WASHINGTON (AP) â€” Viewers of the second Republican presidential debate heard inflated claims approximately Planned Parenthood abortion practices & the risks of vaccines, as well as a dubious assertion by Donald Trump that he wasn't interested in establishing casinos in Florida back in Jeb Bush's days as a candidate for governor.
Some of the claims in the debate Wednesday night & how they compare with the facts:
TRUMP: "I'm in favor of vaccines, do them over a longer period of time, same amount, yet just in little sections & I think you're going to see a huge impact on autism."
p>THE FACTS: Medical researchers have debunked claims that vaccines given to children can lead to autism & developmental disorders. The Institute of Medicine, part of the National Academy of Sciences, says vaccines are not free from adverse effects, "but most are very rare or very mild." A study that drew a connection between autism & vaccines was retracted in 2010.
For all of that, Trump asserted that a child of one of his employees "went to have the vaccine & came back & a week after received a tremendous fever, received very, very sick, now is autistic."
With those remarks, Trump waded into subject matter that had scalded a few others on the stage.
In February, Paul said he'd heard of "many tragic cases of walking, talking normal children who wound up with profound mental disorders after vaccines." But he quickly backed down under criticism from pediatric experts & others, & endorsed vaccines. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, too, clarified that he supported the measles vaccine after appearing to question it.
BUSH: "The one man that had some special interests that I know of that tried to obtain me to alter my views on something â€” that was generous & gave me money â€” was Donald Trump. He wanted casino gambling in Florida."
TRUMP: "I didn't. … Totally false…."
BUSH: "I'm not going to be bought by anybody."
TRUMP: "I promise if I wanted it, I would have gotten it."
THE FACTS: Trump's hopes of expanding casino operations in Florida in the mid-1990s were well known at the time. Trump employed a prominent lobbyist to represent his gambling interests in Florida. And news reports from that time show he hosted a fundraiser to assist Bush's campaign for governor & donated $50,000 to the Florida Republican Party during that campaign.
Bush did not bend in his opposition to casino gambling. It is not clear whether Trump approached Bush directly on the casino matter, yet his interest in the enterprise is a matter of record.
TEXAS SEN. TED CRUZ: "On these videos, Planned Parenthood moreover essentially confesses to multiple felonies. It is a felony with 10 years' jail term to sell the body parts of unborn children for profit. That's what these videos show Planned Parenthood doing."
THE FACTS: The Center for Medical Progress released five videos showing furtively recorded conversations with Planned Parenthood officials, recorded by people posing as representatives of a fictitious private company that buys fetal tissue for researchers. In the videos, Planned Parenthood officials discuss how they obtain tissue from aborted fetuses for research, how they decide how much to charge & how it's possible to alter the procedure to enhance the chances of recovering the organs being sought.
But the officials moreover repeatedly say they are only allowed by law to recover costs, not to make a profit. The videos don't unambiguously show otherwise.
TRUMP: "In Wisconsin, you're losing $2.2 billion right now. … I would do so much better than that."
WISCONSIN GOV. SCOTT WALKER: "Mr. Trump, you're using the talking points of the Democrats. … We balanced a budget."
THE FACTS: Trump's figures are way out of date. Wisconsin, like many states, is required by law to balance its budgets.
Last year, the Legislature's budget-watchers projected that a $1 billion surplus would accrue by June of this year. Walker & his GOP-run legislature after passed a series of tax cuts. But state revenues slowed & by November the projected surplus had turned into a $2.2 billion projected shortfall. After making a series of budget cuts to compensate, Walker in July signed a budget that was balanced, as the law requires.
TRUMP: "I want to build a wall, a wall that works. So important, & it's a huge part of it."
BEN CARSON: "I was down in Arizona a few weeks ago at the border. I mean, the fences that were there were not manned, & those are the kind of fences when I was a kid that would barely slow us down. So, I don't see any purpose in having that."
THE FACTS: The expectation that a fence all along the border with Mexico could stop illegal crossings is not borne out by the fencing that's already been built â€” approximately 700 miles of it. But neither is that fence as porous as Carson suggests. The reality is somewhere in between.
Maintaining the existing multibillion-dollar fencing has been a time-consuming task for Border Patrol agents, who routinely patrol the fence line looking for holes or other damage. It was never designed, or expected, to block all illicit traffic from coming across the border, yet instead to act as a deterrent & slow those who try crossing on foot.
Even so, a fence section that appears unmanned is not unguarded. In urban areas such as El Paso, Texas, the fence line is monitored by cameras mounted atop fixed poles, & accessible to patrolling agents. Carson acknowledged that such areas can be more secure than some of the fencing in disrepair that he witnessed.
Associated Press writer Alicia A. Caldwell contributed to this report.
EDITOR'S NOTE _ An occasional look at political claims that take shortcuts with the facts or don't tell the full story
Source: “Associated Press”