CNN fact checked candidate’s claims raging from policy projections, their work history and alleged accolades and attacks on those sharing the stage.
Warren accused Bloomberg of saying derogatory things about women.
“I’d like to talk about who we’re running against,” Warren said, “a billionaire who calls women fat broads and horse-faced lesbians. And no, I’m not talking about Donald Trump, I’m talking about Mayor Bloomberg.”
Facts First: It’s not clear whether Bloomberg ever said these specific words, but they have been attributed to him. The quote Warren is referencing is from a booklet of alleged Bloomberg quotes given to him by an employee as a gift for his birthday in 1990. While the introduction of the book says “these are all actual quotes,” Bloomberg has denied that he actually said any of them.
Bloomberg’s presidential campaign spokesman Stu Loeser told the Post that “Mike simply did not say the things somebody wrote in this gag gift, which has been circulating for 30 years and has been quoted in every previous election Mike has been in.”
The Post also reported that a Bloomberg spokesman said in 2001 that “‘some of the things he might have said’ and Bloomberg apologized to ‘anyone that was offended by’ the comments.”
— Holmes Lybrand
Biden’s claim about Bloomberg calling Obamacare a “disgrace”
Biden said Bloomberg called Obamacare “a disgrace” after it passed.
“The mayor said, when we passed it, the signature piece of this administration, it’s a disgrace,” Biden said. “They’re the exact words. It was a disgrace. Look it up, check it out, it was a disgrace.”
Facts First: This is true.
“Some parts of Obamacare I don’t think will work, I don’t think is fair, I don’t think is intelligent, whatever. But I don’t have a better answer other than let’s try this,” Bloomberg also said.
— Andrew Kaczynski
Biden on Bloomberg’s use of “stop and frisk”
Biden said that Bloomberg, as mayor of New York City, had “stop and frisk — throwing close to five million young black men up against a wall.”
Biden spokesman Michael Gwin said Biden meant to refer to the total number of stops. Gwin correctly noted that the stops disproportionately targeted young African-American and Hispanic men.
Bloomberg advocated stop and frisk even after a federal judge ruled in 2013 that the way New York was using stop and frisk was unconstitutional. He began apologizing for stop and frisk in November 2019, the month he launched his presidential campaign, saying he only belatedly realized that too many innocent people were being harmed. However, his account of what happened has left out important information.
— Daniel Dale
Klobuchar on her record in red districts
As she has in prior debates, Klobuchar asserted Wednesday that she’s won elections in Republican-held areas.
“I’m the one on this stage that had the highest voter turnout of any state in the country when I led the ticket, as well as bringing in rural and suburban voters. And I’ve done that as well,” she said. “And I’m the only one with the receipts to have done that in Republican congressional districts over and over again.”
Facts First: Partly true. Minnesota had the highest voter turnout rate of any state during each of her Senate campaigns, but Klobuchar is not the only candidate who has won Republican-held congressional districts
Biden, who spent most of his career as the senator for Delaware, won in Republican congressional districts.
Biden first won the 1972 election to be senator from Delaware and was repeatedly re-elected to serve in that position by considerable margins until he became vice president in 2009. During that time, Delaware’s sole congressional district was held by Republicans from 1973 to 1983, and from 1993 to 2011.
Turnout was highest in Minnesota in years when Klobuchar ran. In her three election years, Minnesota had the highest state voter turnout nationwide.
— Caroline Kelly
Warren on Buttigieg and Klobuchar health care proposals
Warren attacked several of her rivals on their health care plans, particularly Buttigieg and Klobuchar.
“Mayor Buttigieg, there are four expenses that families pay, right, premiums, deductibles, co-pays, uncovered medical expenses. Mayor Buttigieg says he will put a cap only on the premiums. And that means families are going to pick up the rest of the costs. Amy, I looked online at your plan. It’s two paragraphs,” Warren said.
However, while Buttigieg’s proposal doesn’t set caps on consumers’ out-of-pocket spending, it would reduce what they have to pay for medical care in two ways. He would tie those premium subsidies to gold policies, which typically have lower deductibles and co-pays than the silver plans that Obamacare premium subsidies are based on now.
And he calls for increasing cost-sharing assistance, which currently caps what low-income Americans who buy Obamacare policies have to pay for care, though he doesn’t provide details.
Klobuchar’s website has one page that outlines her health care proposals in five paragraphs that briefly summarize her proposals on health care, prescription drugs, addiction and mental health, reproductive rights and seniors. But each of those paragraphs, except the one on reproductive rights, has a link to other pages with more details on her plans.
Warren supports Medicare for All, which would eliminate premiums, deductibles and co-pays, though she would first implement a public option-type plan that would have premiums and co-pays for some Americans.
— Tami Luhby
Buttigieg on hostility of Sanders followers
Buttigieg criticized Sanders’ handling of bullying by some of his online followers and asked, “Why did this pattern arise? Why is it especially the case among your supporters?” Sanders retorted, “I don’t think it is especially the case.”
Sanders leads the Democratic field in raw measures of engagement on social media with more than 10 million followers on Twitter and 5 million likes on his campaign’s official Facebook page.
— Curt Devine
Bloomberg on releasing his tax returns
Bloomberg on Wednesday claimed that he released his tax returns every year to the public for the 12 years he served as the mayor of New York.
“I put up my tax return every year for 12 years in City Hall,” Bloomberg said during his first appearance on the Democratic debate stage in Las Vegas.
He added that his returns would be “out in a few weeks.”
“We are preparing it,” he said. “The number of pages will probably be thousands of pages. I can’t go to Turbo Tax.”
Facts First: This is misleading. The billionaire mayor allowed reporters to review his tax documents, but didn’t publicly release his full tax returns during his 12-year tenure from 2002 to 2013.
As mayor, Bloomberg invited reporters every year from The Wall Street Journal and other outlets to review filings for “hours and hours of time” with the mayor’s accountants, Stu Loeser, a Bloomberg campaign spokesman told CNN. The sessions offered journalists a chance to ask for “explanations about every page, schedule and addendum in his taxes,” Loeser said.
— Donna Borak
Bloomberg and Biden on “stop and frisk”
Bloomberg and Biden had an exchange about “stop and frisk” policing in which both of them got things wrong.
Bloomberg said he reduced stop and frisk by 95% after deciding the policy had gone too far, while Biden said the decline was due to the Obama administration’s decision to send monitors to assess the situation.
Facts First: Bloomberg was misleading by omission when he cited a 95% decline in stop and frisk without explaining that the reduction happened only in the last two years of his 12-year mayoralty, following a 605% increase in his first 10 years.
And while Biden was correct that Bloomberg fought the appointment of a monitor to oversee New York City’s compliance with a court order to reform stop and frisk, he was misleading on two other points about the monitor.
Biden claimed the monitor was sent by the Obama administration, though the monitor was a private lawyer appointed by a federal judge with the Obama administration’s endorsement.
Biden also gave the false impression that the monitor was the reason the number of stops declined.
What Bloomberg said
What Biden said
After Bloomberg spoke, Biden argued that the reason stop and frisk actually declined was that President Barack Obama “sent moderators” to New York City to oversee the city’s use of stop and frisk, appearing to mean “monitors.” He then added: “Our administration sent in people to monitor it.”
But Biden was incorrect that the monitor was the reason the use of stop and frisk declined: the number of stops had already plummeted by the time Zimroth started in 2014. The 95% decline transpired between the first quarter of 2012 and the fourth quarter of 2013.
— Daniel Dale