Welcome to ThinkProgress’ primetime Thursday 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 Thursday’s speakers.
11:40: Castellanos on Eastwood’s bizarre speech: “If you thought Republicans had a gender gap yesterday, wait until tomorrow.”
11:38: Former Romney adviser Alex Castellanos on CNN: “He didn’t answer the question that is on everybody’s mind, which is he didn’t offer anything new. He just wanted to go back to Bush. And at some point, Candy Crowley is going to be moderating a debate. Barack Obama is going to turn to MItt Romney and say, ‘here is what I want to know: you’ve said nothing new tonight.’”
11:30: The Romney campaign has issued a statement explaining that Eastwood’s performance “can’t be measured through a typical political lens.” Meanwhile, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) told CNN that the actor was “absolutely terrific.”
11:29: On CNN, former Reagan adviser David Gergen said Romney’s speech lacked substance. “If there were any tough choices laid out tonight, I didn’t hear them. I think they skirted that.”
11:36: Two people were escorted out of the convention hall holding Code Pink signs and one reading, “Democracy is not a business.”
11:25: Upworthy has the word cloud of Romney’s speech:
11:18: Fox News is describing Eastwood’s speech as “interesting” and “unique.” Those are two words for it.
11:17: More than 100,000 balloons are falling at the Republican National Convention, according to C-SPAN.
11:13: Romney is the second speaker tonight to refer to America as “These United States,” a formulation from the Nineteenth Century.
11:07: “President Obama promised to slow the rise of the oceans.” Big laugh line. It’s too bad Romney and most of the GOP delegates don’t believe in global warming.
11:07: Romney says he wouldn’t raise taxes on the middle class. But his plan would require it11:06: Romney pledges to “respect the institution of marriage,” by refusing to acknowledge the marriages of loving same-sex couples.
11:06: Romney believes Obama went on an apology tour — he didn’t.
11:06: Romney just promised to increase the deficit by $109 billion.
11:05: @MattYglesias points out that “Obama’s war on oil and gas has led to skyrocketing employment in the sector”:
11:04: Economists have characterized Romney’s job growth goal as “pretty close to what’s already expected.” Check out this Moody’s Analysis:
11:04: Why would anyone trust Romney’s job claims? While he was governor, Massachusetts was 47th in job creation.
11:04: Romney claims that he will create 12 million new jobs. In reality, the proposal would kill 360,000 jobs next year alone. For instance, the plan includes tax incentives for outsourcing that would actively undermine U.S. employment.
11:03: The $716 billion in Medicare cuts claim is back. It’s still false. 11:02: Obama is not raising taxes on small businesses. He plan to allow the Bush tax cuts to expire on income in excess of $250,000 would affect exceedingly few small businesses. The Joint Committee on Taxation estimated that the expiration would affect only three percent of individuals with any business income, from a business large or small.
11:01: Romney says Americans need jobs. Indeed. So far, the private sector has added 4.5 million jobs during the last 29 months.
11:00: Romney can’t whitewash Bain Capital’s record. Bain earned hundreds of millions of dollars off just four companies, while more than 6000 people their jobs in the process.
11:00: Romney’s campaign co-chair on July 17, 2012: “I wish this president would learn how to be an American.”
1100: Romney says we should “put aside the divisiveness and the recriminations.” Perhaps his campaign should stop making blatantly dishonest attacks and calling Obama a foreigner?10:54: Romney says Obama had “almost no experience working for a private business.” Ryan has even less.
10:52: Romney says that Americans turn to our communities and faiths for support, yet he supports immigration policies that would deport undocumented immigrants, separating them from their families and support systems.
10:50: Romney brags about choosing a female Lt. Governor in Massachusetts. But he neglected to mention that she admonished him for vetoing women’s health measures relating to cervical and breast cancer.
10:49: Romney is trying to whitewash his horrible record for women by bragging about all of the women he’s worked with. Remember when the Romney campaign didn’t know if he supported equal pay for women?
10:45: During Eastwood’s unscripted speech, Romney’s staff were wincing back stage, according to the AP.
