President Obama "went around the world and apologized for America"
Mitt Romney, former governor (R-MA) on U.S. foreign policy, speaking at the GOP debate on Fox News - Sep. 22, 2011
Source: Fox News

Editor Findings

  • Truthsquadeditoricon_thumb_flipped_thumb
    Fabrice Florin
    Mitt Romney claimed that President Obama "went around the world and apologized for America", during the GOP debate on Fox News and Google on September 22nd, 2011, in Orlando, Fla.

    The Truthsquad community fact-checked this claim and researched dozens of documents, including transcripts from seven of President Obama speeches overseas. We could not find any factual evidence to support Romney's allegation of an "apology tour" by the president. Furthermore, trusted fact-checking organizations such as PolitiFact and the Washington Post came to similar conclusions as our members. For these reasons, we almost unanimously find this claim FALSE.

    Here are some of the key facts which led us and other journalists to reach this finding:
    • We could not find any direct apologies in the Obama speeches cited by Mitt Romney and others
    • None of these speeches contained the words "sorry" or "apologize" after searching full transcripts
    • Obama acknowledged that America "has shown arrogance" or made "hasty decisions" in the past
    • Bush administration officials made many similar statements without being accused of apologizing
    • Instead of expressing regret for the past, Obama typically suggests that all parties "move forward"
    • Obama regularly praises America, which he describes as "exceptional" and a "force for good"
    • Right-wing advocates from Karl Rove to the Heritage Foundation have spread this claim since 2009
    • This misinformation appears intented to discredit the president for political reasons

    More »

