Below is fact check summary of DNC speakers and their speeches, including President Obama, Democratic VP nominee Tim Kaine, current VP Joe Biden and former CIA Director Leon Panetta.
Obama Claim #1: “After a century of trying, we declared that health care in America is not a privilege for a few, but a right for everybody.”
Fact Check: Obama’s health care reform does indeed guarantee people with pre-existing medical conditions can no longer be denied health insurance. However, coverage is made an obligation for everybody, making the mandate highly unpopular. People must have coverage or face fines from the IRS.
Obama Claim #2: “By so many measures, our country is stronger and more prosperous than it was when we started.”
Fact Check: His statement must exclude the increase in household income, the factor people generally consider their most important measure of prosperity. The typical household now earns $57,206 a year, according to Sentier Research. That’s 2 percent higher than in June 2009, when the recession ended and six months into Obama’s term. (All figures are adjusted for inflation). But it has barely budged since it was $57,147 in December 2007, when the recession began.
Tim Kaine Claim #1: “You can go to HillaryClinton.com right now and find out exactly how she’ll make the biggest investment in new jobs in generations.”
Fact Check: Well, Kaine fails to mention Obama’s $814 billion 2009 stimulus as a factor, a curious omission for a Democrat. Obama’s stimulus was didn’t do much to aid the state and local governments. Clinton promises to spend $275 billion over five years on roads, bridges and other infrastructure.
Tim Kaine Claim #2: “I want to tell you why I trust Hillary Clinton. First, she’s consistent.”
Fact Check: Yeah, uh… no. Definitely not on the Trans-Pacific Partnership. She promoted the deal as the “gold standard” of trade agreements when she was secretary of state, then rejected it as a candidate who was facing a stiff contest from Bernie Sanders, who consistently opposed the deal. Clinton hasn’t been consistent in her explanations of why she had her own email server as secretary of state, evidently manipulating her story as investigations revealed more about her email practices. That issue has contributed to public distrust of Clinton. She’s also flip flopped on marriage equality.
Tim Kaine Claim #3: “She’ll make it possible to graduate from college debt-free.”
Fact Check: Gross exaggeration. Hillary Clinton’s plans may reduce costs, but a plethora of students would still have to borrow. She has proposed that families who earn less than $125,000 a year will be able to go to in-state colleges and universities tuition-free. That’s if the plan can effectively get off the ground. If it does, it doesn’t include the fact many students would still have to pay for room and board, which can make up at least half the cost of attending college.
Joe Biden Claim: “I know Trump’s trying to be tough but he’s going to go out and carpet bomb. You want to make friends and influence people in the Middle East? So you’re going to go carpet bomb innocent people and bad people at the same time, and that’s going to help us fight against ISIS?”
Fact Check: False! Donald Trump never said that, actually. It was Trump’s former Republican rival, Ted Cruz, who said repeatedly he would carpet bomb Islamic State targets. Carpet bombing risks killing large numbers of innocent civilians due to its indiscriminate nature. Trump has indeed talked tough about ISIS, vowing to “bomb the hell” out of the group, level the oil facilities it controls and “blow up every single inch, there would be nothing left.” But he did not call for carpet bombing; Biden put Cruz’s words in Trump’s mouth.
Leon Panetta Claim: “Hillary Clinton is the only candidate who has laid out a comprehensive plan to defeat and destroy ISIS and keep America safe.”
Fact Check: Any 6th grader with a decent education can tell you Clinton’s plan is anything but comprehensive. Her bare bones three-part strategy, as described in November, involves crushing ISIS “on its home turf” in the Middle East, disrupting terrorist infrastructure on the ground (and online), and protecting America and its allies. Obama’s anti-ISIS strategy is the same thing… and look how well that’s worked out. None of the three steps address the biggest gaps in the U.S.-led response to the Islamic State over the last two years, such as the lack of effective local troops to defeat IS in Syria.
At what point should U.S. ground troops step in? What levels of civilian deaths are acceptable? How exactly does she propose to end Iraq’s age-old Shiite-Sunni divisions? Clinton’s remained silent and mum on those questions (Trump hasn’t). She’s expounded further, but mostly to reject suggestions by Trump and other Republicans.