Welcome to ThinkProgress’ primetime Tuesday coverage of the Republican National Convention. We’re here all night to fact check and debunk the claims of the GOP’s brightest stars. Here is our guide to Tuesday’s speakers.
11:04: CNN’s Erin Burnett was really moved by Mitt’s embrace of Ann at the end of her speech. “Her speech was just one of the many memorable moments and I have to say this Wolf, when he came out and her talking about the love for him, I had a tear in my eye and I think lot of people did,” she said. Watch it:
11:00: Christie mentioned “Mitt Romney” just 7 times during his speech, but said “I” 37 times.
10:53: Christie claimed that “Mitt Romney will tell us the hard truths we need to hear to end the torrent of debt.” Actually, Romney’s plan — which includes $10.7 trillion in tax cuts — would make the debt significantly worse.
10:49: Christie said “We believe it’s possible to forge bipartisan compromise and stand up for conservative principles.” Setting aside the internal incoherence, the hard right lurch of the Republican partyis responsible for the lack of bipartisan compromise.
10:49: Here is one actual hard “truth” Christie isn’t telling seniors: Mitt Romney’s policies would bankrupt Medicare more quickly, moving up its insolvency from 2024 to 2016.
10:48: Christie invokes anxiety over entitlement programs: “We know seniors not only want these programs to survive, but they just as badly want them secured for their grandchildren. Seniors are not selfish.” He’s right: a recent poll found 53 percent of Americans would raise taxes now rather than cut Social Security benefits for future generations.
10:47: Christie derided the “$5 trillion in debt added over the last four years.” He failed to note that Bush-era policies and the economic downturn that started under Bush’s watch are the biggest drivers of that debt.
10:44: Christie bragged about the tax cuts he’s passed since coming into office. As the Newark Star-Ledger put it, “Here are the facts: The 16,000 families in New Jersey earning more than $1 millon will get an average tax break of $40,000 apiece under [Christie's] budget. At the same time, a single mom working for minimum wage will pay $300 more in state taxes.”
10:40: CNN is confirming that a Republican attendee was removed after throwing nuts at black CNN camerawoman. The delegate reportedly said, “this is how we feed animals.”
10:38: Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) is touting the fact that his dad went to a publicly funded university, on the publicly funded GI bill, and that his mom traveled on publicly funded transportation.
10:31: Mitt comes on stage and embraces Ann to the tune of “My Girl.”
10:30: Ann’s closing argument: “you can trust Mitt. He loves America. He will take us to a better place, just as he took me home safely from that dance.”
10:30: Ann Romney touts a scholarship program that Mitt initiated in Massachusetts as one of his successes. As the Boston Globe noted, the program actually “failed to make a difference” for Massachusetts students. Meanwhile, Romney/Ryan would cut Pell Grants for 1 million students.
10:25: Ann is taking umbrage that some are questioning Mitt’s business “success” — his calling card for the presidency. Mitt recently asked Obama to stop mentioning his business record or tax returns.
10:21: Though Ann just recited a touching story about how she and Mitt were “determined to be together,” her husband’s policies would keep same-sex couples from doing the same.
10:17: In another attempt to sympathize with these working mothers a few months ago, Ann said, “I love the fact that there are women out there who don’t have a choice and they must go to work and they still have to raise the kids.”
10:16: Ann has a very subtle message at this convention. Oprah Romney just shouted: “I LOVE YOU WOMEN!”
10:12: Ann Romney is the first to mention Hurricane Isaac, which has touched down in Louisiana. Unfortunately, in 2011, Republicans held federal disaster relief hostage and some are still vowing to use the storm to extract budget cuts if Congress wants to help victims.
10:07: Puerto Rico’s First Lady Luce Vela Fortuno brings up Ann Romney’s support for teen pregnancy prevention. In 1994, she donated $150 to Planned Parenthood.
10:01: Here’s the background on Haley’s attacks regarding the National Labor Relations Board’s case against Boeing for union-busting. As the Washington Post’s Steve Pearlstein wrote at the time, “given the public statements of Boeing officials, there is nothing radical about the NLRB’s decision.”
10:00: Haley had offered to personally drive anyone without a photo ID to get one. The problem is, it would take her over 7 years to drive every South Carolina resident to the DMV.
