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Live fact check of the Democratic debate

運営事務局 JIMOPLE 55 October 16, 2019
Presidential candidates Tulsi Gabbard, Tom Steyer, Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, Andrew Yang, Beto O'Rourke, Amy Klobuchar and Julián Castro participate in the Democratic debate co-hosted by CNN and The New York Times in Westerville, Ohio, on Tuesday, October 15.

Washington (CNN)Welcome to CNN's fact check of the fourth Democratic presidential primary debate. We will be posting our checks of candidates' claims as we complete them through the night.

This debate in Ohio hosted by CNN and The New York Times features a record 12 candidates who met polling and fundraising thresholds set by the Democratic National Committee.

It is the first time the Democratic presidential hopefuls are on the debate stage since the House of Representatives launched a formal impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. The President, and his attacks against former Vice President Joe Biden, have come up in tonight's debate.

The three previous debates (fact checks here, here and here) have focused on the candidates' policies and past records.

Along with Biden, tonight's debate features: Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, Sen. Kamala Harris of California, former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke, businessman Andrew Yang, Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, billionaire Tom Steyer and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii.

Asked about his son's international business dealings, former Vice President Joe Biden said, "I never discussed a single thing with my son about anything having to do with Ukraine. No one has indicated I have."

Facts First: Hunter Biden has indicated otherwise. In both an interview on ABC that aired today and a New Yorker article from July, he said that he had spoken briefly with his father about his involvement with Ukrainian company Burisma Holdings.

According to the New Yorker, "As Hunter recalled, his father discussed Burisma with him just once: "Dad said, 'I hope you know what you are doing,' and I said, 'I do.'" However, the New Yorker article did not make clear whether Hunter Biden said there were any more details as part of the father-son exchange.

In the ABC interview, Hunter Biden initially minimized the exchange saying "it wasn't a discussion in any way," before acknowledging the New Yorker's characterization was accurate.

-- Tara Subramaniam

Biden says Trump asked foreign governments to influence US elections three times

Former Vice President Joe Biden claimed that President Donald Trump has "on three occasions, three occasions has invited foreign governments and heads of government to get engaged in trying to alter our elections."

Facts First: This claim is true. Trump has publicly invited Russia, China and Ukraine to interfere in US elections.

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump infamously suggested Russia find emails belonging to his opponent, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, from her time as secretary of state that were wiped from the private server where she kept them.

"Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press. Let's see if that happens. That'll be next," he said during a press conference in Florida.

Trump then asked the president of Ukraine to investigate former Biden, a potential political rival in the 2020 election, during a phone call on July 25, 2019. Trump has insisted the call was "perfect" but that conversation is the focus of a whistleblower complaint at the center of Democrats' impeachment probe.

In October 2019, Trump suggested — without prompting — that China should also investigate Biden and his son.

-- Zachary Cohen

Buttigieg and Klobuchar: 150 million people will have to change health insurance under Medicare for All

South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg argued for expanding the Affordable Care Act rather than moving to Medicare for All, the government-backed health care program supported by Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

"I don't understand why you believe the only way to deliver affordable coverage to everybody is to obliterate private plans, kicking 150 million Americans off of their insurance in four short years," Buttigieg said.

A moment later, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar made a similar point, arguing that extending Obamacare was "what we should be doing instead of kicking 149 million people off their insurance in four years."

Facts First: The figures cited by both Buttigieg and Klobuchar are close to the latest number provided by one study.

Some 153 million people are covered by private plans sponsored by their employers, according to the latest Kaiser Family Foundation report. There are also tens of millions more who are covered by private plans through Medicare Advantage, Medicaid managed care plans and on the Obamacare individual market.

All these people would have to change their health care under Medicare for All -- but they would be covered by the federal plan instead.

-- Tami Luhby

Castro and Yang claim Rust Belt job losses

Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro claimed that a trio of states -- Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania -- have lost jobs of late, and businessman Andrew Yang claimed that Ohio in particular has lost a large number of manufacturing jobs over time.

Castro claimed that the latest jobs report shows Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania losing jobs, while Yang claimed that President Donald Trump won Ohio in 2016 "because we got rid 300,000 manufacturing jobs manufacturing jobs in your towns."

