FACT CHECK: Romney's Republican nomination acceptance speech


by MARK WIGGINS / KVUE News and photojournalist ERIN COKER

Bio | Email | Follow: @MarkW_KVUE


Posted on August 31, 2012 at 5:51 PM

Updated Friday, Aug 31 at 8:01 PM

AUSTIN -- It was a big night for Mitt Romney, as the former Massachusetts governor officially accepted the GOP nomination for president at the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida.

Headlining Thursday's lineup in front of a national television audience, Romney opened opened his acceptance speech with what may have seemed like an equally big claim:

"For the first time, the majority of Americans now doubt that our children will have a better future," Romney said.

A national NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll conducted in May found 63 percent of adults said they're "not confident" the next generation will have a better life. The NBC/WSJ pollsters have been asking that question since at least 1992, when the percentage of those expressing doubts was 52 percent. Response has varied between 42 and 68 percent ever since, indicating a feeling of pessimism among Americans is true -- if not exactly new.

"President Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans and to heal the planet," Romney said in a jab that evoked laughter from the Republican audience. The truth?

After breaking the 1,144 delegate mark to mathematically clinch the Democratic presidential nomination, Obama wrapped up a speech to Democratic supporters in St. Paul, Minnesota on June 3, 2008 with this applause line:

"If we are willing to work for it and fight for it and believe in it, then I am absolutely certain that generations from now we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless. This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal."

Romney leveled several attacks on the president's economic policies. On taxes, Romney stated, "Unlike President Obama, I will not raise taxes on the middle class of America."

According to the non-partisan Tax Policy Center, under the Obama budget a small percentage (six to ten percent) of middle class households could pay between $20 and $70 a year more, but the vast majority would see tax cuts between $600 and $1,200. The TPC analysis found Romney's plan would offer similar cuts along with significant breaks for top income earners.

When it came to foreign policy, Romney had particularly hard words for the president:

"President Obama has thrown allies like Israel under the bus, even as he has relaxed sanctions on Castro's Cuba."

Romney explained the Israel line in a June 2011 interview on Fox News, in which he expressed disappointment in Obama's recommendations and handling of Israeli-Palestinian peace process. "The president, by insisting on the '67 borders, laid out what a bargaining position might be that perhaps the Israelis ought to take on, not America," Romney said. You can agree or disagree whether that counts as "under the bus."

As far as Cuba, in 2009 Obama eased travel and money restrictions on those with family members on the island and opened the door for U.S. information services like cell carriers to do business. While the act was aimed to erode Castro's support, the line about easing sanctions holds true.

"Let us begin that future for America tonight!" Romney wrapped up to loud applause Thursday.

Democrats will launch their national convention next week in Charlotte, South Carolina. President Obama will speak Thursday, and we'll be fact-checking him as well.

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