Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

Fact-checking the GOP debate in New Hampshire

U.S. Rep. Ron Paul during a campaign stop in New Hampshire on June 10.
U.S. Rep. Ron Paul during a campaign stop in New Hampshire on June 10.

The contest for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination could pick up steam tonight when candidates debate in Manchester, N.H.

Last month, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Lake Jackson, sparred on a South Carolina stage with fellow candidates Herman Cain, Tim Pawlenty and Rick Santorum, though tonight’s event is expected to add Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Michele Bachmann to the mix.

We'll be watching Paul for testable statements and commenting on it via Twitter, @PolitiFactTexas. Our friends at PolitiFact National (@politifact), who will likewise be watching the debate, have recapped their fact-checks of some of the candidates’ claims in anticipation of the event.

For example, the libertarian-leaning physician from Texas who wants to sharply curtail government spending, including defense programs, recently lamented: "We're spending $1 trillion a year on our foreign policy." PolitiFact National looked into the country's budget for defense and diplomacy and found Paul right, rating his statement True.

Paul also said that due to the war in Iraq, "4,400 Americans are dead, 30,000 severely wounded and more than 100,000 are suffering from serious health problems related to post-traumatic stress syndrome." We found the statistic on post-traumatic stress syndrome is only correct if you include troops who fought in Afghanistan. We rated that statement Half True.

Read the complete Ron Paul file, and find other candidate files and the rest of PolitiFact’s pre-debate story here.

The debate is scheduled for 7 p.m. Texas time on CNN.