Live blog: First debate between President Obama and Mitt Romney
FACT CHECK: Obama broke his promise to cut the federal budget deficit in half by the end of his first term: Indeed, Obama pledged shortly after taking office that the deficit would be halved by the end of his first term.
“Now, this will not be easy,” Obama said at the Fiscal Responsibility Summit at the White House on Feb. 23, 2009. “It will require us to make difficult decisions and face challenges we’ve long neglected. But I refuse to leave our children with a debt that they cannot repay, and that means taking responsibility right now, in this administration, for getting our spending under control.”
The deficit in fiscal year 2009 was $1.4 trillion, meaning Obama would have had to shrink the deficit to $700 billion to keep his promise. The deficit was about $1.3 trillion in 2010, 2011 and 2012 and is projected to be about $900 billion in the current fiscal year.