Will Media Fact-Check Castro's Line About Romney Telling Students to Borrow Money From Parents?
San Antonio mayor Julian Castro was quite a media hit at the Democratic National Convention Tuesday.
Given all the scrutiny presenters got for their addresses at last week's Republican National Convention, one has to wonder if the press will fact-check the following section of Castro's speech (photo courtesy MTC/Newscom):
JULIAN CASTRO: 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 Gov. Romney meant any harm. I think he's a good guy. He just has no idea how good he's had it.
This line was all the rage with Obama's media. CBSNews.com actually made it a headline: "Julian Castro: Romney "Has No Idea How Good He's Had It.'"
Castro’s speech then went on offense against the Republican presidential candidate. “Mitt Romney, quite simply, doesn’t get it,” said Castro. Criticizing Romney for telling students to “borrow money from your parents,” and saying to laughter, “Gee, why didn’t I think of that?” Castro said, “I don’t think Governor Romney meant any harm. I think he is a good guy. I just don’t think he has any idea how good he’s had it.”
Politico also addressed it, as did many other news outlets.
If they spent some time doing some research - much as they did last week during the RNC! - so-called journalists would have found Castro was cherry-picking from Romney's Otterbein University speech (relevant section one minute in):
MITT ROMNEY: Even now I believe you're watching the president who has trying to deflect and divert. From his record by trying to find ways to, if you will, attack fellow Americans. Between rich and poor and other dimensions. This kind of divisiveness, this attack of success, is very different than what we've seen in our country's history. We've always encouraged young people take it, take a shot, go for it. Take a risk, get the education, borrow money if you have to from your parents. Start a business.
I was with a guy named Jimmy John. I've met Jimmy John. Jimmy John, hope I get the story entirely right, I think I will, he graduated from high school, and he didn’t want to go to college. And he said to his Dad can I borrow some money I want to start a business. His dad said, “I just don't think you've got the discipline to start a business and make it work.” And he said, "I’ll loan you the money but if you can't pay it back with interest by the end of the year I want you to go into the military and sign up." And he said, "Okay I'll do that."
And I think he said he borrowed 20,000 dollars from his dad, was going to start a restaurant. Then he found out how expensive it is to buy all the restaurant equipment and 20,000 dollars wouldn't cut it. The only thing that would work for 20,000 dollars was a sandwich shop. So he started making sandwiches. And as you chucklingly indicated a moment ago you know that his sandwiches are doing pretty well. He's got shops all over the country and thousands of people working with him. This is kind of an American experience.
As you can see, in its full context, Romney was talking about encouraging young people to "take a shot" and "take a risk" and borrow money from parents "if you have to" to "start a business."
Such borrowing was intended as a last resort and not the business model Castro implied.
In addition, for those unfamiliar, Jimmy John is the founder of the restaurant chain Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwiches. As such, Romney was praising a local success story.
The New York Times even reported what Romney said about John in an April 27 piece entitled "In Ohio, Romney Hails Two Entrepreneurs Named John."
With this in mind, it wouldn't be difficult for members of the press to fact-check Castro.
Given the media scrutiny Republican speakers received for every word they said in Tampa last week, shouldn't Democratic speakers receive similar scrutiny this week in Charlotte?
Or would that be too much like journalism for these shills?