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Fact Check Friday: Republican National Convention Rhetoric

Mitt Romney at the Republican National Convention in Tampa - Aug 30, 2012 and Rep. Paul Ryan at the Republican National Convention in Tampa - Aug 29, 2012 (credit: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/GettyImages)

Mitt Romney at the Republican National Convention in Tampa – Aug 30, 2012 and Rep. Paul Ryan at the Republican National Convention in Tampa – Aug 29, 2012 (credit: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/GettyImages)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - It’s Fact Check Friday, when we put the Presidential campaign ads under the scrutiny of factcheck.org, a nonpartisan non-profit part of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

LISTEN: WCBS 880′s Deborah Rodriguez Checks The Facts


Today, WCBS 880′s Deborah Rodriguez spoke with Rob Farley, Deputy Managing Editor for factcheck.org. He joined Rodriguez via telephone from Tampa, site of the Republican National Convention, which just wrapped up Thursday night.

They began with Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who gave his acceptance speech Thursday night.

“Unlike President Obama, I will not raise taxes on the middle class of America,” Romney said.

Fact or not?

“That’s not fact,” Farley told Rodriguez. “President Obama has actually enacted a number of targeted tax cuts, temporary tax cuts. You may remember the ‘Making Work Pay’ tax cut funded through the stimulus. It was about $400 or $800 for individuals or couples and then when that expired, there was another payroll tax cut. It worked to up to $2,200 a year. What Romney is talking about there is the health care law and in the future, if folks can afford insurance and don’t [purchase it], they have a mandate they have to, or they will be subject to a tax. A tax, so says the Supreme Court, and that could be anywhere up to $660 in 2016. There are about three million people that would be subject to that tax. That’s what he’s talking about there.”

Then they talked about Rep. Paul Ryan, Romney’s running mate.

At the convention on Wednesday night, he spoke about the General Motors plant that closed in his home town in Wisconsin.

“My home state voted for President Obama. When he talked about change, many people liked the sound of it, especially in Janesville, where we were about to lose a major factory,” Ryan said.

Did they, in fact, lose a factory under President Barack Obama’s tenure?

“No, they didnt,” Farley said. “He said during the speech, they were closed within the year. It did close within the year. It closed a month before Obama took office and it was under the George W. Bush administration. It was about 1,200 layoffs. Now there was a skeleton crew that continued on into the Obama administration to finish up an order on some SUVs. But by and large, the factory closed, the assembly plant closed in that month before Obama even took office.”

Rodriguez also asked what we heard from Obama himself this week.

“You know, Obama was campaigning, but our efforts were so focused on the Republican convention, we’ll be up next week giving all our full fact checking attention to the Democrats… when it’s their turn,” Farley said.