Monday, December 22nd, 2014

U.S. Senate debate: 'Facts are stubborn things'

Republican U.S. Senate hopefuls (l. to r.) David Dewhurst, Tom Leppert, Ted Cruz and Craig James at the April 13, 2012, Belo Debate in Dallas. Leppert and James did not advance to the July 2012 runoff (Source: WFAA-TV, Channel 8, Dallas).
Republican U.S. Senate hopefuls (l. to r.) David Dewhurst, Tom Leppert, Ted Cruz and Craig James at the April 13, 2012, Belo Debate in Dallas. Leppert and James did not advance to the July 2012 runoff (Source: WFAA-TV, Channel 8, Dallas).

Just before several Republican U.S. Senate candidates launched into tonight's just-completed debate, one of them floated a familar careerist claim.

Former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert on Twitter urged voters to tune in and see the difference between a proven job creator and career poiticians. Perhaps he was referring to Lt. Gov. David Dewurst as he did last summer; see that check here

The debate opened with Dewhurst insisting he's been making many public appearances and attending sufficient debates. Candidate Ted Cruz has hammered his contention that Dewhurst has skipped consecutive opportunities. We looked at a version of that claim here.

Dewhurst later pointed out that Cruz has said he is not committing yet to supporting U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, for a leadership post among Senate Republicans. Dewhurst's characterization stands up, we noted in this fact check.

Cruz, responding at the debate, called Cornyn a good man and friend and said he'd look forward to working alongside him.

While asking a question of Leppert, Cruz took the opportunity to accuse Dewhurst of having previously proposed a wage tax. We've dug into Cruz's claim about the wage tax during our fact-check of Cruz's earlier claim that Dewhurst has a "record of promoting an income tax." That statement earned a Pants on Fire.

Loose line of the night (at least among fact checkers): Dewhurst saying: "Facts are stubborn things."

Each hopeful at the debate hosted by sponsoring station WFAA-TV, Channel 8 in Dallas -- Dewhurst; Houston lawyer Cruz; Leppert; and former ESPN analyst Craig James -- already had experience with our Truth-O-Meter.

Peruse Dewhurst’s report card here, the one for Cruz here, the card on Leppert here and the one for James here. Former state Rep. Paul Sadler, among candidates for the Democratic Senate nomination, likewise has been checked.

If you spot a claim we’ve missed, at the debate or elsewhere, write us at politifact@statesman.com or nudge us on Facebook or Twitter. Let us know if you’d like the 2012 PolitiFact postcard in reply.