A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Video: The Ninth Democratic Debate


We examine four claims from the Feb. 19 Democratic debate in this video:

  • Former Vice President Joe Biden wrongly said of the stop-and-frisk policing policy under former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg: “The reason that stop and frisk changed is because Barack Obama sent moderators to see what was going on.” But the number of stops had already declined by 71% from the first quarter of 2012 to the second quarter of 2013, before the Obama administration made its first official intervention in the case.
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren falsely accused Bloomberg of “blaming African Americans and Latinos” for the 2008 housing crash. Bloomberg’s 2008 remarks blamed politicians, bankers, the Federal Reserve, home builders and Wall Street. He talked about “redlining,” but described banks lending to “everyone,” including those who were poor credit risks, not any racial group.
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders said CEOs in the health care and pharmaceutical industries “are contributing to Pete’s campaign,” referring to former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg. That’s true, but Sanders also has received such contributions. The amounts for both are small compared with their total donations.
  • Buttigieg used the disputed talking point that companies “like Amazon or Chevron” are “paying literally zero on billions of dollars in profits.” That’s based on a left-leaning think tank’s analysis last year. But the companies’ tax returns are private under federal law, and the Wall Street Journal estimated an 8% tax rate for Amazon over the 2012-2018 tax years. 

For more on these claims and others in the debate, see our story “FactChecking the Las Vegas Democratic Debate.”