Speed Reads

true or false?

Ted Cruz may have won last night's GOP debate. But he also told most whoppers.

Just because you heard it on TV doesn't mean it's true — and that's especially the case during debates, when candidates are vying to look better than their competition, even if it means compromising some truths. Ted Cruz in particular had a few glaring slip-ups Thursday night. Below, a look at some of his biggest debunkings. Jeva Lange

  • Cruz claimed an immigration bill co-sponsored by Marco Rubio would have given the president the ability to admit refugees "without mandating meaningful background checks," which isn't true — background checks would still have been mandatory. [USA Today]
  • Rubio also tussled with Ted Cruz over Cruz's tax plan, which relies on a 16 percent tax on businesses. Rubio said this was a VAT — a "value-added tax" — and was correct. [USA Today]
  • Cruz blamed his failure to disclose $1 million in loans used in his 2012 Senate campaign on a "paperwork error." However, while Cruz did eventually disclose the forms required by the Federal Election Commission, he also sidestepped a law requiring candidates to report such finances to regulators. [The Associated Press]
  • Cruz said "not a lot of conservatives come out of Manhattan," despite making plenty of campaign money off New Yorkers. Wall Street hedge fund mogul Robert Mercer gave a Cruz super PAC $11 million in April. What's more, the New York elections board shows 83,970 active registered Republicans in Manhattan. [AP & The New York Times]
  • Cruz claimed that "any country that makes U.S. service members get on their knees [...] will feel the full force and fury of the United States," referring to a brief incident earlier this week in which U.S. sailors had their boats seized and boarded by Iranian naval forces after violating territorial boarders. The Associated Press writes that it isn't unusual to disarm and temporarily hold foreign military forces the way Iran did in the situation, and that "the suggestion by Cruz that he would have launched a military attack on Iran in response [...] is hard to square with accepted international tests for the use of force." [AP]
  • Cruz called it "quite clear" that, being the child of a U.S. citizen, he is eligible to be president despite having been born abroad. While he's probably right, this isn't technically solved yet and could even go to the Supreme Court. [USA Today]