OT: FACT CHECK: Convention speakers stray from reality

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WASHINGTON (AP) Sounding the keynote for his party's national convention, Chris Christie promised that GOP nominee Mitt Romney will lay out for the American people the painful budget cuts it'll take to wrestle the government's debt and deficit woes under control.
The combative New Jersey governor's hopeful words, however, flew into a headwind of reality: In nearly a year of campaigning, Romney has yet to detail how he would do that. Rob Portman, an Ohio senator and former U.S. trade representative, glossed over his own problems when critiquing President Barack Obama's trade dealings with China. And former senator and presidential candidate Rick Santorum stretched the truth in taking Obama to task over his administration supposedly waiving work requirements in the nation's landmark welfare-to-work law.
A closer look at some of the words spoken at the GOP convention in Tampa, Fla.:
CHRISTIE: "Mitt Romney will tell us the hard truths we need to hear to end the torrent of debt that is compromising our future and burying our economy...Tonight, our duty is to tell the American people the truth. Our problems are big and the solutions will not be painless. We all must share in the sacrifice. Any leader that tells us differently is simply not telling the truth."
THE FACTS: Romney has made a core promise to cut $500 billion per year from the federal budget by 2016 to bring spending below 20 percent of the U.S. economy, and to balance it entirely by 2020. His campaign manifesto, however, is almost completely devoid of the "hard truths" Christie promises. In fact, Romney is promising to reverse $716 billion in Medicare savings achieved by Obama over the coming decade and promises big increases in military spending as well, along with extending tax cuts for everyone, including the wealthiest.
The few specifics Romney offers include repealing Obama's health care law, cutting federal payrolls, weaning Amtrak from subsidies, cutting foreign aid and curbing the Medicaid health care program for the poor and disabled.
But it'll take a lot more than those steps for Romney to keep his vague promises, which are unrealistic if he's unwilling to touch Medicare and Social Security in the coming decade. Even the controversial budget plan of his vice presidential nominee, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., largely endorsed by Romney, leaves Medicare virtually untouched over the next 10 years.
What's left for Romney to cut is benefit programs other than Medicare and Social Security, which include food stamps, welfare, farm subsidies and retirement benefits for federal workers. The remaining pot of money includes the day-to-day budgets of domestic agencies, which have already borne cuts under last year's budget deal. There's also widespread congressional aversion to cutting most of what remains on the chopping block, which includes health research, NASA, transportation, air traffic control, homeland security, education, food inspection, housing and heating subsidies for the poor, food aid for pregnant women, the FBI, grants to local governments, national parks, and veterans' health care.
PORTMAN: "Take trade with China. China manipulates its currency, giving it an unfair trade advantage. So why doesn't the president do something about it? I'll tell you one reason. President Obama could not run up his record trillion-dollar deficits if the Chinese didn't buy our bonds to finance them. Folks, we are as beholden to China for bonds as we are to the Middle East for oil. This will end under Mitt Romney."
THE FACTS: Portman is an expert on commerce, having served as President George W. Bush's trade representative from May 2005 to May 2006. But he didn't fare particularly well in stemming China's trade advantage, either.
Under Portman's watch, the U.S. trade deficit with China soared by 25 percent in 2005, and the next year it climbed more than 15 percent. By contrast, the deficit rose 10 percent over the first three years of Obama's presidency, according to U.S. government figures.
Both the Bush and Obama administrations have launched unfair trade cases against China at the World Trade Organization, but neither has been able to rebalance the relationship.
SANTORUM: "This summer (Obama) showed us once again he believes in government handouts and dependency by waiving the work requirement for welfare. Now, I helped write the welfare reform bill. We made a lot crystal clear. No president can waive the work requirement, but as with his refusal to enforce our immigration laws, President Obama rules like he is above the law."
THE FACTS: The administration did not waive the work requirement. Instead, it invited governors to apply on behalf of their states for waivers of administrative requirements in the 1996 law. Some states have complained those rules tie up caseworkers who could be helping clients directly.
In a July 18 letter to congressional leaders, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said that to be eligible for a waiver, governors must commit that their plans will move at least 20 percent more people from welfare to work. Moreover, states must show clear progress toward the goal within a year, or lose the waiver.
"We will not accept any changes that undercut employment-focused welfare reforms that were signed into law fifteen years ago," Sebelius wrote.
Ron Haskins, a former senior Republican House aide who helped write the welfare-to-work law, has said "there is merit" to the administration's proposal and "I don't see how you can get to the conclusion that the waiver provision undermines welfare reform and it eliminates the work requirement."
Haskins, now co-director of the Brookings Center on Children and Families, says the administration was wrong to roll out its proposal without first getting Republicans to sign off on it. But he said the idea itself is one both parties should be able to agree on, were it not for the bitter political divisions that rule Washington.
Associated Press writer Bradley Klapper contributed to this report.
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On Aug 29, 11:24 pm, "Malcom \"Mal\" Reynolds" <atlas-

