Patt Morrison for August 30, 2012

To fact-check or not to fact-check

2012 Republican National Convention: Day 3

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Republican vice presidential candidate, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) speaks during the third day of the Republican National Convention at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on August 29, 2012 in Tampa, Florida. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was nominated as the Republican presidential candidate during the RNC, which is scheduled to conclude August 30.

Paul Ryan’s acceptance speech for the vice-presidential nomination yesterday drew applause from GOP convention attendees, but criticism from other quarters due to questions about the validity of his claims. The nonpartisan group delivered a list of at least five of Ryan’s statements that were directly false, including the story of President Obama failing to deliver on a 2008 campaign promise to keep a Wisconsin factory open. Should Ryan have stuck with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s approach? Apparently, Christie avoided making any factual claims in his keynote address to the Republican convention whatsoever.


In the long run, how much does accuracy matter in these speeches? Will we see the same attention focused on the Democratic candidates next week? Do you use sites like FactCheck as a guide?


Brooks Jackson, director of, a project of the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Public Policy Center

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