Well, supposedly, they told tall tales ranging from itsy bitsy white lies to great big ol' whoppers. At least, that's what everyone from fact checkers to their opponents are saying.
McClatchy-Tribune News Service (MCT)
The following editorial appeared in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Sunday, Sept. 9:
They lied. They fibbed. They cast aspersions. They distorted records. They told tall tales ranging from itsy bitsy white lies to great big ol' whoppers.
Ain't politics great?
Former President Bill Clinton lamented that "democracy does not have to be a blood sport," but then proceeded to stretch the truth about the Democrats' rival and GOP nominee former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
And Romney, no slouch, peppered his own acceptance speech with statistics and claims that were a little tough to swallow.
Here are a few of our favorites culled from the convention speeches (a tip of the hat to PolitFact, FactCheck.org and The Fact Checker at the Washington Post):
"Gasoline prices have doubled" since President Barack Obama was inaugurated. True. Except that gas prices were extraordinarily depressed because of the Great Recession in January of 2009 when Obama placed his hand on the Bible. The average price for regular gasoline was $3.84 last week, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reports. Prices were averaging $1.84 the week Obama took office. What Romney didn't bother to say: Gas prices topped four bucks a gallon in the summer of 2008.
"Unlike President Obama, I will not raise taxes on the middle class."
Except, Obama hasn't raised taxes. He has cut them. FactCheck.org points out that Obama pushed for the Making Work Pay Tax Credit, which channeled up to $400 to individuals earning up to $75,000. And, of course, he pushed to temporarily cut the payroll tax to fund Social Security benefits from 6.2 percent to 4.2 percent.
... And we're not going to get into the Wisconsin congressman's marathon times or how many "fourteeners" (as in 14,000-foot mountains) he has climbed. His political statements leave us with quite enough fodder.
Maybe they didn't tell you that because it's not true? Glenn Kessler, who runs The Fact Checker at The Washington Post notes that "it is highly misleading to use the phrase 'bankrupt.'?"
Kessler writes that the payroll tax, which funds the trust fund for Medicare Part A, could pay most estimated expenses for many years. Is Medicare in trouble long term? Absolutely.
But Biden was stretching the truth in his attempt to carve up the Ryan plan, which features means-tested premium supports for recipients to buy coverage from a menu of options, including the traditional Medicare program. Thus, another Biden claim that "they're not preserving Medicare at all," also rings hollow.
But by any reasonable accounting, Obama's budget doesn't reduce the deficit by $4 trillion. Obama disingenuously counts $1 trillion in cuts already agreed upon. And he's counting a mythical $848 billion in "savings" from winding down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan - claiming to "save" money he never figured to spend. Simpson-Bowles, on the other hand, lays out real spending cuts and real tax reform.
These are just the highlights. To think it's only September. We have two months to go.
Distributed by MCT Information Services.