9:57: The crowd cheered when Haley touted the state’s voter ID law, which could disenfranchise minority voters. The law violates the Voting Rights Act.
9:56: Gov. Nikki Haley (R-SC) is Romney’s surrogate to the women’s vote, though she has consistently advocated for policies that undermine women’s health, including vetoing rape crisis center funding.
9:52: Davis repeats the lie about Obama gutting welfare requirement. Praises Clinton, who also says its a lie.
9:51: Davis describes Obamacare as a federal mandate that requires middle-class Americans to buy health insurance they can’t afford. The truth is, it’s a major tax cut:
9:48: Former Democratic Congressman Artur Davis’ (AL) recent conversion to the Republican Party has raised some eyebrows. The Congressional Black Caucus has written a letter challenging the former lawmaker: “Given the magnitude of your recent transformation, we can only conclude that, rather than a true conversion, your actions are the result of a nakedly personal and political calculation or simmering anguish after failing to secure the Democratic nomination for governor of the State of Alabama in 2010,” they write.
9:40: Cruz accuses Obama of dividing Americans and telling Latinos “we’re not welcome.” Cruz was hitting a different note during his campaign, when he boasted about his willingness to “execute an illegal alien.”
9:40: Cruz claims that we, as a nation, “are broke.” No, we’re not.
9:38: IRONY ALERT: Cruz quotes Martin Luther King Jr. even though he opposes the Voting Rights Act.
9:33: Ted Cruz, a former Texas Solicitor General and now a candidate for senate, once posted an article on his website claiming the United Nations and George Soros were coming for, among other things, America’s golf courses. He also seeks to more-or-less end Social Security as we know it.
9:28: Santorum touted the supposed benefits of the 1996 welfare reform law. But that law prevented aid from getting to families in poverty who needed it during the Great Recession:
9:26: The truth about the administration’s welfare waiver: it would strengthen work requirements by empowering states to innovate on strategies that could move 20 percent more of the caseload into sustainable employment. Republican and Democratic governors — and even Romney and Paul Ryan — have all promoted flexibility before Obama embraced it.
9:20: Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) has repeatedly criticized Mitt Romney for laying the groundwork for the president’s health care reform law and ran one of the most anti-gay campaigns in history. He even fundraised off of Obama’s endorsement of marriage equality by deeming it a “tragic day” in American history.
9:15: Small business owner Phil Archuletta’s speech contradicts tonight’s theme of “We Built It” and he’s complaining that his business was destroyed because he didn’t get enough federal government contracts! “When President Obama came on board and pushed the stimulus, I believed my business was going to explode with work,” he said. “Unfortunately, it never happened.” Watch it:
9:10: Gov. Brian Sandoval (R-NV) calls America “a nation of immigrants.” Romney was the most anti-immigrant candidate in an already harsh GOP primary field.
9:02: Walker has failed to keep his promises when it comes to job creation. In the chart below, the green line represents the pace of job creation Walker needs to attain, while the blue line is what’s actually happening:
8:51: McDonnell touted Virginia’s budget surpluses, but failed to mention that he has used significant amounts of federal money to achieve them, including funds from the Recovery Act (i.e. the stimulus).
8:48: Here is one thing McDonnell omits when he discusses the “immoral debt”: Bush’s policies, including two expensive wars, are actually the biggest cause of the national debt.
8:48: McDonnell describes the EPA as “the Employment Prevention Agency.” In reality, agency regulations have crated hundreds of thousands of jobs and saved tens of thousands of American lives.
8:35: The GOP played a video quoting President Obama’s “you didn’t build that” line, dishonestly cropping it to leave out the part where he said: “If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that.” Obviously, “that” refers to roads, bridges, and the education system.
8:33: Kasich brought up the time he played golf with President Obama, Vice President Biden, and Speaker Boehner. He left out that he was so nervous that Boehner said, “I thought John Kasich was going to cry.”
8:29: Kasich recalls the night the S&P credit agency downgraded America’s credit rating. S&P blamed the GOP’s resistance to compromise for the downgrade.
8:28: @SteveScully’s SPOILER ALERT: Mitt Romney will be “in the building tonight” for that surprise entrance on stage after Ann Romney.