Facts First: Castro is incorrect, while Yang's claim, taken on a long enough timeline, is accurate.

It's not true that Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania lost jobs in the most recent available jobs data, as Castro claimed.

Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania all added jobs in August, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. State-by-state data for September is not available yet.

As for Yang's claims that Ohio lost 300,000 manufacturing jobs before the 2016 election, while Ohio has gained manufacturing jobs during the Trump presidency, the state did lose more than 300,000 manufacturing jobs over the 15 years prior to November 2016.

There were 987,100 manufacturing employees in Ohio in February 2001. The month of Trump's election in November 2016, there were 686,300 -- a loss of roughly 300,000 manufacturing jobs.

As of August 2019, there were just over 700,000 manufacturing jobs in Ohio.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Bureau of Economic Analysis, total employment in Ohio's factories has actually risen nearly every year between 2010 and 2018, and reached its most recent peak in June 2019.

Castro also falsely claimed that Ohio has been losing jobs under Trump. The Bureau of Labor Statistics' nonfarm payroll data shows that jobs rose steadily since January 2017, peaking two years later in January 2019. Since then, new jobs added have fallen slightly.

-- Anneken Tappe

Yang: countries that imposed taxes on the rich to pay for social programs later repealed them

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who has proposed a vast expansion of the social safety net, outlined her plan to pay for her proposals with new taxes on personal assets -- drawing a sharp retort from businessman Andrew Yang, who claimed that many countries that have tried to impose wealth taxes eventually removed them.

"A wealth tax makes a lot of sense in principle," Yang said. "The problem is it's been tried in Germany, France, Denmark, Sweden and all those countries ended up repealing it because it had massive implementation problems and did not generate the revenue projected."

Facts First: Yang is correct that these four countries tried and eventually repealed wealth taxes.

In 1990, 12 developed countries -- including Germany, France, Denmark, Sweden -- in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development had net wealth taxes. But by 2017, only four countries levied such a tax, according to a 2018 OECD report. Since then, France repealed its tax, leaving only Norway, Spain and Switzerland.

Countries generally justified repealing these taxes because of concerns over their efficiency and over administering them, as well as "by the observation that net wealth taxes have frequently failed to meet their redistributive goals," according to the OECD. The revenue collected from them have been "very low," with only a few exceptions.

- Tami Luhby and Holmes Lybrand

O'Rourke claims 40,000 Americans die annually from gun violence

Amid a heated exchange between former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke and Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, over gun policy, O'Rourke said that 40,000 Americans die annually due to gun violence. O'Rourke cited that statistic as he sought to defend his proposal for a mandatory buyback program for AK-47s and AR-15s.

Facts First: O'Rourke's is accurate but this statistic requires key context in order to understand the full picture.

While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 39,773 people died from gun-related injuries in 2017 -- the most recent year for which data is available -- most of those deaths are suicides. Roughly six in 10 gun deaths in 2017 were suicides, and less than four in 10 gun deaths involved homicides.

The number of gun deaths that year reached the highest level since at least 1979, when record-keeping on firearm mortalities began.

The kinds of firearms O'Rourke has zeroed in on, semi-automatic rifles, have been utilized by mass shooters. However they're not used in the majority of murders. The vast majority of murders are committed with handguns, according to the FBI, and a relatively small number are committed with rifles -- the type of guns O'Rourke would target with his mandatory buyback program. In 2017, handguns were involved in 7,032 murders and rifles were used in 403 murders.

- Sarah Westwood

Sanders: Six banks have assets equivalent to half of US GDP

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders claimed that six US banks "have assets equivalent to half of the GDP of the United States," while giving examples of "the grotesque level of income and wealth inequality" in the country.

Fact First: This is correct.

America's GDP totaled $20.5 trillion in 2018.

The largest banks by assets in the United States are JPMorgan, Bank of America, Citi, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. Together, their total assets amount to $10.6 trillion dollars in 2018, according to ratings agency Standard & Poor's.

- Anneken Tappe

This story is breaking and will be updated.