Fox's Distorted Take On The Democratic Convention's Private Sector Discussion

››› ››› ADAM SHAH

Fox is claiming that there was "nothing about the private sector" during speeches given by Michelle Obama or any other speaker on the first night of the Democratic National Convention. In fact, Michelle Obama and more than a dozen other Democratic speakers discussed the importance of the private sector or President Obama's record of creating private sector jobs.

Fox Falsely Claims Democratic Speeches Had "Nothing About The Private Sector At All"

Fox's Kilmeade: The Theme Of The Democratic Convention Was "Embrace Government. Nothing About The Private Sector." On the September 5 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, co-host Brian Kilmeade claimed that the Democrats said "nothing about the private sector" during the first day of the convention. From Fox & Friends:

STEVE DOOCY (co-host): Last night right here in Charlotte, it was the night one, the Democrats. And as they kicked off their three-day convention, last night was really crafted to appeal to women, hence the first lady and Latinos, hence the mayor of San Antonio.

KILMEADE: Yeah. I mean, you had for the first time I can remember, in great volume, the Democrats were embracing Obamacare. They were saying that Obamacare is good. They brought up individual circumstances and different people to say, "it saved me." And I think this is a huge risk because all the polling numbers shows America -- is not a popular program. It's a major accomplishment for the president, yes, but the Democrats say we will take that on.

The other theme that I got was embrace government. Nothing about the private sector. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 9/5/12]

Fox's Wallace: Michelle Obama's Speech Was "All About Government." Fox News anchor Chris Wallace said that he was struck by the fact that Michelle Obama's speech to the convention was "all about government." From Fox's September 4 coverage of the Democratic convention:

WALLACE: I've got to say, listening closely to the speech, one of the things that struck me was it was all about government. When she talked at the beginning about the people who exemplified the best of the American spirit, she talked about teachers and first responders and the military, all very admirable professions, but all government. When she talked about ways to build the middle class, it was all about the auto bailout and student loans and health care reform. Once again, all government programs. And that was a subtle subtext to the entire speech. [Fox News, America's Election Headquarters, 9/4/12]

Fox's Hume: "There Was No Mention ... At All About The Private Sector" In Michelle Obama's Speech. Fox News senior political analyst Brit Hume said he couldn't "recall" any mention of the private sector in Michelle Obama's speech:

HUME: You did have, as Chris pointed out I think quite effectively, a whole series of things that we've talked about, and every -- it is true that every single one of them did relate to government. There was no mention that I can recall in the speech of any moment at all about the private sector, which drives and finances all this government that we hear so much about. [Fox News, America's Election Headquarters, 9/4/12]

Michelle Obama Repeatedly Referred To The Private Sector

Michelle Obama Talked About The Experiences Of The Obama Family In the Private Sector. During her speech, Michelle Obama talked about the experiences of President Obama's grandmother when she worked at a bank. From Michelle Obama's remarks:

Barack's grandmother started out as a secretary at a community bank, and she moved quickly up the ranks. But like so many women, she hit a glass ceiling. And for years, men no more qualified than she was, men she had actually trained, were promoted up the ladder ahead of her, earning more and more money while Barack's family continued to scrape by. 

But day after day, she kept on waking up at dawn to catch the bus, arriving at work before anyone else, giving her best without complaint or regret. And she would often tell Barack, "So long as you kids do well, Bear, that's all that really matters."  [Michelle Obama's Democratic National Convention speech, 9/4/12, via CNN]

Michelle Obama Talked About President Obama's Policies That Helped Small Businesses And The Automobile Industry Create Jobs. Michelle Obama's speech discussed tax cuts enacted by President Obama to help "working families and small businesses." She also said that President Obama "fought to get the auto industry back on its feet." From her remarks:

So when it comes to rebuilding our economy, Barack is thinking about folks like my dad and his grandmother. He's thinking about the pride that comes from a hard day's work. That's why he signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act to help women get equal pay for equal work. That's why he cut taxes for working families and small businesses and fought to get the auto industry back on its feet. That's how he brought our economy from the brink of collapse to creating jobs again, jobs you can raise a family on, good jobs, right here in the United States of America.  [Michelle Obama's Democratic National Convention speech, 9/4/12, via CNN]

And More Than A Dozen Other Democrats Talked About The Private Sector During Their Speeches