Fact:
Christie did not say Romney was going to lay out all the specifics of how he was going to get the deficit under control at the convention or even prior to the election. It's been laid out in broad terms many times by Romney and Ryan. No different than what Christie himself did when campaigning in NJ for governor. Or Scott Walker in WI, or John Kasich in OH. Yet they all delivered in balancing budgets.
The biggest part of closing the budget deficit is to increase revenue by getting the economy growing at a reasonable rate. During the Reagan era, at this point into his presidency, the recovery was adding jobs at the rate of 400,000 a month. One month we hit $1.2mil. Today a good month is 160,000 and for the last two quarters we're averaging well below that. Get the economy going, which is Romney job #1, and tax revenues to the govt will increase dramatically.
One thing is for sure. And that is Obama has failed. In fact, he has no plan at all, despite actually being president. His budget was rejected not only by Republicans, but by his own party and got not a single vote. Why would you expect the next 4 years to be any different?

Fact:
They are cuts, not "savings". And those cuts in Medicare for the elderly were to pay for Obamacare. Romney has made it clear he intends to repeal Obamacare, hence the money can be returned to Medicare.

Yes, those tax cuts are all that's keeping the economy from tipping into recession. Clinton has recognize that. Even Obama has said they were essential, until he again reversed himself on it. His gone back and forth about 4 times now.

See, you libs just don't understand economics 101. His biggest promise is to get the economy growing again. To put people back to work. When people are paying taxes, buying things, instead of getting unemployment and food stamps, the deficit shrinks dramatically.

Then you admit that the libs were all lying when they accused Ryan of pushing grandma off a cliff. That's a good first step.

Oh my! The poor federal govt, how ever will it survive?
Fact: Prior to the economic crisis of 2008, the budget deficit under Bush was $160bil and had been declining for several years. And that was for a president and Congress who let spending get out of control. Imagine where we would have been had they shown some restraint.
OK, so now we have a severe recession. So, we'd expect the deficit to go up. But for how long? One year, two? Three? Here we are 4 years later and the deficit is $1.3tril. That's 8 times the deficit prior to the recession. Tax revenues are now coming in higher than they were prior to the recession. In May, we had the second highest monthly tax revenue in US history.
The real problem is that SPENDING has increased dramatically and is the source of that $1.3tril budget deficit. Spending increased 40% from 2007 to 2011. And Obama's response? Spend even more. Ram through yet another huge govt healthcare program. These nuts are actually paying for ads encouraging people to apply for food stamps. That's right. They are spending your money to encourage people to come get evenmore of your money. The food stamp program cost was about $20bil in 2000. Today it's $73bil.
I want a president who isn't hostile to business, creates an environment conducive to economic growth and puts people back to work. Obama clearly wants even more people to be dependent on govt handouts.

The devil is in the details. Of course we bought more from China during the Bush years? Why? Because Americans had jobs, the economy was growing at a decent rate, and people had money to SPEND. Again, economics 101 is your friend. Everyone knows that with a recession or weak economy imports fall.

