Republican National Convention: Trump’s Speech Draws Attention From Fact-Checkers

On the final night of the Republican National Convention, Donald Trump took to the stage at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland to pitch a speech which would mark the moment when he became the Republican Party’s official nominee.

Consternation surrounding Trump’s candidacy has come from all sides, as have the critics. As expected political opponents such as Hillary Clinton have been criticizing Trump for months, others within the party, such as Ohio Governor John Kasich, who refused to even attend the RNC that his state was hosting, and Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who spoke at the convention but yielded from offering an endorsement, have attempted to blacken the campaign’s eyes.

When the time came for the Republican National Convention to wrap up, Trump had to be prepared. On Monday, observers noted the similarities between the 2008 speech of Michelle Obama and that night’s speech by Melania Trump which ended up being verbatim lines taken straight from the First Lady.

But before he could say a word, Trump’s speech leaked and gave early access to journalists and fact-checkers. Beginning with the site TrumpLies, the transcript of the speech was put to scrutiny in order to challenge the inconsistencies of the nominee’s words.

Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump, gives his acceptance speech during the final day of the Republican National Convention. [Photo by Mark J. Terrill/AP Images]

As it spread, PoliticusUSA published an article noting that the speech which would mark Trump’s transition from candidate to nominee had no less than 21 proven lies. Interestingly enough, one of the first criticisms of the speech centered around Trump’s affirmation of honesty.

“We cannot afford to be so politically correct anymore. So if you want to hear the corporate spin, the carefully-crafted lies, and the media myths the Democrats are holding their convention next week. But here, at our convention, there will be no lies. We will honor the American people with the truth, and nothing else.”

However, within the first three days of the Republican National Convention, the speakers and surrogates had told 55 lies. Trouble with facts have dogged Trump from the onset of his campaign as he has told more false statements in total than any Republican candidate, according to PolitiFact. In contrast with Democrats, Trump still outpaces them with false statements by an even wider margin.

Criticisms that followed Trump’s acceptance speech have also appeared in the Washington Post, which pointed out that the Republican nominee painted a picture of America made bleak by ignoring favorable crime and poverty statistics. Driven by the speech’s “law and order” theme, Trump seemingly used some data out of context.

“Homicides last year increased by 17 percent in America’s 50 largest cities. That’s the largest increase in 25 years. In our nation’s capital, killings have risen by 50 percent. They are up nearly 60 percent in nearby Baltimore.”

According to the Washington Post‘s story, Trump “cherry picks” his data to represent a view of crime that stands in contrast to existing data which has indicated that crime is at its lowest point since the 1960s. While there was an increase in 2015, it is nowhere near the peaks seen in the 1970s and 1980s.


President Obama meanwhile harbored sharper criticism of Trump’s speech at the culmination of the RNC. Referring to it as fear-mongering, Obama also reflected the notion that much of Trump’s message was inconsistent with facts which are readily available.

Other elements of the speech which have been presented as at odds with relevant statistics centered on the death rate of police officers and immigration.

Trump’s claim that officer deaths have increased up to 50 percent since last year was also pointed out as misleading, according to the Washington Post‘s report, while his numbers reflecting the tide of illegal immigrants with criminal pasts was pulled out of context.

[Photo by Carolyn Kaster/AP Images]