It’s Groundhog Day all right. But instead of seeing our shadows, we noticed politicians making some of the same false and misleading claims that we have written about several times before. We’re not sure if that means six more weeks of winter or not.
President Donald Trump on his support among black voters, Feb. 1 remarks at event for African American History Month: “If you remember, I wasn’t going to do well with the African American community, and after they heard me speaking and talking about the inner city and lots of other things, we ended up getting — I won’t go into details — but we ended up getting substantially more than other candidates who had run in the past years.”
Trump didn’t do nearly as well as he says. As we have written before, Trump received 8 percent of the black vote in 2016, according to exit polls. That’s better than Sen. John McCain (4 percent in 2008) and Mitt Romney (6 percent in 2012), Republicans who both ran against Barack Obama, the first black president. But Trump’s percentage of the black vote was about the same or worse than every other Republican nominee going back to 1968.
“Trump’s Campaign-Style Exaggerations,” Dec. 2, 2016
Sen. Ted Cruz on the process of vetting refugees, Jan. 31 in a CNN interview: “James Comey, who I would note President Obama appointed, told Congress he couldn’t vet those refugees to make sure that they weren’t terrorists.”
Comey testified Oct. 22, 2015, before the House Judiciary Committee that “I can’t sit here and offer anybody an absolute assurance that there’s no risk associated with this.” He made a similar point in his Oct. 21 testimony before the House Homeland Security Committee when he said: “We can only query against that which we have collected. And so if someone has never made a ripple in the pond in Syria in a way that would get their identity or their interests reflected in our database, we can query our databases until the cows come home but … nothing [will] show up because we have no record on that person.” That’s not the same as saying “he couldn’t vet those refugees to make sure that they weren’t terrorists.”
“False GOP Theme: ‘Unvetted’ Refugees,” Aug. 4, 2016
“FactChecking the Fifth GOP Debate,” Dec. 16, 2015
Cruz on the Affordable Care Act, Jan. 31 in a CNN interview: “Obamacare isn’t working. Millions of Americans, they’ve lost jobs. They’ve been forced into part-time work. They’ve lost their health care, their doctors.”
As we’ve explained before, experts characterized the negative effect of the health care law on employment as “small” or “minimal,” and one estimate put the total job loss at 150,000 to 300,000 — all of them low- or minimum-wage jobs. That’s not close to “millions,” as Cruz claimed.
Also, since the ACA’s employer mandate went into effect in January 2014, the economy has added more than 7.7 million new jobs. And during the same period, the number of people forced to work part-time for economic reasons (because full-time work wasn’t available, or because an employer cut back hours) has gone down — by 1.7 million.
As for Cruz’s claim that Americans “have lost their health care” because of Obamacare, the fact is that millions have gained coverage. The latest report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that an estimated 28.4 million Americans of all ages were uninsured for January through June 2016. The number of the uninsured in 2010, the year the ACA was enacted, was 48.6 million. That’s a net decrease of 20.2 million people.
“FactChecking the Seventh GOP Debate,” Jan. 29, 2016