Who Won the Fiction Sweepstakes in Last Night’s Debate?


I just took a quick survey of all the various fact checks of last night’s debate and totted them up. The following list includes only items that I judged (a) fairly important and (b) pretty clearly wrong or misleading, which means I left out several close calls. Here they are:

  • Trump says Wisconsin is $2.2 billion in the hole
  • Trump denied lobbying Bush for casino gambling in Florida
  • Trump says he never went bankrupt
  • Trump says vaccines lead to autism
  • Trump says illegal immigration costs us $200 billion per year
  • Trump says Mexico doesn’t have birthright citizenship
  • Fiorina says HP doubled its revenue under her leadership
  • Fiorina says sting video showed baby “with its heart beating, its legs kicking”
  • Fiorina says Obama did nothing on immigration reform
  • Christie says Social Security will be insolvent in “seven or eight years”
  • Christie says he supported medical marijuana
  • Cruz says Planned Parenthood sells fetal body parts for profit
  • Cruz says Iran gets to inspect itself
  • Paul says vaccines lead to autism
  • Huckabee says Hillary Clinton is under investigation by the FBI
  • Carson says a better fence was responsible for cutting illegal immigration in the Yuma sector

So the final score is: Trump 6, Fiorina 3, Christie 2, Cruz 2, Paul 1, Huckabee 1, and Carson 1.

Apparently Bush, Rubio, Walker, and Kasich didn’t say a single thing that was badly wrong. Good for them.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

Share your feedback: We’re planning to launch a new version of the comments section. Help us test it.