Tahlequah Daily Press

Get the scoop!

October 23, 2012

Fact checking the final debate

WASHINGTON — Foreign policy is generally a difficult area to fact-check - differences can be more of opinions than numbers - but that did not stop President Obama and Mitt Romney from making questionable claims:

               

"Just a few weeks ago, you said you think we should have more troops in Iraq right now. . . . You said that we should still have troops in Iraq to this day."

 — Obama

               

"There was an effort on the part of the president to have a status-of-forces agreement, and I concurred in that and said that we should have some number of troops that stayed on. That was something I concurred with."

— Romney

               

Romney has the better part of this argument. Here's what he said in his Oct. 8 Virginia Military Institute speech: "America's ability to influence events for the better in Iraq has been undermined by the abrupt withdrawal of our entire troop presence. The president tried - and failed - to secure a responsible and gradual drawdown that would have better secured our gains."

Romney did not technically say that troops should still be in Iraq. And he is correct: Obama did try to extend a status-of-forces agreement that had been originally signed by the Bush administration, but he could not get a deal with the Iraqi government that would have given U.S. forces immunity from prosecution under Iraqi law. So now Obama stresses the fact that he removed all troops from Iraq, while knocking Romney for supporting what he originally hoped to achieve.

               

"When the students took to the streets in Tehran and the people there protested, the Green Revolution occurred, for the president to be silent I thought was an enormous mistake."

— Romney

               

Romney said Obama was "silent" on the protests in Iran, but that is not quite correct.

The president's response was initially muted - in part out of caution and in part because he was preserving the ability to relaunch negotiations over Iran's nuclear program. In that country's complex political system, the president is not the key figure. Instead, it is the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, a religious leader.

On June 13, 2009, Iran announced that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had won reelection in a landslide victory, prompting mass protests from supporters of the main opponent, Mir Hossein Mousavi.

On June 15, with the protests becoming the largest since the 1979 Iranian revolution, Obama spoke: It is "up to Iranians to make decisions about who Iran's leaders will be," he said, adding that "I am deeply troubled by the violence that I've been seeing on television."

The president toughened his stance a week later, on June 23, after more violence erupted: "I strongly condemn these unjust actions, and I join with the American people in mourning each and every innocent life that is lost."

               

Obama "said by now we'd be at 5.4 percent unemployment. We're 9 million jobs short of that."

— Romney

               

Romney likes to say that Obama promised to lower the unemployment rate to 5.4 percent by 2012. But it is not as simple as that.

Romney is citing a 14-page report, written by two Obama aides before Obama took the oath of office, concerning a theoretical stimulus bill. It was not an official government assessment or even an analysis of an actual plan that had passed Congress.

Still, the administration later cited the report in congressional testimony, giving it an official imprimatur. So, while Obama officials may not have "pledged" such a goal, it was certainly one of the administration's talking points.

               

"With respect to what we've done with China already, U.S. exports have doubled since I came into office."

 — Obama

               

 The president has set a goal of doubling U.S. exports by 2014, but he seems to be getting ahead of himself. Exports of goods to China went from $89 billion in 2008 to $103 billion in 2011, according to the Census Bureau.

               

 "I would say that ships that carry Iranian oil can't come into our ports."

  — Romney

               

This is a puzzling statement. No Iranian oil is coming into the United States, and none has come here for quite some time. Ronald Reagan signed an executive order in 1987 banning all U.S imports from Iran, and President Bill Clinton in 1995 banned all U.S. participation in Iranian petroleum development.

               

               

"I said if I got [Osama] bin Laden in our sights I would take that shot; you said we shouldn't move heaven and Earth to get one man."

-Obama

               

The Obama campaign has made far too much out of this ancient comment.

Romney made this statement in a 2007 interview with the Associated Press: "It's not worth moving heaven and Earth and spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person."

But Obama has ignored the rest of the interview, in which the AP quoted Romney as saying he "supports a broader strategy to defeat the Islamic jihad movement." Just a few days later, Romney expanded on his remarks during a debate:

"We'll move everything to get him. But I don't want to buy into the Democratic pitch that this is all about one person - Osama bin Laden - because after we get him, there's going to be another and another. . . . This is a worldwide jihadist effort to try and cause the collapse of all moderate Islamic governments and replace them with a caliphate."

               

"Syria is Iran's only ally in the Arab world. It's their route to the sea."

