The speakers went too far in their claims on guns, Benghazi, coal jobs, Keystone and more.
CLEVELAND — The theme of the second night of the Republican convention was “Make America Work Again,” but the false and misleading claims we flagged touched on topics beyond the economy and jobs:
- Donald Trump Jr. distorted Clinton’s gun control proposal, claiming, as his father did, that she wants to “take away Americans’ guns.” Clinton’s gun control proposal doesn’t call for taking away guns.
- Two speakers claimed that Clinton paid women less than men in her Senate office. That’s true if one includes only workers who worked for Clinton full-time for a full year, but it’s not accurate if including workers who worked part of the year or took unpaid leaves of absences.
- Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson and former U.S. Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey both mentioned Clinton’s “what difference does it make” quote on Benghazi, but left out the context of that remark. Clinton didn’t say that the loss of life in Benghazi didn’t make a difference.
- Sens. Dan Sullivan of Alaska and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia took Clinton’s words on coal-mining jobs out of context. Capito said Clinton “promised to devastate communities and families across coal country.” But Clinton said she wants to bring renewable energy jobs to coal country to replace lost coal jobs.
- Capito used a one-sided report and back-of-the-envelope calculation to claim that “the burden of government regulations in this country amounts to $15,000 a household.” And she exaggerated the number of coal mining jobs that have been lost since 2011, putting the figure at 60,000, when it’s 36,700.
- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wrongly said that Clinton was for the Keystone XL pipeline before she was against it. She did not take a position until she opposed the pipeline in 2015.
- Capito also said the Obama “economic agenda” has led to “the lowest workforce participation in decades,” but the rate began its decline in the late 1990s and is due mainly to baby boomers retiring and other demographic factors. The unemployment rate, meanwhile, is below the historical norm.
- Sen. Jeff Sessions claimed that “respect for America has fallen,” but the U.S. is viewed more favorably in many countries now than it was before President Obama took office.
- Donald Trump Jr. also wrongly said that his father “funded his entire primary run out of his own pocket.” Trump provided about 73 percent of the funding, but not all of it.
Note to Readers
Our managing editor, Lori Robertson, is on the scene in Cleveland. This story was written with the help of the entire staff, based in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. Next week, we will dispatch our staffers in Philadelphia for the Democratic convention. We intend to vet the major speeches at both conventions for factual accuracy, applying the same standards to both.