Fact-checking the GOP Debate

A look at some of the candidates’ claims in the third Republican presidential debate on Wednesday and how they compare with the facts:

 

Ben Carson: “I didn’t have an involvement with them. … I did a couple of speeches for them. … They were paid speeches. It is absolutely absurd to say that I had any kind of a relationship with them.”

The facts: The brain surgeon fact-checked himself by acknowledging paid speeches to Mannatech, a company sued for wrongful claims by the Texas attorney general. But his relationship with the company went deeper than that. Carson was featured in company videos, including one from last year in which he credited Mannatech’s supplements with helping people restore a healthy diet.

 

Ted Cruz: “Under Barack Obama … the median wage for women has dropped $733.”

Carly Fiorina: “Ninety-two percent of the jobs lost during Barack Obama’s first term belonged to women.”

The facts: Working women earned a median income of $28,394 last year, about $190 more after adjusting for inflation than they did in 2008, according to the Census Bureau. They still are $1,154 shy of their peak incomes in 2007. Fiorina cited outdated data. The economy added 416,000 jobs for women during Obama’s first term.

 

Chris Christie: FBI Director James Comey said police officers are holding back “because of a lack of support from politicians like the president of the United States.”

The facts: That’s not what Comey said. In a speech last week about an alarming rise in crime, Comey said some officers feel under siege because of the spread of viral videos taken by young people with cellphones. Comey never mentioned Obama or blamed politicians.

 

DONALD TRUMP: “I’m putting up 100 percent of my own money.”

The Facts: No, he’s not. Of $3.9 million raised for his campaign in the latest fundraising quarter, only $100,000 or about 3 percent came from his own pocket.

 

Cruz: “If you look at a single mom buying groceries, she sees hamburger prices have gone up nearly 40 percent. She sees her cost of electricity going up.”

The facts: Americans may be facing many economic challenges, but rising inflation isn’t one of them. Beef prices rose 21 percent in January of this year compared with a year earlier but were up just 1 percent in September from a year earlier. Electricity costs have fallen 0.4 percent during that period. Overall, inflation has remained below the Federal Reserve Bank’s 2 percent target.

 

JEB BUSH: “Marco … you should be showing up for work.”

MARCO RUBIO: “Barack Obama missed 60 or 70 percent of his votes” when running for president while he was in the Senate.

The facts: Bush correctly cited Rubio’s spotty attendance record in the Senate since running for president, but Rubio didn’t offer a fair comparison. From Oct. 27, 2014, to Oct. 26, 2015, Rubio missed 26 percent of votes, a worse record than other senators running for president. In the same period in the 2008 race — Oct. 23, 2006, to Oct. 22, 2007 — Obama missed 29 percent of votes.

 

TRUMP: He denied describing Rubio as Facebook CEO “Mark Zuckerberg’s personal senator.”

The facts: He did say it, on his own website.

Associated Press