Who Won the Fiction Sweepstakes in Last Night’s Debate?

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I just took a quick survey of all the various fact checks of last night’s debate and totted them up. The following list includes only items that I judged (a) fairly important and (b) pretty clearly wrong or misleading, which means I left out several close calls. Here they are:

  • Trump says Wisconsin is $2.2 billion in the hole
  • Trump denied lobbying Bush for casino gambling in Florida
  • Trump says he never went bankrupt
  • Trump says vaccines lead to autism
  • Trump says illegal immigration costs us $200 billion per year
  • Trump says Mexico doesn’t have birthright citizenship
  • Fiorina says HP doubled its revenue under her leadership
  • Fiorina says sting video showed baby “with its heart beating, its legs kicking”
  • Fiorina says Obama did nothing on immigration reform
  • Christie says Social Security will be insolvent in “seven or eight years”
  • Christie says he supported medical marijuana
  • Cruz says Planned Parenthood sells fetal body parts for profit
  • Cruz says Iran gets to inspect itself
  • Paul says vaccines lead to autism
  • Huckabee says Hillary Clinton is under investigation by the FBI
  • Carson says a better fence was responsible for cutting illegal immigration in the Yuma sector

So the final score is: Trump 6, Fiorina 3, Christie 2, Cruz 2, Paul 1, Huckabee 1, and Carson 1.

Apparently Bush, Rubio, Walker, and Kasich didn’t say a single thing that was badly wrong. Good for them.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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