Tim Kaine: Under Obama, There Have Been "29 Straight Months Of Private-Sector Job Growth" And "Manufacturers Are Hiring Again." From former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine's Democratic National Convention speech:

We cut taxes for 95 percent of American families. We went from 25 months of job losses to 29 straight months of private-sector job growth. The auto industry is back. Manufacturers are hiring again, but we've got to do more. And there's a real choice. [Tim Kaine's Democratic National Convention speech, 9/4/12, via Politico]

Cory Booker: We Must Invest In "The Real Engine Of Growth In America, The American Small Business." From Newark, New Jersey, Mayor Cory Booker's Democratic National Convention speech:

This is our history -- from the Transcontinental Railroad to the Hoover Dam, to the dredging of our ports and building of our most historic bridges -- our American ancestors prioritized growth and investment in our nation's infrastructure.

And today our businesses, industries, entrepreneurs and economy realize a return on those investments. Let us not fall prey to rhetoric that seeks to gut investment and starve our nation of critical, common-sense building for our future. And investment must include the real engine of job growth in America: the American small business.

That is why I'm proud that our president has made a profound difference for people and businesses in Newark, New Jersey and our nation by cutting taxes for 100 percent of working families and giving small businesses 18 different tax cuts. [Cory Booker's Democratic National Convention speech, 9/4/12, via Politico]

Anthony Foxx: "I Live[d] By The Values My Family And What This Community Taught Me" While Working In The Private Sector. From Charlotte, North Carolina, Mayor Anthony Foxx's Democratic National Convention speech:

I learned what it truly meant to be judged by the content of one's character. I was born to a single mom and raised by her and my grandparents. They taught me to take pride in hard work, to take responsibility for my actions, and to understand that education could expand my mind and transform my life. From West Charlotte High School to Davidson College, where I was the first black student body president; from NYU Law School to practicing law in the public and private sectors; from the Charlotte City Council to becoming Charlotte's first Democratic mayor in 22 years to this stage tonight, I live by the values my family and what this community taught me. [Anthony Foxx's Democratic National Convention speech, 9/4/12, via Politico]

Nydia Velasquez: "Women In Business Are Helping Lead The Way For America's Economic Recovery." From the Democratic National Convention speech by Rep. Nydia Velasquez (D-NY):

I'm Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez. Women in business are helping lead the way for America's economic recovery. Nearly 8 million American women own small businesses--the engines of job creation and the backbone of the American economy. And in these tough economic times, they need a level playing field and a fair shot to get ahead. Supporting small businesses means expanding access to credit and supporting investment that will help them grow. [Nydia Velasquez's Democratic National Convention speech, 9/4/12, via Politico]

Joyce Beatty: "America's Success Is Dependent On The Success Of Women In Education, In Business, In The Military And In Public Service." From the Democratic National Convention speech by congressional candidate Joyce Beatty:

America's success is dependent on the success of women in education, in business, in the military and in public service. Women will lead us to victory -- for strong Democratic majorities in Congress, and to re-elect Vice-president Joe Biden and President Barack Obama. The Democratic women of the House are ready to move America forward. [Joyce Beatty's Democratic National Convention speech, 9/4/12, via Politico]

Tammy Duckworth Discussed Her Family's Experiences In The Private Sector. From the Democratic National Convention speech by congressional candidate and former Veterans Affairs department official Tammy Duckworth:

My father served in the Army and the Marine Corps. A Vietnam vet, his family has worn our nation's uniform since the American Revolution. My husband is an Army officer. My brother saved lives in the Coast Guard. My mom is Thai and Chinese. She proudly became a citizen in her fifties.

Dad's work took us all over the world until he lost his job. It was a tough time. We used up our savings, moved into a studio apartment. But our family did the responsible thing and rolled up our sleeves. Mom took in sewing.

My 55-year-old dad tried to find work. But at 15, I was the only one with a job--after school, for minimum wage.


