The Democratic debate in Houston on Thursday contained a whole lotta falsehoods, so many that the Associated Press decided to do a “fact check” on the numerous claims spouted by White House wannabes.
It wasn’t pretty.
There were claims that America has among the worst child poverty rates in the world, that the Obama-Biden administration didn’t “lock people up in cages” at the border, and that “every study” shows Medicare-for-all is “the most cost effective approach.”
Yeah, not so much, said the AP.
But the most egregious claim was that President Trump “inspired” — nay, “directed” — the mass shooting in El Paso, Texas. The shooting at a Walmart happened on August 3, killing 22 people and wounding 24. The FBI is investigating the shooting as an act of domestic terrorism and a possible hate crime.
Robert “Beto” O’Rourke, who is barely a blip on most polls, sought to tie Trump directly to the shooting.
“Everything that I’ve learned about resilience, I’ve learned from my hometown of El Paso, Texas, in the face of this act of terror, that was directed at our community, in large part by the president of the United States. It killed 22 people, and injured many more, we were not defeated by that. Nor were we defined by that,” the former Texas congressman said.
Julian Castro, another candidate who is far behind the field, went even further.
“Look, a few weeks ago a shooter drove 10 hours inspired by this president to kill people who look like me and people who look like my family,” the former U.S. housing secretary said.
“THE FACTS: Nobody has claimed that Trump ‘directed’ the shooting, as O’Rourke suggested,” the AP wrote.
“It is difficult to know for sure what led the gunman to open fire inside a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, killing 22 people. The suspect posted a manifesto online before the shooting that echoed Trump’s comments on immigration,” said the fact check. “The screed spoke of what the suspect called a ‘Hispanic invasion of Texas,’ railed against immigrants and warned of an imminent attack. Nearly all of the victims had Latino last names.”
But then the AP wrote that the shooter “said his own views ‘predate Trump and his campaign for president.’”
That’s about as big a “false” as you’ll get from the left-leaning wire service.
On other whoppers told at the debate, the AP shot down Sen. Bernie Sanders’ claim that “We have the highest child poverty rate of almost any country on Earth.” The AP said the U.S. “fared better than Russia, Chile, Spain, India, Turkey, Israel, Costa Rica, Brazil, South Africa and China,” then gave Sanders a primer on what poverty is, saying it is a “relative measure in which someone who is poor in one nation might look rather prosperous in another.”
Sanders made another iffy claim: “Every study done shows that ‘Medicare for All’ is the most cost-effective approach to providing health care to every man, woman and child in this country.”
“THE FACTS: Not exactly,” said the AP.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said in a report earlier this year that total spending under a single-payer system, such as the one proposed by Sanders, “might be higher or lower than under the current system depending on the key features of the new system.”
Those pesky details.
And on Joe Biden’s claim that the Obama-Biden administration “didn’t lock people up in cages, we didn’t separate families,” the AP was brutal.
“THE FACTS: His comment about cages is wrong,” said the wire service, adding that at the southern border, “the same enclosures were employed when Biden was vice president.”