Community Findings

False (1.4)
  • Fabrice Florin
    Fabrice Florin
    Based on the links on this page (see right hand column), I could not find any evidence that Obama apologized to world nations, as Mitt Romney suggests. The president's foreign policy appears constructive and forward-looking, rather than apologetic -- and I have yet to find the word 'sorry' used in his speeches to foreign countries.
  • Kristin Gorski
    Kristin Gorski
    After reading an article linked from the sidebar and doing some research on my own, it appears that Romney's claim is false and that there are many reliable sources to disprove it. Regarding the narrative reported in some media outlets that President Obama has been on an "apology tour" in the past, fact-checking sources have found that his quotations that they use are taken out of context. When looked at in the whole of his speech, they don't mean or suggest what these misleading reports say. This is intentional distortion. In addition, Romney's claim is poorly worded. I'm still not clear on what "went around the world and apologized for American" means.
  • Subramanya Sastry
    Subramanya Sastry
    Accepting the role of US in some of the problems facing the world is not an apology, but accepting responsibility. I wish the US actually did more of that and also sincerely apologized for harm caused by its adventurist and exceptionalist actions, overt and covert.
  • Michael Shaver
    Michael Shaver
    This statement is factually false and it is a well-worn path that the Republicans will continue to exploit as part of their campaign strategy highlighting public perception and opinion over facts and accomplishments.
  • Sarah Mason
    Sarah Mason
    Half True
    To begin with, we should define the word apologize. To apologize means to make an excuse for or is a regretful acknowledgement of a fault or offense. It can also mean to make a formal defense or justification in speech or writing. In those contexts the President did acknowledge the United States shared some responsibility in the current situations across the globe. So, in that regard, with that loose definition, he did apologize. However, I would ask, when did it become a negative thing to accept responsibility for one's actions? We are all in this together, we are a global community. Accepting responsibility is not an indication of weakness. Rather it takes more strength and courage of character to acknowledge one's failings, than to attempt to refute any and all flaws.
  • Bob Herrschaft
  • Ben Ross
    Ben Ross
    yep he said it on Hannity TV show ...found by goggling Romney Obama apologies. He is on one hand correct...problem is the president (like Romney) lost his moral compass and is unwilling or unable to act in a honest or forthright way
  • Judith Davidsen
    Judith Davidsen
    "there have been times where America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive." The internet seems filled with data showing the Apology Tour never happened. The CBSNews transcript shows the Right definitely takes the above quote out of context. In fact it shows that the above quote was followed directly by "But in Europe, there is an anti-Americanism that is at once casual but can also be insidious. Instead of recognizing the good that America so often does in the world, there have been times where Europeans choose to blame America for much of what's bad." Obama gave the speech on April 3, 2009, maybe two and a half months after he took office. My guess is that the Right took the out-of-context quote as an attack on the Bush/Cheney administration, which greatly delighted in mocking the hell out of Europe.
  • Mike Carlson
    Mike Carlson
    This appears to be another attempt to foist falsehood through big lies repeated far and wide by associated right wing talking heads.
  • Carlos R. Candelaria
    Carlos R. Candelaria
    There was no apology.There was simply a "How do you do sorry I'm late tour".
  • Nancy S. Lovejoy
    Nancy S. Lovejoy
  • Jack Dinkmeyer
    Jack Dinkmeyer
    Nothing more than an unsubstantiated charge from the debate in Orlando on Sept. 22, 2011, by Mitt Romney, who is seen making that statement in a TV sound byte. This statement arises from a popular right wing talking point in its campaign to discredit Obama. Based on the belief of American exceptionalism. Sources: I could find no reference citing Obama's use of apologist rhetoric.
  • CJ Livingston
    CJ Livingston
    Mostly False
    I find it mostly false, but would have liked more Support statements that could have passed as analysis rather than opinion.
  • Jeff Harris
    Jeff Harris
    Mostly False
    After the Bush administration we had a lot to apologize for. But I do not agree with what is inferred by his quote.
  • Patricia W. Neal
    Patricia W. Neal
    President Obama has done an outstanding job in rebuilding the world's opinion of the United States.
  • Marcelle Bessman
    Marcelle Bessman
    It is taken out of context from the middle of a paragraph where President Obama where he is talking about the importance of working together: Such an effort is never easy. It's always harder to forge true partnerships and sturdy alliances than to act alone, or to wait for the action of somebody else. It's more difficult to break down walls of division than to simply allow our differences to build and our resentments to fester. So we must be honest with ourselves. In recent years we've allowed our Alliance to drift. I know that there have been honest disagreements over policy, but we also know that there's something more that has crept into our relationship. In America, there's a failure to appreciate Europe's leading role in the world. Instead of celebrating your dynamic union and seeking to partner with you to meet common challenges, there have been times where America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive.
  • Jim Feig
    Jim Feig
    If anything we should apologize for Bush, and it should be the knuckle draggers who apologize to the rest of us and the world.
  • Michael W. Sachs
    Michael W. Sachs
    Plainly stated. President Obama never used the word 'apologize' once in any of his speeches.
  • Kate Zeiss
  • Ajendra Ray
    Ajendra Ray
    There's no evidence of apology.
  • Slayalinksy
    Heritage has a great article on this -- and it's only a partial list. Obama thinks he is there to preside over the delcine of America. He's ashamed of our past, and wants "fundamental transformation". It's all part of his psyche. Here's yet another one, to Medvedev when he telegraphed dismantling missile shields, said : "This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility." Apologies don't have to be literal, or even specific. In this case his attitude was apologetic for what his predecessor did -- implement a missile defense shield for our eastern European allies, an act the Russians vehemently oppose. Not knowing he was off camera, he implied he would further dismantle his predecessor's efforts -- but first he has to win another election. 1. Apology to France and Europe ("America Has Shown Arrogance"). Speech by President Obama, Rhenus Sports Arena, Strasbourg, France, April 3, 2009. 2. Apology to the Muslim World ("We Have Not Been Perfect"). President Obama, interview with Al Arabiya, January 27, 2009. 3. Apology to the Summit of the Americas ("At Times We Sought to Dictate Our Terms"). President Obama, address to the Summit of the Americas opening ceremony, Hyatt Regency, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, April 17, 2009. 4. Apology at the G-20 Summit of World Leaders ("Some Restoration of America's Standing in the World"). News conference by President Obama, ExCel Center, London, United Kingdom, April 2, 2009. 5. Apology for the War on Terror ("We Went off Course"). President Obama, speech at the National Archives, Washington, D.C., May 21, 2009. 6. Apology for Guantanamo in France ("Sacrificing Your Values"). Speech by President Obama, Rhenus Sports Arena, Strasbourg, France, April 3, 2009. 7. Apology before the Turkish Parliament ("Our Own Darker Periods in Our History"). Speech by President Obama to the Turkish Parliament, Ankara, Turkey, April 6, 2009. 8. Apology for U.S. Policy toward the Americas ("The United States Has Not Pursued and Sustained Engagement with Our Neighbors"). 9. Apology for the Mistakes of the CIA ("Potentially We've Made Some Mistakes"). Remarks by the President to CIA employees, CIA Headquarters, Langley, Virginia, April 20, 2009. The remarks followed the controversial decision to release Office of Legal Counsel memoranda detailing CIA enhanced interrogation techniques used against terrorist suspects. 10. Apology for Guantanamo in Washington ("A Rallying Cry for Our Enemies"). President Obama, speech at the National Archives, Washington, D.C., May 21, 2009.
  • Kyle Leslie
    Kyle Leslie
  • Jerome Freehill
    Jerome Freehill
  • JoshC
    Mostly False
    One can always refer to the Whitehouse page of speeches and remarks that the president has made. but then I've not read all the speeches or comments made during all foreign visits. So far, I've not found anything apologetic in nature or content. Perhaps Mr Romney is confusing "moving forward" with some kind of apology from whence we came? (Sorry. Totally my opinion!)
  • L Birmingham
    L Birmingham
    Mostly False
  • Daily Protein
    Daily Protein
  • Alexander John
    Alexander John
    Mostly False The President is sending individuals to countries, like China, to whom we owe a massive financial debt, in order to smooth relations over after nearly defaulting on debts. It is not to"apologize" it appears to be, in part to do his part in international relations. According to The Washington Post and their fact checkers, the comments that are touted by GOP potentials are largely statements of fact which are taken out of context. It seems to me that there are many that are using the same statements on a political version of a skipping record, as is pretty standard fare in the political arenas with which we are accustomed.
  • farhan malik
    farhan malik
    Mostly True

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