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A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Video: FactChecking the 10th Democratic Debate


In this video, we examine three claims from the Feb. 25 Democratic presidential debate in South Carolina:

  • Sen. Bernie Sanders has been criticized for saying on 60 Minutesthat not everything was bad under dictator Fidel Castro, citing a literacy program that Castro started. But in that same interview Sanders also condemned “the authoritarian nature of Cuba,” contrary to Biden’s claim that Sanders “did not condemn what they did.”
  • Mike Bloomberg, who came under fire from Sen. Elizabeth Warren for not releasing his tax returns, misleadingly claimed that “when I was mayor of New York, we had our tax returns out 12 years in a row.” He never released his full returns, providing only redacted copies for the media to review “for a few hours,” according to a 2013 Wall Street Journal report. The redactions included providing “a code letter representing ranges of dollar amounts” in place of income and other financial data.
  • Sanders, addressing former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Biden, misleadingly said voters “don’t want candidates to be running to billionaires for huge amounts of funding.” According to a Forbes analysis, 56 billionaires or their spouses donated to Buttigieg and 60 donated to Biden, as of December. But even if they all donated the maximum allowed, those contributions would total no more than 0.4% and 0.5% of the amounts Buttigieg and Biden had raised as of the end of December, respectively.

For more on these claims and several others in the debate, see “FactChecking the South Carolina Debate.”