Saturday, November 1st, 2014

Obama's new promises for his second term

Workers prepare the West Front of the Capitol for the inauguration ceremonies. (McClatchy photo by George Bridges)
Workers prepare the West Front of the Capitol for the inauguration ceremonies. (McClatchy photo by George Bridges)

During his re-election campaign, President Barack Obama repeated many promises he first made in 2008. But he also made a few new ones.

PolitiFact found 24 promises to add to our award-winning Obameter database, an ongoing project that tracks and rates his promises.

Some are reactions to big events. He vowed to help the victims of Superstorm Sandy, for example, and he said he wanted to "fix" the long lines some voters faced on election day.

Others are new, specific goals for policies where Obama has long had an interest. On taxes, he promised to seek a "Buffett rule" to ensure the wealthy don’t pay lower tax rates than the working class.

On foreign policy, Obama made a promise to conclude the war in Afghanistan by 2014.

Obama also set goals for himself on the federal budget, to reduce long-term spending by another $1 trillion to $1.5 trillion. On the economy, he said he wants to consolidate nine federal agencies into one and create a Secretary of Business.

The school shooting in Newtown happened after the election, but Obama had talked about reducing gun violence during the campaign, in reaction to shootings in Tucson, Ariz., and Aurora, Colo. He pledged to better enforce gun laws and to work toward renewing a ban on assault weapons.

Still, Obama made dramatically fewer promises in 2012 than in 2008. That’s partly because much of Obama’s campaign was devoted to attacking Republican nominee Mitt Romney and GOP ideas for the economy. In that context, Obama often repeated his previous campaign promises to raise taxes on the wealthy -- to make sure they paid their "fair share," he said. He also talked about devoting more resources to helping young people go to college, and he pledged again to keep unmet promises on comprehensive immigration reform.

And Obama emphasized to audiences that he intended to keep pursuing the agenda he ran on in 2008, listing promises he kept on ending the war in Iraq, passing health care reform and helping the auto industry.

"After four years as president, you know me by now," he said at a typical event in Florida, adding, "You know what I believe. You know where I stand."

With the addition of these new promises, PolitiFact is now tracking 532 promises for Obama’s second term.

Think we missed a promise? Search our database and then email us at truthometer@politifact.com