by WorldTribune Staff, April 1, 2019
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez flunked history on March 29 when she claimed that Republicans amended the Constitution to keep President Franklin Delano Roosevelt from winning another election.
“They had to amend the Constitution of the United States to make sure Roosevelt did not get re-elected,” AOC claimed during a town hall event on MSNBC.
Ocasio-Cortez was referring to the 22nd Amendment, which passed a Republican-controlled Congress in March 1947. Roosevelt died on April 12, 1945.
The 22nd Amendment, which was ratified by the states in 1951, declares: “No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once.”
Roosevelt, the only president to serve more than two terms, was elected president four times: in 1932, 1936, 1940 and 1944.
Between 1796 and 1940, four two-term presidents sought a third term to varying degrees. Ulysses S. Grant wanted a third term in 1880, but he lost the Republican Party nomination to James Garfield on the 36th ballot. Grover Cleveland lacked party support for a third term but was a rumored candidate. Woodrow Wilson hoped a deadlocked 1920 convention would turn to him for a third term but he received no support at the Democratic convention.
Even the popular Theodore Roosevelt couldn’t get by party objections to a third term. Roosevelt passed on running for a third consecutive term in 1908, fully aware of the Washington precedent. But after a fallout with President William Howard Taft, he sought a third (nonconsecutive) term in the 1912 presidential election. Running under the Bull Moose banner, Teddy Roosevelt lost the election but came in second to Wilson and ahead of the incumbent Taft.
Ocasio-Cortez’s blunder on March 29 wasn’t the first time the New York Democrat has made factually dubious statements. In December of last year she claimed “Medicare for All” could be funded by $21 trillion in accounting errors by the Pentagon.
The thing is, the Pentagon’s accounting errors are just accounting errors – they don’t represent actual money that can be spent on something else.
In February, after helping to lead the charge to scuttle Amazon building a new headquarters in New York City, Ocasio-Cortez suggested the city could spend the $3 billion it was prepared to give the company in tax breaks on other priorities.
“If we were willing to give away $3 billion for this deal, we could invest those $3 billion in our district ourselves, if we wanted to. We could hire out more teachers. We can fix our subways. We can put a lot of people to work for that money, if we wanted to,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
Observers say AOC’s flub in the above comment was that the $3 billion was a tax break and not money that New York City had laying around in its coffers.
NBC’s Meet the Press host Chuck Todd, in an interview with New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, asked: “It seems a lot of people think when you give a tax incentive that, somehow, that’s money you had over here and it was going over there. This is money that didn’t exist, this $3 billion dollars?”
“Correct,” de Blasio replied.
Todd asked: “Do you feel as if this is a problem in trying to explain how this deal worked?”
De Blasio responded: “This was a deal that was going to bring $27 billion dollars to the state and city for things like public education, mass transit, affordable housing and that $3 billion dollars of go-back in tax incentives was only after we were getting the jobs and getting the revenue.”
Todd asked: “There’s not $3 billion dollars in money that exists anywhere, correct?”
“Exactly,” de Blasio replied.