Fact Check: How to Talk to Your Liberal Friends About the SOTU
(RightWing.org) – On Tuesday night, President Trump declared during the State of the Union address that the United States is in the midst of a “great American comeback!”
Throughout the speech, he shared how conservative policies were making America Great Again and cast a vision of hope and prosperity for all Americans.
By Thursday morning, fact-checkers had piled on in a host of partisan, Democratic talking points. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) joined them saying, “He shredded the truth with his speech. He’s shredding the Constitution with his conduct and I shredded his state of mind address.”
Do your liberal family, friends, and co-workers agree with the fact-checkers and Pelosi that Trump is a liar?
Do they trust what the media says when fact-checkers “prove” and reinforce their biases and opinions?
Let’s get to the truth and make sense of the fact versus fiction as you talk with those who may be confused about reality.
Throughout the speech, Trump outlined his major achievements over the last three years. From the economy to immigration, and healthcare — Trump outlined how America is winning in contrast to the previous eight years under President Obama.
Unfortunately, many in the media, and of course all the Democrats, accused the president of lying or distorting the truth. Often, the supposed “fact-checkers” at the Associated Press, CNN, The Washington Post, among many others, were unreliable and disingenuous at best.
A look at how some of these fact-checkers revealed either a lack of awareness, context, or outright ignorance. Let’s compare some of Trump’s statements from the State of the Union speech with a few of the more outlandish fact-checks:
Trump: “Before I came into office, if you showed up illegally on our southern border and were arrested, you were simply released and allowed into our country, never to be seen again. My administration has ended catch-and-release. If you come illegally, you will now be promptly removed.”
AP: The Associated Press said that’s not true and illegal immigrants were quickly returned to where they came from.
Fact Check: In early 2016, The Washington Times reported that the Obama administration reinstated the “catch-and-release” policy employed during the Bush era. Border Patrol agents were instructed not to arrest or deport any new illegal immigrants. The Associated Press was wrong.
Trump: In his speech, the president said that 300,000 working-age people dropped out of the workforce under Obama.
AP: AP fact-checkers claimed that Trump was misleading, claiming that 5.06 million people returned to work under Obama and he was the reason for the strong labor workforce.
Fact Check: The AP did not take several factors into account. First, in 2016, there were 95 million Americans who were no longer participating in the labor workforce because they either no longer qualified for unemployment or had quit looking for work. In November 2016, 446,000 dropped out of the workforce alone. If anything, Trump’s numbers made Obama’s record look more positive than it really was. The Associated Press was wrong.
Trump: The president pledged to protect individuals with pre-existing conditions.
Politifact: Picking up on Democratic talking points, Politifact said that Trump is trying to get rid of Obamacare through the courts and therefore he’s not being truthful. Politifact was wrong.
Fact Check: Trump has stated repeatedly since 2016 that he will fight to protect patients with pre-existing conditions. Republicans are now on board with the idea. Fighting Obamacare and creating a new law that protects patients with pre-existing conditions is not a contradiction. The first can happen without the latter. This is a partisan talking point employed by Politifact.
Trump: The president claimed responsibility for the fact that the US is now the leading energy producer in the world.
The Washington Post: The Washington Post, among others, claimed that the energy revolution started under Obama and therefore the credit goes to him, not Trump.
Fact-Check: Trump rolled back Obama-era restrictions on drilling and oil production. As a result, in 2018, the United States became the world’s biggest producer of oil according to the Energy Information Administration.
In contrast, the market did not grow because of Obama but in spite of him. He sought to reduce production by banning drilling on public land and significantly curb the exploration and production of new oil. The Washington Post was wrong.
By Don Purdum, Freelance Contributor
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