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Double Check: Fact Checking Day 3 of the Democratic National Convention

Double Check: Fact Checking Day 3 of the Democratic National Convention

Photo: Lorie Shaull

Here's Logically's round-up of fact checks from another big day of political events.

 

The DNC dropped 'under God' from the Pledge of Allegiance.

Misleading

On August 19, 2020, the Christian Broadcasting Network, a Christian religious television network, reported that the words 'under God' were left out of the Pledge of Allegiance at least twice at public meetings during the Democratic National Convention. The claim refers to a furore from 2012, where two delegates, Dr. Marisa Richmond and AJ Durrani, skipped the phrase during the pledge of allegiance.

The omission of the phrase by two delegates eight years ago cannot be equated with the DNC intentionally skipping the words 'under God' in the Pledge of Allegiance, hence the claim is misleading.

Read the full fact check here.

 

Donald Trump called climate change a hoax.

True

In January 2020, Donald Trump said that 'nothing's a hoax' about climate change, and it's a very serious subject. In 2019, Trump also said that he is 'very much into climate change' and considers himself an environmentalist. 

This is a departure from his past opinions. In 2012, Trump posted a couple of messages on Twitter that asserted that climate change was a hoax that China had devised to secure an unfair trade advantage, presumably because the Obama administration was seeking to curb coal consumption in the United States. He has also previously called climate change 'mythical' and 'nonexistent.' On December 6, 2013, Trump tweeted that 'it is freezing in Los Angeles and global warming is an expensive hoax.' He later tweeted on December 15, 2013, that 'scientists call it climate change now because the words global warming didn't work anymore.' 

While he may have contradicted the statement at a later juncture, it's certainly true that Donald Trump has called climate change a hoax.

Read the full fact check here.

 

Trump asked followers to boycott Goodyear tires.

True

An employee shared an image of a slide presented during a diversity training in the company showing what's acceptable and what isn't as part of Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company's zero-tolerance policy. Black Lives Matter (BLM), Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride were acceptable. Whereas Blue Lives Matter, All Lives Matter, MAGA Attire, and political affiliated slogans or material were unacceptable. The photo went viral on social media. 

In response, Trump posted a tweet asking his followers to boycott Goodyear tires. He elaborated on his stance at a news briefing where he accused the company of playing politics.

Read the full fact check here.

 

Joe Biden introduced one of the first climate bills in Congress.

True

While serving as a senator for Delaware, Joe Biden had introduced the Global Climate Protection Act of 1987 on January 29, 1987. According to a document available on the U.S. government publishing office portal, which contains the official records of the proceedings of the Senate on that day, the Global Climate Protection Act was 'A bill to initiate a United States strategy and to further multilateral action, in response to the problem of global warming; to the Committee on Governmental Affairs.' The bill was not passed.

Before that, on December 16, 1985, Democratic Senator Al Gore introduced a non-binding concurrent resolution - a non-binding legislative measure – which requested the President to establish a cooperative international research program concerning the greenhouse effect of increased concentration of carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases in the Earth's atmosphere. It was referred to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. A resolution is not a bill, however, hence Joe Biden was the first to introduce a climate change bill in Congress.

Read the full fact check here.

Joe Biden has taken on the NRA twice and won.

Partly true

During the DNC, it was claimed that Joe Biden had beaten the National Rifle Association (NRA) twice. He previously made a similar claim in a TV ad. 

Two pieces of legislation highlight Biden's history concerning gun violence. As a senator in 1993, Biden helped pass the federal background checks law, called the Brady background check bill, that still stands today. The year after, in 1994, Biden helped write the crime bill, which included a 10-year assault weapons ban.

Read the full fact check here.

 

DNC ratings for the second night plummeted by 48% from 2016.

True

The Democratic National Convention drew 6.13 million viewers on broadcast television networks, a 48% drop from the second night of DNC from 2016. Despite this, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden's spokesperson, T.J. Ducklo, tweeted on August 18, that digital views were up from 2016. With many people viewing the convention on different digital platforms, TV viewership is not the only measurement of audience numbers anymore.

Read the full fact check here.

Joe Biden is in favour of cancelling student debt.

Misleading

Joe Biden will make tuition debt-free for those who attend two years of community college or high-quality training programs. Students who do want a bachelor's degree could then transfer to a four-year school, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority-Serving Institutions. Going to a community college or a high-quality training program before will halve their tuition costs for obtaining a four-year degree by transferring those credits to a four-year college or university. 

Biden will make public colleges and universities tuition-free for all families with incomes below $125,000. Under Biden's administration, individuals making $25,000 or less per year will not owe any payments on their undergraduate federal student loans and also won't accrue any interest on those loans. Everyone else will pay 5% of their discretionary income (income minus taxes and essential spendings like housing and food) over $25,000 toward their loans. After 20 years, the remaining loans for people who have responsibly made payments through the program will be 100% forgiven.

Those working jobs in national or community service like teaching or non-profits would receive $10,000 student debt relief annually for up to five years for each year to stay in that vocational job. 

Read the full fact check here.

 

The Violence Against Women Act was written by Joe Biden.

True

Joe Biden, when he was the chair of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, proposed working on the bill because he was concerned about national attitudes about violence against women. He introduced the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) on June 20, 1990, and brought the issue of violence against women to the national stage. The legislation, co-authored by Rep. Louise Slaughter, a New York Democrat, was also backed by Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, a Utah Republican, and had the support of a coalition of women’s rights groups, including NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund. The legislation turned into a bill after four years, in 1994.

Read the full fact check here.

90 of the 105 women in the House are Democrats.

True

During the Day 3 of Democratic National Convention, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that there are 105 women in the House of Representatives, out of which 90 are Democrats. Four women delegates out of the 105 also represent American Samoa, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. A record 131 women currently serve in the 116th Congress, with 26 women in the Senate. According to a study titled 'Women in Congress: Statistics and Brief Overview' conducted by the Congressional Research Service that was updated on January 15, 2020, there are 90 Democrats and 15 Republicans in the DWC.

Read the full fact check here.

Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by 2.9 million votes but lost the election in 2016.

True

Donald J. Trump won the Electoral College with 304 votes compared to 227 votes for Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton had outpaced Donald Trump by almost 2.9 million votes, with 65,844,954 (48.2%) to his 62,979,879 (46.1%). A report published by the Pew Research Center stated 'the mismatch between the electoral and popular votes came about because Trump won several large states such as Florida, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin by very narrow margins, gaining all their electoral votes in the process, even as Clinton claimed other large states such as California, Illinois and New York by much wider margins.'

Read the full fact check here.


The Recovery Act jumpstarted the longest stretch of job growth in U.S. history.

True

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 was a stimulus package signed into law by former President Barack Obama in February 2009 to resuscitate the economy after the Global Financial Crash. 

According to Total Nonfarm data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job growth phase began in February 2010. The trend continued uninterrupted until February 2020, following which unemployment rates kept climbing because of the coronavirus pandemic. The BLS’s datasets date back to 1939, and this is the longest period of consecutive months of job growth. 

Read the full fact check here.

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