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10 Facts Clinton, Sanders Got Wrong at Debate

10 Facts Clinton, Sanders Got Wrong at Debate
Democratic presidential candidates Jim Webb, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Hillary Clinton, Martin O'Malley, and Lincoln Chafee take part in presidential debate sponsored by CNN and Facebook at Wynn Las Vegas on October 13, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 15 October 2015 11:18 AM

Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and other presidential contenders made a lot of claims at the Democratic primary debate in Las Vegas on Tuesday, but they got it wrong a number of times.

Gathered below are 10 times the candidates flubbed their figures, evaded the whole truth, or pushed outright falsehoods.

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1. Clinton pushes falsehood about TPP flip-flop
— When asked why she previously backed the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal as Secretary of State, but does not support it as a presidential candidate, Clinton outright lied. "I did say, I hoped it would be the gold standard'" of trade agreements, she said during the debate. In truth, the AP reported, "Clinton did not say anything about mere hope in her speeches around the world in support of the trade deal. She roundly endorsed the deal taking shape." In 2012, for example, she said, "This TPP sets the gold standard in trade agreements to open free, transparent, fair trade, the kind of environment that has the rule of law and a level playing field."

2. Sanders is completely wrong about income inequality
— "We should not be the country that has . . . more wealth and income inequality than any other country," the socialist said during the debate. In truth, the U.S. ranks 42nd in income inequality according to the Gini index, and ranks 16th in the proportion of wealth held by the richest 1 percent of the population. Many major countries, like Russia, Turkey, Egypt, and Brazil, are more unequal than the U.S., not just smaller countries, notes Factcheck.org.

3. Clinton's, Sanders' plans for "free" college tuition are actually really expensive
— In touting their plans for free higher education, "Neither candidate told TV viewers about the costs to the treasury of what they propose," reported The Associated Press. Clinton's plan would cost taxpayers at least $35 billion annually, while Sanders' would cost $70 billion. Socializing the cost of college does not make it "free."

4. Clinton misleads with gun violence statistics — "I think that we have to look at the fact that we lose 90 people a day from gun violence. This has gone on too long and it’s time the entire country stood up against the NRA," the former first lady said during the debate. Factcheck.org reported that while the statistic is correct, it includes suicide deaths. Many voters are likely to interpret the statistic as representative of homicides, however the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention note that 63 percent of gun deaths are suicides, putting the gun homicide figure closer to 30 a day.

5. Sanders mischaracterizes NSA data collection
— "I’d shut down what exists right now is that virtually every telephone call in this country ends up in a file at the NSA. That is unacceptable to me," the big-government socialist said during the debate. According to The Washington Post, Sanders' statement makes it seem like the NSA is collecting the content of citizen's phone calls. It is not. In fact, it only collects the metadata from phone calls — the phone numbers involved, time of the call, duration of the call, and other information about the call, not the conversation itself.

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6. Sanders exaggerates youth unemployment — "African American youth unemployment is 51 percent. Hispanic youth unemployment is 36 percent," the Vermont senator claimed on Tuesday. Sanders takes his figures from a June report by the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute. As Factcheck.org noted, Sanders is using the statistics for underemployment, not unemployment.

7. Clinton's private email server — During the debate, Clinton claimed, "I have been as transparent as I know to be . . . I said I have answered all the questions." In truth, however, The Associated Press reported that, "Clinton has yet to explain how the server was set up and serviced, whether she informed the State Department about her decision to use the private system and, most important, how it was protected from hacking attempts."

8. Clinton cherry picks economy data
— The former Secretary of State claimed during the debate that "The economy does better when you have a Democrat in the White House." This claim comes from a 2014 Princeton University report, however the report states unequivocally that the policy choices of Republican administrations "seem to be a bit more stabilizing." It attributes positive economic growth under Democratic administrations to "good luck" and not "good policy."

9. O'Malley is wrong on earnings — During the debate, former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley claimed that "70 percent of us are earning the same, or less than we were 12 years ago." O'Malley is using old data, however, and Factcheck.org reported that "average weekly earnings for rank-and-file workers are up 5.8 percent," in actuality.

10. Sanders denies being a pacifist, but he is on paper
— "When I was a young man, I strongly opposed the war in Vietnam . . . That was my view then . . . I am not a pacifist," the socialist claimed. As The Washington Post notes, his campaign has confirmed that he applied for conscientious objector status during the war. "In order to submit the application, Sanders would have had to declare he was a pacifist and opposed to all wars. So while Sanders may say he is no longer a pacifist, that was his position during the Vietnam conflict," writes the newspaper.

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Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and other presidential contenders made a lot of claims at the Democratic primary debate in Las Vegas on Tuesday, but they got it wrong a number of times.
facts, clinton, sanders, wrong, debate
Thursday, 15 October 2015 11:18 AM
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