That's like saying "I didn't tell people to speed. I just took down the signs that say they can't speed. I just changed the regulations that specifically set a speed limit."
Fact:
The bill to end welfare as we know it that was passed under the Clinton administration had carefull wording that required people to work. It defined what constituted work, etc. What Obama has done is to say he's going to just ignore that by giving states waivers. Just like he chose to unilaterally ignore immigration law. Both of these are unconstitutional abuses of power. Ultimately the welfare nonsense Obama pulled would be found illegal by a court. But hopefully we won't have to wait that long for a solution.....

They said they were going to put Americans back to work, get the economy moving, cut the deficit in half, close Gitmo, try terrorists in civilian courts in NYC, stop the Iranians from building a bomb, etc too.

Oh, I see. Washington is divided on an issue. What a surprise this must be to Obama. Then, in Obama's mind that gives him the right to just do whatever he pleases on his own, without even consulting the Republicans, without considering anything they might have to say, etc. But then that is his operating style. Look at what he did to Paul Ryan earlier this year. Ryan, unlike Obama, at least had a budget plan that addressed the deficit. For that, Obama put him in the front row of the audience for a press conference and then proceeded to personally villify him. Something I have never seen a president do. Soon, they were running ads showing a Ryanb look-a-like pushing grandma in a wheelchair off a cliff. You think just maybe Obama's methods are a big part of the bitter political division?
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wrote:

...Major Snippage...
I'm not picking sides here, but it's almost humorous to hear how many times the speakers at this week's convention kept referring to Obama's speech in which he said "You didn't build that".
I wonder how many of those speakers are aware of the fact that that phrase was taken completely out of context the day after he said it, and has been used in the wrong context ever since.
How many of them (and how many in this NG) know what Obama was referring to when he said "You didn't build that?"
Hint: He was *not* referring to successful businesses when he said "You didn't build that", but that is the implication that was portrayed in every GOP speech I've heard this week, and I'm sure will be used for the rest of the campaign.
I'm not saying it's not a great political strategy, but I do wonder how many GOP, Dem and undecided voters know what context the phrase was actually used in. I also wonder how many of the RNC speakers actually know the true context.
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On Thu, 30 Aug 2012 08:19:45 -0700 (PDT), DerbyDad03

The context was that the government built the road in front of the building so that must be the secret of these people's success. Unfortunatel,y I drive down perfectly good roads every day past unsuccessful businesses. The people who succeed work hard and they do build that business.
In Ft Myers we have a privately built road with lots of thriving businesses along it (Metro Parkway). The government certainly did not build that.
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On Aug 30, 11:25am, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

No, the context was nothing more than the fact that people succeed with the help of others, be they teachers or a government that funded the roads and bridges that helped - not made, just helped - that business be successful.

Not relevant to the current discussion of using words out of context.

Who said that they didn't? Certainly not Obama. The issue is that every GOP speaker (except the honorable Condoleezza Rice) took his words out of context and made it sound like he said it. Even you are doing it. Since his use of the word "build" was not refering to the businesses, when anyone (including you) says that "We did build that business" they (and you) are implying that Obama said that they didn't.

Congratulations. How does that change the fact that Obama's words are repeatedly taken out of context?
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On Thu, 30 Aug 2012 09:30:13 -0700 (PDT), DerbyDad03

Too late. He's gone Borg.
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Maybe you should start by reading what Obama actually said:
"You didnt get there on your own. Im always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there."
If he's not dismissing hard work and being smart as key components of success, what the hell is he doing? What does he think makes one successful then? Oh, I know. It's those roads and bridges the govt built coming in the next sentence. And this, you're defending?

You say it was not referring to the businesses. I say taken in context with the paragraph around it, it's not clear whether he was talking about the roads and bridges or the business itself. And when he does explicitly dismiss hard work and being smart as components of success in the sentences immediately before it, I say it's fair game.
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wrote:

Obama certainly didn't say what he said in a smart way (my opinion). It was too easily taken out of context.
The context was that everyone has people in his past who stimulated him/her; that everyone uses all the means he needs to be successful (or he/she is utterly stupid or lazy), and those means include the internet (started at least in large part as a DARPA project around 1973, when my then landlord worked on computers communicating with each other at MIT), roads, etc.
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Precisely because it *did* shine a light on where Obama's head is. He does *not* like success. Only government can do that.
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/You_didn%27t_build_that Here's the context. Sure looks like he said " If you've got a business -- you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen."
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
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Who said that they didn't? Certainly not Obama. The issue is that every GOP speaker (except the honorable Condoleezza Rice) took his words out of context and made it sound like he said it. Even you are doing it. Since his use of the word "build" was not refering to the businesses, when anyone (including you) says that "We did build that business" they (and you) are implying that Obama said that they didn't.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