               _ Romney

               

Romney says this a lot, but it is an unusual statement, considering that Syria shares no border with Iran - Iraq and Turkey are in the way - and that Iran has about 1,500 miles of coastline along the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, leading to the Arabian Sea.

Tehran certainly uses Syria to supply the militant groups Hezbollah and Hamas, but that has little to do with the water. The relationship with Syria could also effectively allow Iran to project its power to the Mediterranean and the border with Israel.

 

1
Text Only
Get the scoop!
  • CATS-DOGS281.jpg Where cats are more popular than dogs in the U.S.-and all over the world

    We all know there are only two types of people in the world: cat people and dog people. But data from market research firm Euromonitor suggest that these differences extend beyond individual preferences and to the realm of geopolitics: it turns out there are cat countries and dog countries, too.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • 'Rebel' mascot rising from the dead

    Students and alumni from a Richmond, Va.-area high school are seeking to revive the school's historic mascot, a Confederate soldier known as the "Rebel Man," spurring debate about the appropriateness of public school connections to the Civil War and its icons.

    July 28, 2014

  • HallofFameBraves.jpg Hall of Fame adds businesslike Braves, Frank Thomas, managers La Russa and Torre

    Atlanta Braves pitchers Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, and their manager, Bobby Cox, dominated much of baseball during the 1990s. This weekend they went into the Hall of Fame together.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • wd saturday tobias .jpg Stranger’s generosity stuns Ohio veteran

    Vietnam War veteran David A. Tobias was overwhelmed recently when a fellow customer at an OfficeMax store near Ashtabula, Ohio paid for a computer he was purchasing.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • How spy agencies keep their 'toys' from law enforcement

    A little over a decade ago, federal prosecutors used keystroke logging software to steal the encryption password of an alleged New Jersey mobster, Nicodemo Scarfo Jr., so they could get evidence from his computer to be used at his trial.

    July 26, 2014

  • Brother sues W.Va. senator over business loan

    U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin's brother claims he's owed $1.7 million that he loaned to keep a family carpet out of bankruptcy in the 1980s.

    July 26, 2014

  • Lynette Rae Sampson.jpg Say what?: Woman arrested after calling EPD to complain her meth was ‘laced’

    A 54-year-old Enid woman is facing felony drug charges after allegedly calling police earlier in the week and telling them she thought her methamphetamine was laced with something. Woman to officer: "I'm glad you came."

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Facebook continues moneymaking trend

    Facebook seems to have figured out - for now at least - the holy grail for all media right now: how to make money selling mobile ads.

    July 25, 2014

  • Russia's war on McDonald's takes aim at the Filet-o-Fish

    Russia said earlier this week that it had no intention of answering Western sanctions by making it harder for Western companies to conduct business in Russia.
    But all bets are off, apparently, when you threaten the Russian waistline.

    July 25, 2014

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Inequality crisis shot with factual problems, hypocrisy

    President Obama, various media and political liberals say inequality, of all things, is the defining issue of our times. Yet this message is delivered by multimillionaires and a president who jets from tee time to stump speech on the taxpayer's dime.
     

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • photo of oil tanks and fiberglass salt water tank.jpg Officials investigate oil-covered barn owls, dead birds

    “These birds got into a saltwater tank that was full. Most of it’s saltwater, but there’s the scum of oil on top of it. That’s the reason why the (Oklahoma) Corporation Commission and federal rules say that those tanks have to be covered." — Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation Major County Game Warden Lt. Frank Huebert

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Arizona's prolonged lethal injection is fourth in U.S. this year

    Arizona's execution of double-murderer Joseph Wood marked the fourth time this year that a state failed to dispatch a convict efficiently, according to the Constitution Project, a bipartisan legal group.3

    July 25, 2014

  • cleaning supplies Don't judge mothers with messy homes

    I was building shelves in my garage when a neighbor girl, one of my 4-year-old daughter's friends, approached me and said, "I just saw in your house. It's pretty dirty. Norah's mommy needs to clean more."

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Has the ipad lost its swag?

    July 25, 2014

  • Almost half of America's obese youth don't know they're obese

    The good news is that after decades of furious growth, obesity rates finally seem to be leveling off in the U.S.. The bad news is that America's youth still appear to be dangerously unaware of the problem.

    July 23, 2014

Poll

Do you believe school administrators and college presidents in Oklahoma are paid too much?

Strongly agree.
Somewhat agree.
Somewhat disagree.
Strongly disagree.
Undecided.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow
Stocks