Second Presidential Debate Factcheck: 10 News and PolitiFact Florida take a closer look

2:20 PM, Oct 17, 2012   |    comments
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Video: Fact-checking the second presidential debate Part 2

St. Petersburg, Florida - Which candidate was telling the truth during Tuesday night's second presidential debate?

We're keeping the candidates honest with PolitiFact Florida and checking statements they made during last night's debate.

We'll begin with President Obama.

The question: "In what new ways to you intend to rectify the inequalities in the workplace, specifically regarding females making only 72 percent of what their male counterparts earn?"

The President talked about the first piece of legislation he signed into law -- the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. He then went on to say Romney refused to whether he supports that act.

"Katherine, I just want to point out that when Governor Romney's campaign was asked about the Lilly Ledbetter bill, whether he supported it? He said, "I'll get back to you."

PolitiFact Florida rates this statement, MOSTLY TRUE.

Here's why: it is true that a Romney adviser told a reporter earlier this year "I'll get back to you" about whether he supported the Lilly Ledbetter Act. Later, Romney did clarify, saying he certainly supports equal pay for women and has no intention of changing that law.

Now, to Governor Romney and the topic of gas prices. The question: Do you agree with Secretary Chu that this is not the job of the Energy Department?

The two candidates went head to head about drilling policy on federal lands. Here's what Romney said:

"As a matter of fact, oil production is down 14 percent this year on federal land."

PolitiFact Florida rates this statement, HALF TRUE.

It is true that the US produced 14% less oil on its public lands, but the problem with his statement is that production was hitched because of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, making a one-year figure subject to cherry-picking. And it's not clear that the president in charge when the oil is taken out of the ground deserves full credit or blame.

Now, to the discussion about Libya and the attack in Benghazi. Mitt Romney said, "I want to make sure we get that for the record because it took the president 14 days before he called the attack in Benghazi an act of terror."

PolitiFact Florida rates this statement, HALF TRUE.

President Obama did in fact describe it in those terms the day after the attack. But, after his speech in the Rose Garden neither he, nor the members of his administration talked consistently about the subject.

Tuesday night, on coal plants, President Obama said, "Governor, when you were governor of Massachusetts, you stood in front of a coal plant and pointed at it and said, 'This plant kills.'"

PolitiFact Florida rates this statement, TRUE.

When he was governor in Massachusetts, Romney had a press conference where he stood outside a plant and said, "this plant kills people."

Obama said Romney has changed his tune about coal, claiming that in Massachusetts he "stood in front of a coal plant and pointed at it and said, 'This plant kills.'"

Romney was the newly elected governor when a showdown erupted over the coal-burning Salem Harbor Power Station. Obama quoted Romney accurately when he said the governor entered the controversy by saying the plant "kills people."

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