It also seems to assume that the person who is successful somehow did not pay his part of the money for the road, etc. Successful people pay more taxes.
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Fine, then say it that way. As I said to gfrew, why does the GOP feel the need to twist the words and use them out of context rather than intelligently discuss the actual meaning of the words?
If I'm undecided and one party treats me more like an idiot than the other and I know that they are essentailly lying to me about something the other candidate said, I'm more apt to vote against them out of revenge. Treat me like an intelligent person, convince me with facts, not sensationalism, and they're more apt to sway me to their side.
If you come to me and say "This is what he said and this is what that really means..." then we can have an intelligent conversation about the meaning behind the words. However, if you come to me and say "This is what he said ..." and I can go to the video tape and find out in no uncertain terms that he didn't say it, you've lost any credibility that you had.
That's what the GOP is doing: They claiming that Obama said they didn't build their businesses when most of know that he never said that. They only reason that they can even do that is merely because of the way Obama structured his sentence, pausing at the wrong time and allowing that phrase to be extracted into it's own sound bite. It's not quite as bad as altering the actual tape, but it's pretty close.
I wonder how many people who cheer at variations of that line time after time at the RNC actually think to themselves privately, "Of course, he never really said that, but I'm not going to bring that up here."
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It's not clear to me exactly what he was referring to when he said those words. It may not even have been clear to Obama himself. But he said it in the context of minimizing people having gotten to where they are by their own actions, their own hard work. He specifically said that people didn't become successful by working hard or being smarter. So why should we believe he was referring to roads being the thing people didn't build instead of the business itself?

They are *not* out of context. In the sentences immediately before it he dismissed hard work and being smart as components of success:
"They know they didnt -look, if youve been successful, you didnt get there on your own. You didnt get there on your own. Im always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there.
If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If youve got a business. you didnt build that. Somebody else made that happen."
Now you can say he was only referring to roads and bridges. But the alternate interpretation fits in very well with the overall message. And it's consistent with similar messages we've heard from him time and time again.

The problem is that in the case of what I said, if you go back all you have to do is look at a sentence or two before it and you can see it was a sarcastic remark and my actual position is 100% opposite. In the case of what Obama said, when you look at it in context it's right there in black and white that he was in fact diminishing individual accomplishment, hard work, being smart, as components of success. That leaves one wondering what he really was referring to. And as I said, just like with Joe the Plumber, I say you had a glimpse into the real Obama. It was very easy for him to say "You didn't build that" because it's consistent with his beliefs. And even if you claim that it's only the roads and bridges that he's referring to, the rest of that whole section of speech is just about as bad.
We should have a president whe celebrates people who work hard. We should ahve a president who celebrates people who are smart. We should have a president who celebrates people who are successful, instead of tearing them down.

Yes, because again an examination of a sentence or two before what I said shows that my actual position is 100% opposite that one sentence and that the one sentence was sarcastic. In the case of Obama, what proceeded it leads one to conclude that he may very well have meant that you didn't actually build the business.
I've seen many things where politicians take something totally out of context. IMO, this case is not one of them.
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wrote:

If you truly believe what you wrote, then it's interesting that one side of the political spectrum and media has no problem interpreting Obama's meaning as to what was built as being the roads and bridges while the other side can't.
We've heard from one side over and over again that he was referring to the roads and bridges, yet all we hear from the other is the out-of- context phrase as they associate it with one business or another.
If the GOP is so sure that he meant the successful people didn't build their businesses, why don't they use the preceeding sentences in their ads and speeches and discuss the entire issue? Why did they take that convenient pause as the place to extract the soundbite and play it over and over again, consistantly claiming that Obama said "You didn't build that business"?
It's not that we really need an answer to those questions since we all know that it's simply for politcal gain.
P.S. If you were being really honest with yourself, I'm sure that you would see that it's really not all that hard to be 100% sure that Obama was talking about the roads and bridges if you have no other motive or need to believe otherwise.
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wrote:

Then you should shut the fuck up.

