Trump, Rubio, Cruz Republican Debate Fact Check: 5 Biggest Lies From The Telemundo Debate

Thursday night’s CNN/Telemundo GOP debate was chock full of half-truths and untruths. Some were exaggerations, like Rubio’s claims about Trump’s hiring of undocumented Polish immigrants. Others were blatant aberrations of reality, such as Trump’s analysis of the U.S.-Mexico trade deficit. The distortions touched on immigration, international trade, health care, taxation and other issues. In particular, candidates had the tricky tendency of falsely citing outside experts and publications to bouy their points.

1) Ted Cruz claim: Wall Street Journal article says Arizona’s tough immigration laws save state on welfare to undocumented immigrants.

Reality: Arizona lowered prison and hospital costs after many immigrants fled the state, but welfare was not mentioned in the article. Also, the state’s GDP dropped by about 2 percent.

Read more: FactCheck.org

2) Donald Trump claim: “we’re losing $58 billion a year [to Mexico],” and Mexico could use that money to build a wall.

Reality: Trade deficits are not cold hard cash transferred from one country to another. It’s absurd to conflate the economic activity of individual companies that make up the trade deficit with the finances of governments in those countries.

Read more: Washington Post.

3) Marco Rubio claim: Obamacare is “a certified job-killer.”

Reality: Not only is there little evidence to support the claim that the Affordable Care Act has been killing jobs, it might actually have led to more hours being offered by employers. At the same time, some workers are expected to quit their jobs now that healthcare is easier to get without a job.

Read more: CNN.

4) Donald Trump claim: Americans “pay more personal tax” than other industrialized nation.

Reality: in almost every conceivable definition of “personal tax,” Trump’s claim is flat wrong. According to CBS News, the U.S. comes in 17th out of 34 industrialized countries in terms of total tax revenue per capita in 2014. However, Trump’s confusion may come from the fact that American’s pay relatively high business taxes -- the highest official corporate tax rate -- though the effective tax rate is somewhat lower.

Read More: CBS News.

Marco Rubio claim: Donald Trump hired undocumented immigrants, paid $1 million fine.

Reality: This is partially true. Trump’s companies and their subcontractors have hired undocumented workers, but Trump hasn’t ever done so personally. Trump did lose the $1 million case against him, but the settlement was private and the final number was never disclosed publicly. Rubio’s general accusation that many of Trump’s workers are foreigners is also true. A Trump club in Mar-a-Lagos hired only 6 percent of its staff locally, compared to around 90 percent from overseas.

 

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