8:27: Kasich called for the repeal of the estate tax, which the GOP derides as the “death tax,” falsely claiming that it affects farmers and small business owners. In reality, the estate tax is only paid by the richest one quarter of one percent of households in the country.
8:20: Jack Gilchrist is the owner of Gilchrist Metal Fabricating in New Hampshire and was the star of Romney’s first ad distorting Obama’s “you didn’t build that” quote. Gilchrist Metal actually received significant help in government small business loans and contracts adding up to over a million dollars.
8:18: With all the talk of the Obama administration raising taxes on small businesses, it’s worth remembering that exceedingly few small business owners will be affected by Obama’s proposals.
8:14: Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) accuses Obama of over-regulating businesses. In reality, Obama approved 613 new rules during his first 33 months, 4.7 percent fewer than Bush did in the same timespan.
8:08: Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), tonight’s host, has questioned if Obama was really born in Hawaii, saying she “would like to see the documents” verifying his birth certificate.
8:02: Valenzuela attacked the Obama administration for placing new burdens on small businesses. But Obama has signed 18 small business tax cuts into law. According to CNN Money, “the tax cuts were a lifeline for many small firms in a brutal economic downturn.”
8:00: Valenzuela claimed a Gallup poll found “nearly 50% of small businesses owners aren’t hiring because of what they call regulatory uncertainty.” Gallup actually concluded that concern about new government regulations was toward the bottom of the list of reasons business owners aren’t hiring – the top reason being a lack of need for employees.
7:55: Sher Valenzuela is a small business owner currently running for the lieutenant governor in Delaware. Her upholstery business received $17 million in federal loans and contracts and she offers detailed presentations about how businesses can secure more government work.
7:50: Actress Janine Turner continues with the foreignization of the president, claims that Obama is stifling the American Dream because it’s “not his dream.” His dream is “of a dependent people” “based upon the failed principles of antiquated governments.”
7:43: Love references Martin Luther King Jr. Today is the 49th anniversary of his “I Have A Dream” speech.
7:39: The Convention is playing a video of Mia Love, the mayor of Saratoga Springs, Utah, who is running for Congress. She has promised to join the Congressional Black Caucus if elected, but has accused the group of igniting “racism.”
7:28: Priebus continues the Romney campaign’s foreignizaiton of Obama, claims that the president “has a problem with the American Dream.”
7:26: Preibus employed the GOP tactic of claiming that Obama inherited a bad economy, but is “making things worse.” That’s false by basically every measurement.
7:23: Priebus says Romney created jobs in Massachusetts. The state ranked ranked 47th in the country in job growth under Romney.
7:22: RNC Chairman Reince Priebus thanks Tampa — the city with the nation’s highest rate of homelessness — for its “hospitality.”
7:20: Boehner reminds the audience of Paul Ryan’s long career in politics — he got his start in Boehner’s office as a college student.
7:19: Boehner claimed that Mitt Romney’s economic plan will balance the budget. But even Romney’s own advisers have no clue if Romney’s plan will actually achieve that goal. Paul Ryan, meanwhile, has said, “I don’t know exactly what the balance is. I don’t want to get wonky on you, but we haven’t run the numbers on that specific plan.”
7:15: Speaker Boehner (R-OH) used his favorite refrain — “where are the jobs?” — to attack the Obama administration. The private sector has added 4.5 million jobs during the last 29 months.
7:15 House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) opens primetime with a “guy walks into a bar” routine.
7:00: Herman Cain told Fox News that “the reason you do not have more black faces at this convention, they are working! They are not retired and they may not have the freedom to spend the time to try to go.”
6:58: A member of Mitt Romney’s Hispanic Steering Committee tells ThinkProgress that the candidate will reverse course on his campaign pledge to pursue an immigration strategy of “self-deportation.”
6:57: Earlier, former New Hampshire governor and Romney campaign co-chair John Sununu complains that the media “is obsessed with mother nature.”
6:55: Tuesday’s convention theme is “We Built This,” a riff off of President Obama’s claim that the government can help businesses succeed. Republicans have criticized the argument all summer and will poke fun at the president from a convention center built with tax-payer dollars. Two of tonight’s speakers run businesses that benefited from government contracts and grants and one even offered a detailed presentation about how businesses can secure more government work.