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Fact Checkers Ding Romney On A Few Familiar Points

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney on Thursday at the Republican National Convention in Tampa.
Spencer Platt
Getty Images
Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney on Thursday at the Republican National Convention in Tampa.

Among the things the Republican Party's presidential candidate is hearing this morning about the address he gave Thursday night is that "in a speech heavy on anecdotal history but short on policy details, Mitt Romney avoided major falsehoods."

Not exactly a ringing endorsement, but that analysis from the nonpartisan is cheery compared to what the organization said about the acceptance speech that GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan gave to the Republican National Convention on Wednesday. It contained "several false claims and misleading statements," FactCheck concluded. (We rounded up the morning-after fact checks of Ryan's speech here and here.)

Still, as with nearly all speeches given by candidates from both major parties, the fact checkers are finding fault with some of the things Romney said at the close of the GOP convention in Tampa:

-- is giving Romney its "pants on fire" rating for saying that President Obama began his term in office with "an apology tour." According to PolitiFact, "a review of Obama's foreign travels and remarks during his early presidency showed no evidence to support such a blunt and disparaging claim." It has flagged Romney for that "apology tour" claim before, as have other fact checkers.

-- Romney said "let me make this very clear unlike President Obama, I will not raise taxes on the middle class." The Associated Press writes that, "Obama has enacted several laws that could raise taxes for some middle-class families. Other Obama laws, however, have reduced taxes for many more such families."

-- President Obama, according to Romney, has cut $716 billion from Medicare that will "both hurt today's seniors, and depress innovation." But The Washington Post's Fact Checker says "the savings mostly are wrung from health-care providers, not Medicare beneficiaries — who, as a result of the health-care law, ended up with new benefits for preventive care and prescription drugs." Romney's Medicare comment is another one that's been called false before.

--, while saying Romney avoided major falsehoods, does say: "We found a few bits of exaggeration and puffery. He exaggerated the loss in family income that has occurred under Obama, for example, including 13 months of losses that actually occurred before the president took office. And he made a back-handed accusation that Obama has raised taxes on middle-class taxpayers, when in fact the president has lobbied for and signed several temporary reductions."

As we said at the top, though, the fact checkers aren't issuing alarming alerts about what Romney said. And they're also noting some of the claims he made that are very true. The AP, for instance, writes:

"Romney: 'President Obama promised to slow the rise of the oceans and to heal the planet.'

"The Facts: Really?

"Yes, pretty much.

"In a June 2008 speech marking his victory in the Democratic primaries, Obama said generations from now, 'we will be able to look back and tell our children that ... this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.' "

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Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.