Ultimately, that's what this election is about. Yes, it's about the issues that matter to us: building an economy that will create jobs here at home and out-compete countries around the world. But it's also about something else. It's about whether we will do for our fellow Americans what my crew did for me; whether we'll look out for the hardest hit and the disabled; whether we'll pull together in a time of need; whether we'll refuse to give up until the job is done. [Tammy Duckworth's Democratic National Convention speech, 9/4/12, via Politico]

Ted Strickland: Under Obama, "Men And Women Are Going Back To Work With The Pride Of Building Something Stamped 'Made In America.' " From the Democratic National Convention speech by former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland:

Ina Sidney is a grandmother who lost her ability to provide for her family when they closed down the auto plant in Perrysburg, Ohio. Ina says thanks to Barack Obama for having the courage to back an industry that others had given up on. She's an autoworker and a breadwinner once again.

As he celebrated the birth of his newborn baby boy, Brian Slagle lost his job just at the moment he needed it most. But today he's back making auto batteries in a factory in Springfield Township, Ohio. And he said there's one reason he has a steady paycheck again: Barack Obama refused to let the American auto industry die.

James Fayson felt like there was no tomorrow when he was laid off. "I believe in working every day," he said, "and that was taken from me." Today, James is working sixty hours a week on the Jeep Liberty line in Toledo. He is thrilled to say that his life right now is "eat, sleep and Jeep." He's back, he said, because Barack Obama gave us a chance for a comeback.

The auto industry supports one of every eight jobs in Ohio, and it's alive and growing in America again. Late last year, Chrysler announced they were hiring eleven hundred new autoworkers in Toledo. Just last month, GM announced a plan to invest 200 million dollars in Lordstown, keeping five thousand jobs in Ohio and building the next generation of the Chevy Cruze--a car we are proud to say is made entirely in Ohio.

It's been a long slog back, and we've still got a long way to go. But all over Ohio--all over America--men and women are going back to work with the pride of building something stamped "Made in America." Before Barack Obama took office, it looked like that pride could have vanished forever, but today, from the staggering depths of the Great Recession, the nation has had 29 straight months of job growth. Workers across my state and across the country are getting back the dignity of a good job and a good salary. [Ted Strickland's Democratic National Convention speech, 9/4/12, via Politico]

Jared Polis: "I Am An Entrepreneur." From the Democratic National Convention speech of Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO):

My name is Jared Polis. My great-grandparents were immigrants. I am Jewish. I am gay. I am a father. I am a son. I am an entrepreneur. I am a congressman from Colorado. I am always an optimist. But first and foremost, I am an American. [Jared Polis' Democratic National Convention speech, 9/4/12, via Politico]

Rahm Emanuel: Under Obama, We Have Added "4.5 Million Private-Sector Jobs In The Last 29 Months." From Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's Democratic National Convention speech:

And today, our economy has gone from losing 800,000 jobs a month to adding 4.5 million private-sector jobs in the last 29 months. Banks are slowly but surely lending again, and never again will taxpayers foot the bill for Wall Street's excesses. In case we forgot, that was the change we believed in. That was the change we fought for. That was the change President Obama delivered. [Rahm Emanuel's Democratic National Convention speech, 9/4/12, via Politico]

Deval Patrick: Obama "Added Over 4.5 Million Private Sector Jobs In The Last Two-Plus Years." From Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick's Democratic National Convention speech:

When I came to office, we set out on a different course: investing in ourselves and our future. And today Massachusetts leads the nation in economic competitiveness, student achievement, health care coverage, life sciences and biotech, energy efficiency and veterans' services. Today, with the help of the Obama administration, we are rebuilding our roads and bridges and expanding broadband access.


This is the president who saved the American auto industry from extinction, the American financial industry from self-destruction, and the American economy from depression. Who added over 4.5 million private sector jobs in the last two-plus years, more jobs than George W. Bush added in eight. [Deval Patrick's Democratic National Convention speech, 9/4/12, via Politico]

Martin O'Malley: There Has Been "29 Months In A Row Of Private Sector Job Growth." From Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley's Democratic National Convention speech:

Democratic governors, with the support of our president, are leading their states forward -- putting job creation first, balancing budgets, protecting priorities, making the tough decisions, right now, to create jobs and expand opportunity. Together with President Obama, we are moving America forward, not back.

