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Tue, Oct. 22

Editorial: Look for facts to back up campaign promises

American voters face a profound question in the weeks before the Nov. 6 General Election and ask: Are we better off than four years ago when the country elected Democrat Barack Obama president of the United States?

Now that the election of a president for another four years is imminent, we have to ask which of the two men running, President Obama and his Republican opponent, Mitt Romney, will give us straight answers rather than claims that mislead.

The Associated Press has taken exception to numerous statements made by both men when they accepted their party's nomination to lead their respective tickets in the recent Democratic and Republican national conventions.

Consider these examples The Associated Press gives of statements that raised red flags:

In his speech Thursday night at the end of the Democrat National Convention, Obama told delegates and the nation that he "will use the money we're no longer spending on war to pay down our debt and put more people back to work - rebuilding roads and bridges, schools and runways."

The Associated Press counters, "The idea of taking war savings to pay for other programs is budgetary sleight of hand, given that the wars were paid for with increased debt. Obama can essentially 'pay down our debt,' as he said, by borrowing less now that war is ending. But, he still must borrow to do the extra 'nation-building' he envisions."

When Romney gave his acceptance speech at the conclusion of the Republican National Convention, he talked of his plan "to create 12 million new jobs" in five steps he planned.

AP: "No one says he can't, but economic forecasters are divided on his ability to deliver. He'd have to nearly double the anemic pace of job growth lately. Moody's Analytics expects nearly that many jobs to return over the next four years, no matter who occupies the White House provided there are no more economic bumps. Other analysts have questioned Romney's rosy job promises ... Romney's steps include deficit cuts that he has not spelled out, and a march toward energy independence that past presidents have promised but not delivered."

The words here are not meant to cherry-pick, but rather to point out that candidates for elected office can spit feathers at times. AP researched details in both Obama's and Romney's speeches and refuted numerous claims each man made in his acceptance speeches.

Our nation stands at another critical point in its history - trying to get our economy back on track. It's imperative that we give up calling each other "RepubliCONS" and "Obamanauts" and remember that we are all Americans.

The first presidential debate airs Oct. 3, and three more will follow.

Watch and listen carefully. We owe it to ourselves and our country to be informed voters so that we can sort through the "sleight of hand."

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