Because that's what he said, nitwit, to wit:

Learn English. -----
- gpsman
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Perhaps it's Obama that should learn English because he's the one that said those words that are open to multiple interpretations, not me. One would think if he were referring bact to those roads and bridges, in plain English he would have said "If you've got a business, you didn't build those", or "If you've got a business, you didn't build those roads and bridges", not "If you've got a business, you didn't build that".
Even if he was referring to the roads and bridges, it's still despicable. He was dismissive of hard work as being a component of success. Then he was dismissive of being smart as a component of success. And assuming the version you choose to believe, he was dismissive of all the effort that went into building a business because the business uses public roads and bridges. Instead of celebrating all the hard work and sacrifices that people who have built businesses have made, he's crowing about the roads the govt built and diminishing what the individual did. THAT is classic Obama, not some one time slip of words.
If that's what you want to hear from your president and you're happy with him, go ahead and vote for him again in November. But don't get all pissed off just because others here aren't going to buy his crap.
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wrote:

False premise. All words are subject to infinite misinterpretation by the stupid.
The "I can't read so you're stupid" defense is invalid. -----
- gpsman
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I can read and I say they can be interpreted BOTH ways. Given all the anti-business venom Obama has spewed, I say it's quite possible even Obama himself didn't know exactly what he was or was not referring to. But you, well because you're obviously an Obama ass kisser, YOU claim to know for sure. Either that or you're clairvoyant.
Where is your outrage over the rest of what Obama said in that same speech that isn't open to interpretation? Where he's dismissive of hard work and being smart as key components of success? Where is your outrage to the cancer ad, claiming Romney killed a woman, because she died of cancer after her husband was laid off at a company Bain Capital invested in? The woman died 6 years after Romney had left to run the Olympics, 4 years after the husband lost his job, 2 years after her own health care coverage from another job went away, and 3 weeks after she first sought medical treatment.
Where is your outrage to Obama claiming that Romney had "secret" Swiss bank accounts. Joe Biden made that lie again, just yesterday. The Republican convention was full of ideas, promises, and the day after, instead of addressing the real problems, what to do with the next 4 years, what Obama's plans are, Biden is lying about Romney's "secret" Swiss bank accounts.
Why is your outrage so selective?
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wrote:

There's little evidence to suggest your capability rises above the 3rd grade level.

Irrelevant. Only one way is even plausible to those who can read.
To purport Obama took to the stage to assert that people did not build their businesses is obviously a preposterous straw man.
If you actually believe your "interpretation" of "You didn't build that", you're just stupid. O b v i o u s l y. -----
- gpsman
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Nice, real nice. Clearly you're debating tactics equal those of Obama. You have no case, so instead of addressing the specifics, you just attack.
Where is your outrage over the pro Obama cancer ad?
Where is your outrage over the Obama/Biden lies about Romney having "secret" Swiss bank accounts? Biden made that very lie just yesterday.
No, your outrage is very selective. And instead of answering the above questions, you just start with the personal attacks. Fits right in with Obama's methods.

Now, what you just put forth is the only strawman here. Neither I nor anyone in this thread said he took the stage with that speific purpose in mind. But what he then said sure can be interpreted that way. And it's not unreleastic in that just before it he slams success. He denies the connection between hard work and success. He denies the connection between being smart and success. He's been anti-business since day one. For example, even before being elected he promised to bankrupt the coal energy producers. He slams the drug companies, the oil companies, wall street, blocks the Keystone pipline, allows the LAbor Dept to block Boeings new billion dollar plant in SC that employes thousands..... So, why are we now suddenly supposed to give him the benefit of the doubt that it wasn't just another attack at business that so easily slipped from his lips?
Again, you can continue to believe in him, but that doesn't mean the rest of us have to.

Again, tactics consistent with Obama and those that can't argue the facts, so they lie and attack personally.
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