Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

Fact-checking Romney’s private fundraiser remarks

This is an excerpt from a video leaked to the liberal magazine Mother Jones in which Mitt Romney explains his views on who in the United States pays taxes and who they may vote for this fall.

Mitt Romney said his comments in a controversial video were "not elegantly stated." They’re also not entirely true.

The secretly recorded remarks from a Boca Raton gathering of top Romney donors in May, released by liberal magazine Mother Jones, grabbed attention first for his characterization of Obama voters as people who "believe they are victims" entitled to government help.

He said the "48, 49 percent" that supports President Barack Obama are "people who pay no income tax."  Romney was correct that a similar percentage of people pay no federal income tax, such as the elderly and the poor. We rated that part of his claim True. But Obama is expected to win millions of votes from people who do pay federal income taxes, and Romney is expected to win millions of votes from people who do not pay federal income taxes. We rated that part of Romney’s claim False.

Romney also presented a series of arguments he said he would use to persuade independent voters they would be better off under a new president, for example, that "50 percent of kids coming out of school can't get a job."It’s a stat he likes to repeat, but this time he left off an important piece. That "50 percent" actually includes students out of college who haven’t found a job and those who got a job that doesn’t require a college degree. Still, it’s the highest that number has been in at least 11 years. We rated his claim Mostly True.

We also rated another familiar Romney claim, that President Obama promised "he'd keep unemployment below 8 percent" if the stimulus passed.Obama didn’t say that. Rather, his Council of Economic Advisers predicted that the stimulus would hold it to that level. Their report included heavy disclaimers that the projections had "significant margins of error" and a high degree of uncertainty due to a recession that is "unusual both in its fundamental causes and its severity."  It wasn’t a promise or guarantee. We rated the statement Mostly False.