Mitt Romney accepted the Republican nomination for president Thursday night in Tampa, Fla., and while most of the speech that followed focused on his personal story and a vague lament for the troubled U.S. economy, he also made some very specific claims about President Obama's record and his own plans, if elected 66 days from now.
Here's a closer look at some of Romney's more contentious assertions.
|'At a time when nobody thought we'd ever see a new steel mill built in America, we took a chance and built one in a corn field in Indiana. Today, Steel Dynamics is one of the largest steel producers in the United States.'|
The Fort Wayne, Ind.-based steel company now employs about 6,000 employees. But it was not built by Bain Capital alone. Romney's private equity firm invested $18.2 million in the project, just as plans for the mill were being finalized in June 1994. That figure was more than doubled by state and county subsidies, adding up to more than $37 million. Bain was the U.S.-based company with the greatest stake in Steel Dynamics Inc., but it was bolstered by a friendly local government that, according to the Los Angeles Times, "also levied a new income tax to finance infrastructure improvements to benefit the steel mill over the heated objections of some county residents."
|'[President Obama's] policies have not helped create jobs, they have depressed them.'|
The effect of the president's economic policies on the jobs market is open to interpretation -- perhaps they've helped, perhaps they've hurt -- but the fact is that the private sector has been adding jobs, an estimated 4.5 million, for the past 29 consecutive months.
|'His $716 billion cut to Medicare to finance Obamacare will both hurt today's seniors, and depress innovation.'|
The now-famous $716 billion is not a "cut" to Medicare, in the sense that it does not take from the "trust fund" or reduce the amount of money available to beneficiaries. Rather, the Obama plan, like Paul Ryan's, puts caps on the amount the government will pay to health-care providers. And while some of those savings, which were codified in The Affordable Care Act, have been counted by the White House against the new costs incurred by health-care overhaul, there is no real connection; there are no dollar bills once marked "Medicare" that have been scrubbed clean and shifted to cover expenses under the Obama health care law.
|'And unlike the president, I have a plan to create 12 million new jobs.'|
If Mitt Romney were elected president in November, he is likely to oversee an economy that gains 12 million new jobs in the next four years. But, as Mark Hopkins, a senior analyst at Moody's told the Washington Post, "the baseline forecast is for payroll employment to increase by 12 million jobs from the start of 2013 to the end of 2016."
Of the Republican's plan, he says, "Romney is essentially promising no more jobs than we currently expect to gain under proposals similar to those advanced by the Obama administration."
|'[President Obama] abandoned our friends in Poland by walking away from our missile-defense commitment.'|
Here, Romney goes back to one poorly received comment he made during his star-crossed trip to Europe and the Middle East. Before he left in late-July, Romney, in a speech to the VFW, said Obama's actions in the region "began with the sudden abandonment of friends in Poland and the Czech Republic. They had courageously agreed to provide sites for our anti-missile systems, only to be told, at the last hour, that the agreement was off."
That didn't sit well with the Slovakian foreign minister and deputy prime minister, Miroslav Lajcak, who told The Wall Street Journal, "People have moved on. We are in a different situation now. We are discussing a different project. I see no reason to revisit discussions from three years back."
Lajcak was referring to the Obama administration's decision to tinker with the plan first put in place by President George W. Bush. Rather than plant missile bases in Poland and the Czech Republic, Obama has opted to build them aboard naval vessels and with the cooperation of all the NATO countries.