01:10 - Source: CNN
Debate reality check: Who was telling the truth?

Story highlights

CNN's Reality Check team spent the night putting their statements and assertions to the test

The team of reporters, researchers and editors across CNN selected key statements and rated them: True; Mostly True; True, but Misleading; False; or It's Complicated.

Washington CNN —  

The Republican candidates for president gathered in Milwaukee for their fourth debate Tuesday, and CNN’s Reality Check team spent the night putting their statements and assertions to the test.

The team of reporters, researchers and editors across CNN selected key statements and rated them: True; Mostly True; True, but Misleading; False; or It’s Complicated.

Marco Rubio

Reality Check: Rubio on welders and philosophers

By Dylan Byers, CNN Money

“Welders make more money than philosophers. We need more welders and less philosophers,” Sen. Marco Rubio said.

The numbers are available at the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The median salary for philosophy professors is $63,630, according to BLS. The median salary for welders is $37,420.

Verdict: False

Ted Cruz

Reality Check: Cruz on wealthiest counties

By Theodore Schleifer, CNN

Sen. Ted Cruz argued Tuesday night that it was no easier to observe the corruption of Washington than by looking at the median income of those who live near it, saying that six of the nation’s 10 wealthiest counties are near the nation’s capital.

“The rich do great with big government. They get in bed with big government,” Cruz told the Milwaukee audience. “This is why six of 10 wealthiest counties in America are in and around Washington, D.C.”

That’s true – Falls Church, Loudoun County, Fairfax County and Arlington County in Virginia, along with Montgomery County and Howard County in Maryland rank in the top 10 wealthiest counties in the country, according to the most recent census figures.

But the presumption that those economies are entirely dependent on government jobs and largess doesn’t square with economic profiles of the counties.

In counties like Fairfax, the largest employer is not a federal agency, but the county public school system. The largest industry in Arlington County and Montgomery County is the government, for instance. Close to as many people in those counties work in professional, scientific and technical services, but there is not clear data on how many of those employees are government contractors.

So while “big government” might have something to do with these counties’ wealth, it’s hardly the sole driver. But it is the main one.

Verdict: True

READ: Top takeaways from the debate

Reality Check: Cruz on impact of immigration on wages in the United States

By Eve Bower, CNN

Sen. Ted Cruz said, “It is not compassionate to say we’re not going to enforce the laws and we’re going to drive down the wages for millions of hard-hard-working men and women. That is abandoning the working men and women.”

Cruz implies that undocumented immigration puts greater downward pressure on wages in the United States than legal immigration, and that the impact of immigration on wages is significant. There has been extensive research on this topic, and the results for the general population do not support Cruz’s claims.

A 2015 study published in the Southern Economic Journal found that every 1 percentage point increase in the portion of a population that is undocumented actually causes an increase in the wages of documented workers equivalent to 0.44%, based on data from the state of Georgia.

In a widely-cited 2001 study on the impacts of immigration on the United States economy, economists noted that immigration makes a “very small” impact on the wages of native-born Americans overall. The report cites estimates that for every 10% increase in the share of a population that is foreign-born (whether documented or undocumented), the wages of native-born workers fall by less than 1%, “often an amount not statistically different from zero,” the study’s authors say.

But the report notes that the impact on wages does vary by workers’ skill level. In recent decades, the only group of native-born workers to experience a “sizable” decline in wages due to the impact of immigration is workers who do not have a high school diploma. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of October 2015, there were almost 10.7 million Americans age 25 and older in the labor force who did not have a high school diploma.

While most American workers see no difference in their wages as a result of immigration, the specifics of Cruz’s claim are accurate. Cruz said “we’re going to drive down the wages for millions of hard-hard-working men and women” and there are more than 10 million Americans in the class most vulnerable to wage pressures.

Verdict: True

Jeb Bush

Reality Check: Bush says Clinton moved left on Keystone, TPP

By Marshall Cohen, CNN

Jeb Bush on Tuesday night accused Hillary Clinton of moving to the left on two key issues.

“She is a captive of the left her party to the point now where she was for the (Pacific) trade agreement, now she is against it. She hinted she was for the (Keystone) XL pipeline, now she’s opposed to it.”

Bush is correct that the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Keystone pipeline have played a major role in the Democratic primary campaign. And Clinton has faced pressure from her liberal critics to oppose Keystone and TPP. So did Clinton really flip on both issues?

As secretary of state, Clinton said she was “inclined to support” the Keystone XL pipeline. She also said TPP “sets the gold standard” for future trade deals. She did hedge her bets on both issues, and was careful with her comments, but she made it clear during her tenure that she was leaning in favor of both Keystone and TPP.

During her presidential campaign, she faced countless attacks from Martin O’Malley and Bernie Sanders and she eventually moved to the left on both issues. Clinton announced her opposition to the Keystone pipeline in September, saying it would harm the environment. One month later, she came out against TPP.

Verdict: True

READ: GOP debates policy – not personality

Donald Trump & Carly Fiorina

Reality Check: Who met Putin?

By Tom LoBianco, CNN

When it comes to U.S.-Russian relations, a little chest-puffing is hardly new. But two Republicans vying for the White House did some exaggerating of their own with their claims of meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“I got to know him very well because we were both on ‘60 Minutes,’ we were stable mates. We did well that night,” Trump said Tuesday night.

Trump also implied last month that the two had spent some time in together before the show in comments last month on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

“I think the biggest thing we have is that we were on ‘60 Minutes’ together and we had fantastic ratings. One of your best-rated shows in a long time,” he joked. “So that was good, right? So we were stable mates.”

Fiorina took a swipe at Trump when she responded later and, in the process, overstated Trump’s claim.

“One of the reasons I said that I would not be talking to Vladimir Putin right now, although I have met him as well, not in a green room for a show, but in a private meeting,” Fiorina said.

Trump never directly said that the two met, but he did imply it. But that’s not the case. The Putin interview was conducted in Putin’s home in Russia.

On the other hand, Fiorina has met Putin. Though something that Fiorina leaves out of her recollection of meeting with Putin: she praised the Russian leader following their meeting in 2001, before the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation conference, when she praised his leadership and the promise for a new Russia.