During last week’s Democratic presidential debates, 20 candidates presented their positions on key issues. Some made pretty bold claims. Now, the PolitiFact Texas team, based at the Austin American-Statesman separates fact from fiction.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders claimed that the average middle-class salary in the U.S. has not changed in nearly half a century.
“How come today the worker in the middle of our economy is making no more money than he or she made 45 years ago?” Sanders said.
Texan, and former Rep., Beto O’Rourke, called out pharmacy companies and their connection to the current opioid crisis that has resulted in thousands of deaths around the country.
“Despite what Purdue Pharma has done, their connection to the opioid crisis and the overdose deaths that were seeing throughout this country, they’ve been able to act with complete impunity and pay no consequences, not a single night in jail,” O’Rourke said.
Former Vice President Joe Biden wrestled with his past after California Sen. Kamala Harris confronted him about not supporting bussing during the 1970s.
“I did not oppose bussing in America,” Biden said. “What I opposed is bussing ordered by the Department of Education – that’s what I opposed.”
Former San Antonio mayor, Julián Castro, spoke about the recent deaths of Oscar Alberto Martinez and his two-year-old daughter Valeria, who drowned in the Rio Grande River after trying to cross into the U.S. Castro criticized metering as being the cause for their deaths. Metering is a term that Customs and Border Protection uses to describe the policy of limiting the number of people allowed to ask for asylum per day.
“And… this metering policy is basically what prompted Oscar and Valeria to make that risky swim across the river. They have been playing games with people who are coming and trying to seek asylum at our ports of entry,” Castro said. “Oscar and Valeria went to a port of entry and then they were denied the ability to make an asylum claim so they got frustrated and they tried to cross the river and they died because of that.”
New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker talked about the high number of African American people in the U.S. in the prison system, compared to people from other races.
“From police accountability to dealing with the fact that we have a nation that has more African Americans under criminal supervision than all the slaves in 1850,” Booker said.
Hear how the candidates’ claims scored in the player above.
Written by Marina Marquez.