Politifact on Carson, Huckabee and Fiorina

Politifact on Carson, Huckabee and Fiorina May 7, 2015

We’ve had three new candidates officially declare their candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination this week — Ben Carson, Mike Huckabee and Carly Fiorina. PolitiFact reviews the record of their examinations of claims those three have made and, unsurprisingly, the record isn’t very good. Huckabee is the one who has been factchecked the most:

Of the three, we’ve fact-checked Huckabee the most, thanks to his previous run for president in 2007, when he staked out a position as a down-to-earth economic populist with strong appeal to evangelicals.

One of our more memorable fact-checks from that race was Huckabee’s claim that the signers of the Declaration of Independence were “brave people, most of whom, by the way, were clergymen.” Huckabee (who has worked as a minister) was totally off on the numbers: Only one out of 56 signers was a clergyman. We rated the statement Pants on Fire.

This is a standard Christian right lie, originating with David Barton. 55 of the 56 signers of the Declaration had college degrees from universities that were founded as seminaries originally, but that is not at all the same thing as claiming that they were clergymen. In fact, most of their degrees were in law, not theology, and PolitiFact is right that only one of them was actually a preacher (John Witherspoon). Overall, Huckabee’s record on the factcheck site is about 50/50, with 16 claims rated as true, mostly true or half true, and 15 rated as false, mostly false of pants on fire lie.

Carly Fiorina has only been fact-checked five times by the site, with one claim being rated as half true and the other four as false, mostly false or pants on fire. I doubt that includes her recent claim that federal government employees spend their days watching porn, which was based on an IG report on one single employee who had porn on his work computer.

Ben Carson has only been factchecked twice, with one being rated mostly false and the other false. Now that he’s a candidate, I’m sure they’ll start factchecking him more often. I doubt his record will get any better.

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