Home 2019 Elections FACT CHECK: Romney Repeats Debunked Claim About Apologizing for America

FACT CHECK: Romney Repeats Debunked Claim About Apologizing for America


FACT CHECK: Romney Repeats Debunked Claim About Apologizing for America

Tonight, Mitt Romney once again repeated his long-debunked claim that President Obama apologized for America. But as independent fact-checkers have exhaustively said over and over again, the “apology tour” never happened.



Washington Post Fact Check: Romney’s “Claim That Obama Repeatedly Has Apologized For The United States Is Not Borne Out By The Facts…The Apology Tour Never Happened.” “The claim that Obama repeatedly has apologized for the United States is not borne out by the facts, especially if his full quotes are viewed in context …  Note to GOP speechwriters and campaign ad makers: The apology tour never happened.” [Washington Post Fact Checker, 2/22/11]


Tampa Bay Times’ Politifact: Romney’s Claim That Obama Apologized For America In His Speeches Was False; “There’s Not A Full-Throated, Sincere Apology In The Bunch.” “Here, we're checking Romney's statement that Obama ‘has apologized for what he deems to be American arrogance, dismissiveness, and derision’ and a host of other reasons. If you think American presidents should never admit to any sort of error at any time, you might find yourself in philosophical agreement with Romney's criticisms. We set out to discover whether Obama really had apologized in his speeches, and what he was apologizing for. But in our review of his words, we came up short. Yes, there is criticism in some of his speeches, but it's typically leavened by praise for the United States and its ideals, and often he mentions other countries and how they have erred as well. There's not a full-throated, sincere apology in the bunch. And so we rate Romney's statement False.” [Politifact, 3/15/10]


Tampa Bay Times’ Politifact: Romney’s “Pants On Fire” Attack Claiming Obama Went On An Apology Tour Was “A Ridiculous Charge.” “On the substance of Romney’s charge, we believe that what we wrote in March 2010 still stands. While Obama's speeches contained some criticisms of past U.S. actions, those passages were typically leavened by praise for the United States and its ideals, and he frequently mentioned how other countries have erred as well. We found not a single, full-throated apology in the bunch. And on the new angle he added — that the trips were intended to offer the president a forum to apologize to other countries — we think it’s a ridiculous charge. There’s a clear difference between changing policies and apologizing, and Obama didn’t do the latter. So we rate Romney’s statement Pants on Fire.” [Tampa Bay Times’ Politifact, 6/3/11]


Tampa Bay Times’ Politifact Debunked Romney’s Apology Tour Attack A Third Time, Giving It Another “Pants On Fire” Rating After He Repeated His “Ridiculous Charge” That President Obama Had Gone On An Apology Tour.   [Tampa Bay Times’ Politifact, 9/22/11]


New York Times: President Obama Has Offered “A Robust Defense Of American Policies.” “It is true that early in his term, Mr. Obama promised to abandon policies of his predecessor, George W. Bush, on issues like the military prison in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and a foreign policy in Iraq and elsewhere that Mr. Obama described as unilateral. But it is hard to find evidence that Mr. Obama ever said he was “sorry” for the United States. And in some speeches, notably after winning the Nobel Peace Prize, Mr. Obama offered a robust defense of American policies, including the war in Afghanistan.” [New York Times, 09/22/11]




President Obama Said Americans “Will Not Apologize For Our Way Of Life, Nor Will We Waver In Its Defense.” “We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense.  And for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken — you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.” [Inaugural Address, 1/20/09]


President Obama: America “Will Never Apologize For Our Way Of Life; We Will Never Waver In Its Defense.”  “Just as you protected America, we’re going to pass our country to the next generation, stronger and safer and more respected in the world.  So if anyone tries to tell you that our greatness has passed, that America is in decline, you tell them this:  Just like the 20th century, the 21st is going to be another great American Century.  For we are Americans, blessed with the greatest form of government ever devised by man, a democracy dedicated to freedom and committed to the ideals that still light the world.  We will never apologize for our way of life; we will never waver in its defense.  We are a nation that freed millions and turned adversaries into allies.  We are the Americans who defended the peace and turned back aggression.  We are Americans who welcome our global responsibilities and our global leadership.  The United States has been, and will remain, the one indispensable nation in world affairs.” [Remarks at VFW Convention, 7/23/12]


President Obama Called For “Putting Aside The Tired Notion That Says [American] Influence Has Waned Or That America Is In Decline.”“Let’s start by putting aside the tired notion that says our influence has waned or that America is in decline.  We’ve heard that talk before.  During the Great Depression, when millions were unemployed and some believed that other economic models offered a better way, there were those who predicted the end of American capitalism.  Guess what, they were wrong.  We fought our way back.  We created the largest middle class in history and the most prosperous economy the world has ever known.” [Remarks at Air Force Academy Commencement, 5/23/12]


President Obama: “The United States Has Been, And Always Will Be, The One Indispensable Nation In World Affairs. It’s One Of The Many Examples Of Why America Is Exceptional.” “After all this, you would think folks understand a basic truth — never bet against the United States of America.  (Applause.)  And one of the reasons is that the United States has been, and will always be, the one indispensable nation in world affairs.  It's one of the many examples of why America is exceptional.  It’s why I firmly believe that if we rise to this moment in history, if we meet our responsibilities, then — just like the 20th century — the 21st century will be another great American Century.  That’s the future I see.  That’s the future you can build.”  [Remarks at Air Force Academy Commencement5/23/12]


President Obama: The Founding Fathers’ Ideals “Still Light The World, And We Will Not Give Them Up For Expedience Sake.” “As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals.  Our Founding Fathers — (applause) — our Founding Fathers, faced with perils that we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man — a charter expanded by the blood of generations.  Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience sake.” [Remarks on the Death of Osama Bin Laden, 5/1/11]


President Obama: I Will Never Apologize For Defending American Interests. “Now, like all of you, my responsibility is to act in the interest of my nation and my people, and I will never apologize for defending those interests.” [Remarks at UNGA, 9/23/09]


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