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A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Video: FactChecking October Debate Claims

In this video, we highlight several claims made by some of the candidates in the Oct.15 Democratic presidential debate:

  • Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro wrongly claimed that the “latest jobs data” show that “Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania … have lost jobs.” All three states saw job growth in August — and since President Donald Trump took office — according to the most recent preliminary data.
  • Former Vice President Joe Biden was wrong when he said that American troops withdrawing from Syria were “being fired on by [Syrian President Bashar] Assad’s people.” There are reports of Turkish militia firing near a U.S. outpost.
  • Former hedge fund manager Tom Steyer claimed 90% of workers haven’t had a raise in 40 years — but a liberal think tank says their real annual wages are up more than 22% since 1979. And that’s only through 2017. Wages have risen further since then.
  • Steyer and Andrew Yang both exaggerated the number of opioid overdose deaths in the United States by using total drug overdose death figures. Yang also inaccurately attributed all of the deaths to Purdue Pharma.
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders wrongly claimed that “500,000 people [are] going bankrupt for one reason, they came down with cancer.” But the study he cites says that medical issues contributed to those bankruptcies and were not the sole reason. He also said that “87 million Americans are uninsured or underinsured” — a figure that includes 19.3 million who were insured but had a gap in coverage in the previous year.

For more about these and other claims, please see “FactChecking the October Democratic Debate.”