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Politifact Check: The Jacksonville Debate
Politifact.com is a self proclaimed non partisan fact checking project operated by the Tampa Bay Times. They rate statements made by public officials ranging from truthful to pants on fire. Although they were awarded the Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting in 2009, they are not universally accepted as unbiased. Their intention to separate fact from fiction is taken in the general spirit to enlighten the voter.
Romney’s claim;"This president went before the United Nations and castigated Israel for building settlements. He said nothing about thousands of rockets being rained in on Israel from the Gaza Strip."
According to the politifact ruling;
This question was put to the candidates by a self described Palestinian-American Republican in the audience;
"How would a Republican administration help bring peace to Palestine and Israel when most candidates barely recognize the existence of Palestine or its people?"
Politifact based their decision on the three speeches President Obama delivered to the United Nation. In his 2009 United Nations comments, the president declared the United States opposition to “"the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements." If one considers that a severe reprimand, as Mr. Romney does by his choice of using the word castigate, than the questioner has received his answer. A vote for Romney is a vote for the Israel’s right to continue building settlements. Although I am left to speculate, I would think the message rings clear to the Palestinian-American Republican, Mr. Romney can not be seen as an objective arbiter.
With respect to the second claim; “He said nothing about thousands of rockets being rained in on Israel from the Gaza Strip."
In another speech in front of the United Nations, the President specifically said "the slaughter of innocent Israelis is not resistance -- its injustice." That part of the Romneystatement seems to be clearly inaccurate.
I believe it is reasonable to conclude Mr. Romney can not expect the Palestinian-American Republican vote, but that can most likely be inferred from the framing of his question.
Politifact Therefore Rates the Romney claim as: A ‘False’ statement…