Donald Trump and Ted Cruz jabbed over whether the Canadian-born Cruz is eligible to run for president, while the rest of the Republicans launched attacks at President Barack Obama and each other at Thursday’s Republican presidential debate.
The event, hosted by the Fox Business Network from North Charleston, S.C., provided many heated moments. And plenty of opportunities for PolitiFact’s Truth-O-Meter.
Trump wrong on refugees
Trump was asked by Fox Business moderator Neil Cavuto about his proposal to ban Syrian refugees and others from entering the United States.
“When I looked at the migration, when I looked at the line . . . where are the women?” Trump said. “There look like very few women. Very few children. Strong, powerful men. Young. And people are looking at that and saying, ‘What’s going on?’ ”
Trump made a similar claim in October. It was False then, and it’s False now.
The majority of more than 4.6 million Syrian refugees entering Europe are women and children 17 and younger. Of migrants arriving by sea — about 1 million people — 31 percent are children and 19 percent are women.
Christie did support Sonia Sotomayor
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio tried to cast New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie as a liberal on many topics, including the appointment of Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Rubio said Christie endorsed many of the ideas that Obama supports, “whether it is Common Core, or gun control, or the appointment of Sonia Sotomayor, or the donation he made to Planned Parenthood.” Christie shot back, “Let’s get the facts straight. First of all, I didn’t support Sonia Sotomayor.” He then continued to dispute the rest of Rubio’s statement.
But Christie did support Sotomayor by the end of the confirmation process. The statement rates False.
When Sotomayor was nominated by Obama, Christie said in May 2009, “She wouldn’t have been my choice, no.” But two months later, Christie said that she had “more than proven her capability, competence and ability,” adding, “I support her appointment to the Supreme Court and urge the Senate to keep politics out of the process and confirm her nomination.”
Rubio misfires on Cruz’s birthright citizenship position
Rubio and Cruz picked up their immigration battle at another presidential debate, with Rubio accusing his rival of flip-flopping on a laundry list of positions, including birthright citizenship.
“You used to say that you were in favor of birthright citizenship. Now you say that you are against it,” Rubio said as Cruz vigorously shook his head.
Cruz has shifted his talk about birthright citizenship, but it’s not in the way Rubio described. Rubio’s attack rates Mostly False.
In a 2011 radio interview, Cruz was asked whether the issue of birthright citizenship in the 14th Amendment should be changed. Cruz, a former prosecutor, said it would be difficult to revisit the provision because of the 14th Amendment.
“I’ve looked at the legal arguments against it, and I will tell you as a Supreme Court litigator, those arguments are not very good,” he said. “As much as someone may dislike the policy of birthright citizenship, it’s in the U.S. Constitution. And I don’t like it when federal judges set aside the Constitution because their policy preferences are different.
“And so in my view I think it is a mistake for conservatives to be focusing on trying to fight what the Constitution says on birthright citizenship. I think we are far better off focusing on securing the border, because birthright citizenship wouldn’t be an issue if we didn’t have people coming in illegally.”
He told Fox News’ Megyn Kelly in August 2015 that birthright citizenship is an incentive for undocumented immigrants to come to America and that “we ought to change that policy,” but that “there is a legal dispute about the best means to do it.” He said “we should pursue” changing birthright citizenship through Congress or through a constitutional amendment, “whichever is effective.”
Is Hillary Clinton under an FBI investigation?
If Hillary Clinton becomes president, she might find herself preoccupied with an FBI investigation, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said.
“She’s under investigation with the FBI right now,” Bush said. “If she gets elected, her first 100 days — instead of setting an agenda, she might be going back and forth between the White House and the courthouse.”
Actually, Clinton is not under FBI investigation. The inquiry to which Bush refers revolves around the private email server Clinton used while serving as secretary of state. And it is not a criminal investigation.
So Bush isn’t totally wrong. But he’s not totally right, either. His claim rates Half True.
Cruz right in back-and-forth with Rubio about vote on defense spending
Amid a heated exchange, Rubio attacked Cruz’s record on defense spending.
“The attack he keeps throwing out on the military budget. Marco knows full well I voted for his amendment to increase military spending to $697 billion,” Cruz said. “What he said, and he said it in the last debate, is simply not true.”
Cruz’s statement rates True.
Trying to counteract defense spending cuts over the past few years, Rubio put forth an amendment to increase military spending in March 2015. If passed, the amendment would have raised projected defense spending outlays through 2022 in Congress’ proposed budget.
Cruz voted for the amendment. The measure failed 32-68.
Fact-checkers Lauren Carroll, Louis Jacobson and Katie Sanders contributed to this article.
The statement: Jeb Bush says Hillary Clinton “is under investigation with the FBI right now.”
The ruling: Not quite. The FBI is conducting a general inquiry into the security of Clinton’s private email server. But law enforcement officials have said Clinton herself is not the target of the inquiry, and it is not a full-blown criminal investigation. Clinton’s actions are clearly front-and-center in an FBI investigation. But Bush goes too far in claiming Clinton herself is under investigation.
We rate this claim: Half True.
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