10:44: Romney: “God bless Neil Armstrong!” Armstrong, of course, was a government employee who landed on the moon because of the work of brilliant government scientists employed by a government-run space program.
10:44: Romney was born in Michigan. Where nobody ever asked him for his birth certificate:
10:43: Romney says, “I wish President Obama had succeeded because I want America to succeed.” Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh — with whom Romney finds it “hard to disagree” — insisted in 2009: “I hope he fails.”
10:40: Romney talks about the Americans who are in debt and still paying back student loans. Rather than support government-backed student loans, Romney has told students to “borrow money if you have to from your parents.”
10:39: Romney tells tonight’s national audience: “We are a nation of immigrants.” But during the GOP primary in January he argued that America should make immigrants’ lives so miserable that they would choose to leave the country on their own.
10:38: As McClatchy reported in February 2010, the Republicans of the 111th Congress blocked virtually everything:
10:38: Romney claims that America came “together” after Obama’s election, ignoring the GOP’s orchestrated effort to filibuster and defeat Obama’s policies. Republicans held secret meetings to mount an “all-out resistance to a popular President-elect during an economic emergency.” As former Ohio Sen. George Voinovich (R) put it, “If he was for it, we had to be against it.”
10:35: Someone just yelled “No no no don’t touch me,” as Romney shook hands on his way to the podium.
10:32: Romney is making his way towards the stage, walking the red carpet. Shaking hands and hugging delegates.
10:30: In his memoir released in June, Rubio wrote that he would immigrate illegally “if my kids went to sleep hungry every night.” His comparatively moderate immigration positions put Rubio at odds with other anti-immigrant officials who are Romney advisers and supporters.
10:26: Rubio leans on his parents’ story as hardworking immigrants who came to the U.S. from Cuba, but he has had trouble remembering when they immigrated.
10:20: Rubio says people come to America to “get away” from policies like Obamacare and the Recovery Act.
10:19: Rubio blasts a stimulus that “created more debt than jobs.” The stimulus created 3.3 million jobs — while his first speech in the Senate was to endorse a bill to eliminate nearly 500,000.
10:15: Rubio is now introducing Mitt Romney. Earlier today, he told ABC’s George Stephanopolous that Romney would end the deferred action policy that protects DREAM Act-eligible young adults from deportation.
10:14: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) opens with a comment on Eastwood’s bizarre performance: “I think I just drank Clint Eastwood’s water.”
10:11: Eastwood to GOP Convention: “we own this country.” Here is the full video of his remarks:
10:10: “I never thought attorneys should be president,” Eastwood says. Romney has a dual law and business degree from Harvard.
10:08: Eastwood just mocked Obama for supporting the war in Afghanistan after 9/11 — seven years before he became president — noting that he didn’t ask Russia how their effort had gone there.
10:03: Eastwood is pretending to talk to Obama, criticizing him for the war in Afghanistan, and jokes, “Biden is the intellect of the Democratic party. Basically a grin with a body behind it.”
10:02: Eastwood agrees with the GOP on economic issues, but believes in global warming and has described his political evolution and support for equal marriage rights.
10:01: Eastwood narrated a Super Bowl ad in February celebrating the success of the Detroit auto bailout — a move Romney opposed, suggesting that we should have “let Detroit go bankrupt”. Karl Rove denounced the ad as “offensive.”
10:00: Clint Eastwood opens the network’s primetime coverage.
9:59: Romney saying he fell in love with America by visiting national parks. Which he now wants to open up to drilling.
9:57: A family video features George Romney, Mitt’s father, who also sought the Republican nomination for president. George set the president for releasing multiple years of tax returns, stating, “one year could be a fluke, perhaps done for show.”
9:48: Romney had Olympic pins made in his image:
9:44: When Romney “ran the Salt Lake City Olympics, he said he feared animal rights terrorists more than al-Qaida.”
9:32: Former Olympians take the stage to highlight Romney’s leadership during the 2002 Games. The Salt Lake City Olympics that Romney ran received $1.5 billion in government funds and cost taxpayers 1.5 times the combined inflation adjusted amount spent on all seven previous Olympics held in the United States.
