Friday, October 24th, 2014

Greatest hits from the Tampa and Charlotte conventions

President Barack Obama addresses the Democratic National Convention. (Tampa Bay Times photo by Kathleen Flynn)
President Barack Obama addresses the Democratic National Convention. (Tampa Bay Times photo by Kathleen Flynn)

It's been a busy two weeks for the Truth-O-Meter.

Since we started fact-checking the Republican and Democratic conventions on Aug. 27, we've published 43 fact-checks on everything from welfare's work requirement to firing people.

We've had so much interest in our fact-checking that we broke our own record for Web traffic during the Republican convention -- and then broke the new record a week later during the Democratic convention.

We are concluding our convention fact-checking with some final items this week. In the meantime, we wanted to give a brief list of our greatest hits from Tampa and Charlotte.

U.S. Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., told the Democratic convention that Republicans "stood on the sidelines" when Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security were created. But the roll call votes showed plenty of support from the GOP, so we rated his claim False.

Delaware Gov. Jack Markell repeated a popular Democratic talking point when he said that when it comes to jobless workers, Mitt Romney "says he likes to fire people." We found that Markell was distorting Romney's words, which were actually referring to his approach to getting rid of unsatisfactory health insurance providers. Another False.

Rahm Emanuel, the Democratic mayor of Chicago, claimed that Romney had asked for a waiver from federal welfare rules. We found that while he had co-signed a letter supporting state flexibility for meeting the rules, he did not seek a waiver. Mostly False.

At the Republican convention, Romney recited one of his favorite attack lines again President Barack Obama, saying that Obama began his presidency "with an apology tour." We've examined the speeches Obama gave and see nothing that qualifies as an apology. We rated the claim Pants on Fire.

Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum said President Obama has waived the work requirement for welfare, a new GOP talking point. But we found no evidence to support that in the Obama administration documents cited by Republicans. We rated the claim Pants on Fire.

In his convention speech in Tampa, GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan repeated a point he had made two weeks earlier when he said that President Obama failed to keep open a General Motors plant in Wisconsin. We found the decision to shutter GM operations actually happened before Obama took office and rated the claim False.