John Thune on farming chores for children:
Thune also took aim at a proposed Labor Department policy near and dear to his state’s farming roots. Thune said the Obama administration tried to ban farm kids from doing “basic chores.” In March, the Labor Department did withdraw a proposed rule that would have added federal regulations for children under 16 working on farms. The department said it was withdrawing the rule because of the “thousands of comments expressing concerns about the effect of the proposed rules on small family-owned farms.”
“To be clear, this regulation will not be pursued for the duration of the Obama administration,” the Labor Department notice said.
Rob Portman on Obama’s economic plan:
"Governor Romney had a plan to build his business,” Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, said. “He now has a detailed plan to restore our economy and strengthen the middle class. I ask you, where’s the president's economic plan? Blaming others does not qualify as a plan."
Portman may have been speaking lightly, but in the somewhat humorless world of fact-checking, this statement isn’t true—Obama does have an economic plan. You can find it right here.
John McCain on national-security leaks:
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., pressed his accusations that the Obama White House leaked classified information on national-security matters for political gain. “We can’t afford to have the security of our nation and those who bravely defend it endangered because their government leaks the secrets of their heroic operations to the media,” McCain said to a round of applause.
McCain did not mention the ongoing investigation into the national- security leaks, which appears to focus on recent media reports about U.S. cyberattacks on Iran to derail its nuclear program; the president’s secret drone campaign and an apparent “kill list” of counterterrorism targets; and a terrorist plot by al-Qaida’s Yemeni branch that was foiled by a double agent. Obama has categorically denied that his White House purposefully released classified national-security information as a means of making the president appear strong on security issues. Just hours after Obama called such suggestions “wrong” and “offensive,” his Attorney General Eric Holder ordered two U.S. attorneys to lead criminal investigations into potential unauthorized disclosures of classified material. FBI agents have interviewed a slew of current and former high-level government officials, reaching into the White House, Pentagon, National Security Agency, and Central Intelligence Agency, The New York Times reported, calling it the “most sweeping inquiry into intelligence disclosures in years.”
McCain also made no mention of other potentially inflammatory breaches of classified information: A soon-to-be-released book penned by a Navy SEAL has been making headlines in recent days for its promised first-person account of the raid that took down Osama bin Laden last May. Spokespersons for both the Navy and National Security Council have said that the author, who was a former member of SEAL Team 6—the unit that killed the al-Qaida leader—did not seek prior approval. Adm. Bill McRaven, head of U.S. Special Operations Command, has promised that the military would take legal action against anyone who exposes sensitive information that could harm other troops, Reuters reported.
John McCain on Afghanistan timetable:
McCain blasted Obama for committing to withdraw from Afghanistan “before peace can be achieved and sustained.” The Obama administration’s drawdown requires the remainder of the 33,000 surge troops to pull out by September and all combat troops to leave the country by 2014. Such a commitment, McCain said, “has discouraged our friends and emboldened our enemies, which is why our commanders did not recommend these decisions and why they have said it puts our mission at much greater risk.”
It’s not so simple. It is true that Obama’s decision to remove 10,000 troops by the end of last year and another 23,000 by September was more aggressive than some military leaders preferred, and that then-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen said the decision was “more aggressive and incur[s] more risk than I was originally prepared to accept.” But Obama’s June 2011 announcement about how many troops he would withdraw from Afghanistan was the result of a compromise plan brokered by former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who sold Obama and his top civilian aides on a slightly slower withdrawal, as National Journal reported last year. Senior White House officials originally wanted all of the 33,000 U.S. “surge” troops to withdraw from Afghanistan by this past spring.