The team will pick the juiciest statements, analyze them, consult issue experts and then rate them
The team rates each claim either True; Mostly True; True, but Misleading; False; or It's Complicated
The CNN Fact-Checking Team worked through Thursday night to check some of the most notable claims made by all 17 Republican presidential candidates at the two debates hosted by Fox News.
The team, comprised of researchers, editors and reporters across CNN, picked the juiciest statements, analyzed them, consulted issue experts and then rated them either True; Mostly True; True, but Misleading; False; or It’s Complicated.
Fact check: Ted Cruz says part of Iran deal includes lifting sanctions against leader of Quds Force.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s assertion that part of the Iran deal includes lifting sanctions against Qassem Suleimani, the Quds Force leader, is partially true. According to the White House, Soleimani – who was accused of involvement in the Shia insurgency against U.S. forces during the Iraq War – would not have United Nations sanctions lifted against him until eight years into a completed deal. Even then, U.S. sanctions will continue to be in place, according to the White House, and those sanctions are not connected to the Iran deal.
There is another Soleimani who will have sanctions lifted sooner, but he’s not a part of the Quds Force. Ghasem Soleimani is the director of Uranium Mining Operations at the Saghand Uranium Mine.
We find Cruz’s claim Mostly True.
Fact check: Marco Rubio on allowing abortions in certain instances.
Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida disagreed with debate moderator Megyn Kelly for suggesting that he supports exceptions to an abortion ban in cases of rape and incest.
But the record shows otherwise.
Although Rubio has said he personally believes life begins at conception and that all human life is worthy of protection, Rubio cosponsored S. 1670, the Senate’s Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act of 2013. The legislation would have prohibited abortion except in certain circumstances, including if “the pregnancy is the result of rape, or the result of incest against a minor.”
We find Rubio’s claim False.
Fact check: Ted Cruz on “majority” of people on stage supporting “amnesty.”
If “amnesty” is defined as any proposal that includes a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, Cruz is correct. At least five of the other nine candidates have supported citizenship at one point.
- Rubio was a leading advocate for the so-called Gang of Eight’s immigration reform package that includes that path. He has since tried to distance himself from that bill.
- Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has acknowledged that he supported amnesty before publicly recanting after conversations with border-state governors, a change of heart he reiterated Thursday.
- New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie called on President Barack Obama and Congress to “step up to the plate” and put forward a plan to secure the borders and create a pathway to citizenship in a 2010 interview with Jake Tapper. He has since disavowed that stance, recently calling it a “garbage” idea.
- Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has at times supported immigration proposals that include citizenship, though he now advocates for “earned legal status.” He told Charlie Rose in 2012 that he backed “a path to citizenship, which I would support and that does put me probably out of the mainstream of most conservatives.”
- Donald Trump has been wishy-washy on what specifically he would do, but he said as recently as last month that he would be open to a pathway to citizenship for some, saying, “We try and work something out” with a merit-based system.
- Ohio Gov. John Kasich recently reaffirmed his openness to a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, saying on “Meet the Press” that “hard-working” immigrants who have become part of the American culture should have an opportunity to stay.
- Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee told The Washington Post in 2010 that a pathway to citizenship was “the rational approach,” and he also was supportive of the Gang of Eight’s immigration push.
- It’s not clear that Ben Carson ever explicitly supported a pathway, though he did imply in his 2013 book, “America the Beautiful,” that it was immoral to deny citizenship to immigrants who provide cheap labor.
- Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky voted against the Senate bill in 2013 but has stressed that there has to be an “openness to compromise.”
We find Cruz’s claim True.