Having already heard from Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders on the subject, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump had the privilege of having his big speech at Thursday night’s closing of the Republican National Convention fact-checked by the Big Dog himself, President Barack Obama. At a joint press conference with Mexican President Peña Nieto Friday afternoon, Fox News White House Correspondent Kevin Corke asked the President to weigh in on the convention, and while the President said he hadn’t watched it, he had read some of what was said.
In particular, the President fact-checked two claims that were central to Trump’s speech, the crime rate and the rate of violence against police:
Some of the fears that were expressed throughout the week just don’t jibe with the facts… The violent crime rate in America has been lower during my presidency than any time in the last three, four decades. And although it is true that we have seen an uptick in murders and violent crime in some cities this year, the fact of the matter is that the murder rate today, the violence rate, is far lower than it was when Ronald Reagan was president… The fact is that the rate of intentional killings of police officers is also significantly lower than it was when Ronald Reagan was president. Now, those are facts.
The uptick that the President is referring to corresponds to a drop in violent crime in other cities, a fact that critics often fail to mention.
Corke also got a chuckle out of the President by asking about current “right track/wrong track” polling, and if it’s “fair to say that’s an indictment of your presidency?”
Obama responded with a few more stubborn facts, including the claim that Americans are pretty much always dissatisfied with the direction of the country:
On that last count, the President wasn’t really specific enough to check him accurately, but he’s basically right that “wrong track” has been dominant throughout most of the last forty years or so, with sustained exceptions occurring only during the Reagan and Clinton administrations. As for Obama, the “right track” number was at just 7 percent right before he took office, reached a high of 36 in August of 2009, and a low of 11% in September of 2011.
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