9:30: Though he’s performing at the RNC, former American Idol Taylor Hicks declined to endorse Romney.
9:26: As a presidential candidate, Romney refuses to say whether he would have backed the Lilly Ledbetter act or the Paycheck Fairness Act to help women attain equal pay for equal work.
9:24: Jane Edmonds, Romney’s former Massachusetts workplace safety secretary, is touting his appointment of women to top positions in government. At that time, Romney also presented himself as a pro-choice governor with more moderate positions on women’s issues.
9:19: A video mentions the John and Abigail Adams scholarship fund, which Romney established. The program is supported by state funds.
9:17: Healey ends her review of Romney’s record as governor of Massachusetts without mentioning the administration’s greatest accomplishment: Romneycare.
9:16: Healey says creating jobs was Romney’s top priority as governor of Massachusetts, which doesn’t speak well of his skills at governance. Massachusetts ranked 47th in job growth under Governor Romney.
9:16: Healey disagrees with Romney on some issues: she supports civil unions, abortion rights, public funding for renewable energy, public lands, and comprehensive sex education.
9:13: Massachusetts Lt. Governor Healey lost her race for governor as Romney’s approval ratings fell to thelow 30s at the end of his term. During her failed campaign, Healey even criticized Romney’s administration for not doing enough to help small business.
9:07: A video is touting Bain Capital’s investment in Steel Dynamics, even though Romney didn’t “build that.” The government invested more than twice as much as Bain Capital did in the Indiana plant: $37 million from the government v. $18.2 million from Bain.
9:05: Staples has received tens of millions in government contracts, according to USASpending.gov — hardly a refutation of Obama’s point that businesses benefit from government.
9:05 Stemberg notes one failed business (Solyndra) that received stimulus funds in an effort to discredit the law. He ignores that it created or saved 3.3 million jobs.
9:01: Stemberg argues that Romney took an extraordinary risk on the company. But the reality is a little more complicated: Bain got in on the deal “once another major investor dove in first.”
9:00: Staples founder Tom Stemberg has warned of the grave threat to economy recovery and job creation: breastfeeding moms.
8:56: Romney is now touting his tenure at Bain. Multiple independent fact checkers have concluded that Romney’s claims on job creation at Bain are simply false and his former GOP adversaries had some sharp criticisms of his business record.
8:54: Bob White: Romney said a thousand Bain employees and their families depend on us and we can’t let them down. Here are some of the thousands of jobs that were lost because of Bain’s vulture capitalism.
8:50: Bob White is a former partner of Bain Capital and Romney adviser who led his 1994 Senate campaign, headed Romney’s transition team as Massachusetts governor, and chaired both of his presidential campaigns. It was White who encouraged Romney to not release his tax returns, saying that “you never release something that’s five hundred pages long or more till you understand it,” according to The New Republic.
8:35: Bennett just quoted the “as you have done to the least of these, so have you done to me” line from Christ in the New Testament. Paul Ryan’s budget takes two-thirds of its cuts out of programs that support the poor. Romney’s plan is even worse.
8:33: Bennett is discussing Romney’s time as a Bishop in the Mormon Church. During that period, he allegedly threatened a single mother with excommunication if she didn’t put up her baby for adoption.
8:30: Grant Bennett succeeded Romney as a bishop of a Mormon meetinghouse. Yet his presence undermines the convention’s “We Built This” message: Bennett is the president of CPS Technologies, a company that’s received millions of dollars worth of government funds.
8:17: Bush highlights the GOP’s support for “school choice.” But in his home state of Florida, school vouchers for private for-profit schools fund some pretty sub-par educational programs — including one that allows a diploma in eight days for $399.
8:12: Bush may be proud of his state’s improvements in education, but Paul Ryan’s budget would cut federal education funds by 22 percent or more if his budget’s proposed cuts are applied across the board.
