PolitiFact Florida’s Top 5 fact-checks for August 2015

Hillary Clinton called for lifting the Cuba embargo in a speech in Miami July 31, 2015. (Miami Herald)
Hillary Clinton called for lifting the Cuba embargo in a speech in Miami July 31, 2015. (Miami Herald)

Democrat Hillary Clinton ramped up her attacks on the GOP presidential field while Sen. Marco Rubio defended his record on abortion and Jeb Bush attacked the Obama administration about its record on deporting criminals in August.

Claims by Bush, Rubio and Clinton dominated our Top 5 most clicked-on reports in August in addition to our round-up of misleading statements on immigration, including many claims by Donald Trump.

Here’s a look at our most popular newly posted items from August counting down to the most popular:

5. Did Clinton change her position on the Cuba embargo?  On July 31, Clinton gave a speech in Miami forcefully arguing to drop the embargo. That’s a far cry from her position during her 2000 Senate race when she stated she wasn’t ready to lift the Cuba embargo. During her first bid for president in 2007, she repeatedly called for reforms in Cuba before any such changes to the embargo. But by 2014, she was a critic of the embargo. Clinton made a full change of position, so we rated it a Full Flop.

4. Bush said "The federal government right now does not deport criminals."  Bush, who made this claim at a town hall in New Hampshire, pointed to reports that many criminal illegal immigrants have been released, and there was evidence that it sometimes happens. But it is an exaggeration to say that none are deported. Last year, ICE deported about 86,000 illegal immigrants convicted of previous crimes. We rated this claim False.

3. Rubio said on allowing abortion in cases of rape or incest, "I have never said that or advocated that." Rubio made this statement during the GOP debate in Cleveland. Recently, Rubio supported a bill that would have banned abortion after 20 weeks, and the bill did include exceptions for rape or incest. So Rubio has supported legislation with exceptions. However, we could find no evidence that Rubio has generally favored those types of exceptions, and we couldn’t find him specifically advocating for them. We rated this claim Mostly False.  

2. 10 fact-checks about immigration in the presidential race From statements about "anchor babies" to deportation data, illegal immigration has been one of the hottest topics of the 2016 presidential race. Trump has made several claims related to immigration that have received False and Pants on Fire ratings. We have also fact-checked claims by Bush, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, as well as Clinton. See our story about 10 wrong claims about immigration.

1. Clinton tweeted "Not one of the 17 GOP candidates has discussed how they'd address the rising cost of college." While some Republican hopefuls haven’t had much to say on the issue, it’s not accurate to say none of them have. Rubio has made higher education spending a major plank of his campaign, and other candidates like New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Carly Fiorina have set forth ideas and positions. Other candidates have at least mentioned the subject at times. We rated her statement False.

And before we sign off ...

Some of our older fact-checks and articles were also popular, including our fact-check of a claim by former state Sen. Dan Gelber that Florida’s graduation rate was dead last when Bush left office and remains near bottom, a claim by U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo, R-Miami, about the Clintons attending Trump’s wedding, a Facebook meme about Rubio and restoring guns and voting rights for felons, Gov. Rick Scott’s broken promise on drug screening for welfare recipients and our fact-check about black-on-black murders and our May 2015 update about that topic.

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