With 29 months in a row of private sector job growth, President Obama is moving America forward, not back! By making college more affordable for millions of middle-class families, President Obama is moving America forward, not back! By securing the guarantee of Medicare for our seniors, President Obama is moving America forward, not back! By putting forward a concrete plan to cut waste, ask those at the top to pay a little more, and reduce our deficit, President Obama is moving America forward, not back! And by adding American manufacturing jobs for the first time since the late 1990s, President Obama is moving America forward, not back! [Martin O'Malley's Democratic National Convention speech 9/4/12, via Politico]

Julian Castro Discussed His Family's Experiences In The Private Sector And Mitt Romney's "Entrepreneurial Advice." From San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro's Democratic National Convention speech:

My grandmother spent her whole life working as a maid, a cook and a babysitter, barely scraping by, but still working hard to give my mother, her only child, a chance in life, so that my mother could give my brother and me an even better one.


Mitt Romney, quite simply, doesn't get it. A few months ago he visited a university in Ohio and gave the students there a little entrepreneurial advice. "Start a business," he said. But how? "Borrow money if you have to from your parents," he told them. Gee, why didn't I think of that? Some people are lucky enough to borrow money from their parents, but that shouldn't determine whether you can pursue your dreams. I don't think Governor Romney meant any harm. I think he's a good guy. He just has no idea how good he's had it.

We know that in our free market economy some will prosper more than others. What we don't accept is the idea that some folks won't even get a chance. And the thing is, Mitt Romney and the Republican Party are perfectly comfortable with that America. In fact, that's exactly what they're promising us.


But then President Obama took office -- and he took action. When Detroit was in trouble, President Obama saved the auto industry and saved a million jobs. [Julian Castro's Democratic National Convention speech, 9/4/12, via Politico]

Pat Quinn Contrasted Obama's And Romney's Record On Private-Sector Job Creation. From Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn's Democratic National Convention speech:

Facts are stubborn things. Now, when Paul Ryan got his turn, he blamed President Obama for a plant that closed under President George W. Bush. Here's a fact: when President Obama took office in January 2009, the Chrysler plant in Belvidere, Illinois employed just 200 people.  Today, because President Obama saved the auto industry, that same Chrysler plant is employing more than 4,000 American workers.

There's something else the Republicans left out of their convention: any explanation of why they call Mitt Romney "Governor Romney." We already knew this extremely conservative man takes some pretty liberal deductions. Evidently that includes writing off all four years he served as Governor of Massachusetts.

And if you want to know how someone's going to govern the country, look at how he governed his state.

Mitt Romney promised Massachusetts three things: more jobs, less debt and smaller government. Then he left his state 47th out of 50 in job growth, added $2.6 billion in debt and on his watch, government jobs grew six times faster than private-sector jobs. What does Romney promise today? More jobs, less debt and smaller government. But he didn't do it then, and he won't do it now. [Pat Quinn's Democratic National Convention speech, 9/4/12, via Politico]

Charles Gonzalez: Obama's Vision Led Him To "Re-Energize The American Auto Industry And The More Than One Million Jobs That Depend On It." From the Democratic National Convention speech of Rep. Charles Gonzalez (D-TX):

Over the past four years, President Obama's commitment to this vision led him to: rescue and re-energize the American auto industry and the more than one million jobs that depend upon it; pass health care reform to make health care a right, not just a privilege, and to strengthen and protect Medicare; help young people to afford college and jumpstart an American economy run on American energy sources. [Charles Gonzalez's Democratic National Convention speech, 9/4/12, via Politico]

Harry Reid: Obama Made The Call To "Save More Than A Million Jobs In An Important Iconic Industry." From the Democratic National Convention speech of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV):

Some said he shouldn't save Detroit. But President Obama made the tough and right call to save more than a million American jobs in an important, iconic industry. [Harry Reid's Democratic National Convention speech, 9/4/12, via Politico]

Kal Penn: Because Of Obama's Policies, Detroit Car Companies "Still Exist." From actor and former Obama administration official Kal Penn's Democratic National Convention speech:

I started volunteering for Barack Obama in 2007.


And I'm volunteering again now because my friend Matt got a job at a Detroit car company that still exists, and Lauren can get the prescription she needs. I'm volunteering because Josiah is back from Iraq, Chris is finishing college on the GI Bill, and three weeks ago, my buddy Kevin's boyfriend was able to watch him graduate from Marine Corps training. That's change! And we can't turn back now. [Kal Penn's Democratic National Convention speech, 9/4/12, via Politico]

Posted In
Economy, Jobs, Wages, & Unemployment
Fox News Channel
Brit Hume, Brian Kilmeade, Chris Wallace
FOX & Friends, America's Election HQ
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