8:07: It’s great to hear Republicans discuss education, though back in June their presidential candidate said that America doesn’t need “more firemen, more policemen, more teachers.” Romney has previously claimed that there are too many people in government jobs.
8:06: Bush touts Romney’s education record in Massachusetts, where his policies have been described as “inconsequential.” Here is Romney’s impact:
8:05: Bush says that “every child in America has equal opportunity.” That’s true, though Romney has previously said that students should only get “as much education as they can afford.”
8:04: Jeb Bush called the GOP’s tax and immigration policies “short sighted.”
8:03: Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is up. For some strange reason, the RNC did not include Jeb’s somewhat more famous brother on it’s schedule this year.
7:58: Just yesterday, Ann Romney said that Hispanics would vote Republican “if they could just get past some of their biases.”
7:58: Mitt’s son Craig is trying to endear his father to Hispanic voters, hoping that they’ll ignore Romney’s promise to encourage self-deportation of undocumented immigrants.
7:57: Romney says he won’t let Hispanics down during a short video. Too bad he won’t tell them if he’d rescind President Obama’s DREAM directive.
7:56: The GOP is playing a cover of Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered.” Perhaps missing that the song was an Obama 2008 campaign theme — and that Wonder performed it at the DNC convention in Denver that year.
7:54: Obama didn’t gut the work requirement in welfare reform, as Gingrich himself has admitted. “We have no proof today,” he told CNN.
7:53: The welfare reform that the Gingriches are touting has actually been a failure.
7:51: Gingrich praised Romney’s energy plan as a good way to use America’s energy resources, but Romney’s plan would give the five largest oil companies over $4 billion annually in new and existing tax breaks paid with taxpayer dollars.
7:46: Here is the Reagan clip they wont’ show:
7:46: Romney wasn’t always such a Reagan fan: “I was an Independent during the time of Reagan/Bush. I’m not trying to return to Reagan/Bush,” he said while challenging Teddy Kennedy on October 25, 1994:
7:45: Reagan tribute video time! Republicans forget that the 40th president raised taxes 11 times and nearly tripled the federal budget deficit.
7:43: Mack didn’t vote for Paul Ryan’s latest budget, explaining back in April: “I was here in Florida campaigning… You know that budget was a joke, doesn’t balance the budget for years.”
7:43: Mack cites Neil Armstrong and other American dreamers whose dreams would never have been realized without investment and help from the government.
7:39: Rep. Connie Mack (R-FL) voted for Paul Ryan’s 2011 plan to phase out Medicare, and he cosponsored along with Ryan and Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) the bill that introduced America to the term “forcible rape.”7:38: The Black Eyed Peas is an unusual musical choice for the RNC, given will.i.am.’s iconic pro-Obama video:
7:38: House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) declares Romney and Ryan the GOP’s nominees for president and vice president.
7:35: Ken Hutchins, who delivered tonight’s invocation, is a Mormon retired police chief from Massachusetts. When Romney was a stake president, he tapped Hutchins to be a bishop.
7:00: Romney aides say the former Massachusetts governor “will assail Mr. Obama’s economic and foreign policy record,” while presenting “a positive narrative about his life’s experiences.” “What you are going to see tonight is a lot of telling Governor Romney’s personal story.”
7:00: Republicans had initially intended to include a hologram of Ronald Reagan in the festivities, but nixed the idea out of fear that he would overshadow Romney.
7:00: Media reports confirm that Clint Eastwood is tonight’s mystery speaker. Here is everything you need to know about his politics.
7:00: Lots of conservatives have mocked Obama for using Teleprompters, but Romney hasn’t. As he told Fox News’ Sean Hannity, “it does make some sense though, I understand, it makes some sense.” He got the prompters adjusted this afternoon:
7:00: Ryan told a lot of big lies on Wednesday. Tonight it’s Romney’s turn. As he prepares to deliver his acceptance speech, ThinkProgress has compiled a Viewer’s Guide comparing what Romney says with the facts.
6:59: As you prepare for the final day of the Convention, consider Ryan’s ratings from last night: he attracted 17 million fewer viewers than Sarah Palin.