, in Charlotte

The Democratic National Convention opens in Charlotte, N.C.
The Democratic National Convention opens in Charlotte, N.C.

The Democratic National Convention kicked off Tuesday with a prime-time show that celebrated the party's diversity and its positions on abortion rights, Israel and health care.

Delegates in the Charlotte, N.C., arena cheered young party leaders such as Newark Mayor Cory Booker and applauded a video tribute to the late Ted Kennedy that included the Massachusetts senator debating his 1994 opponent -- Mitt Romney.

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick repeated a popular Democratic talking point that Massachusetts ranked 47th in job growth under Romney. We found the numbers were right but that it's an exaggeration to blame Romney because governors have limited impact on state economies. We rated it Half True.

We also rated Booker's claim that in New Jersey, "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."

PolitiFact New Jersey looked into that and rated it True.

Keynote speaker Julian Castro, the mayor of San Antonio, talked up his city to the delegates, repeating a claim he has made before that the Milken Institute has rated San Antonio as the nation's top-performing local economy. That one is also True. On the topic of health care reform, Castro said that seven presidents before Barack Obama, both Republicans and Democrats, "tried to expand health care to all Americans." We found he was largely on target, rating the statement Mostly True.

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley revived a tax claim we've heard before that Romney "would cut taxes for millionaires while raising them for the middle class." Romney's plan hasn't been fully explained, but raising taxes on the middle class isn't what he says he intends to do. Our rating: Half True.

Finally, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, found herself on the defensive over comments attributed to her about Israel. Wasserman Schultz said in an interview on Fox News that she was misquoted, but a videotape proves otherwise. We rated her claim Pants On Fire.