S.C. debate claim familiar? Find our research fast

The GOP candidates' debate Jan. 16 was the first of two debates in South Carolina this week. Tonight's is the second.
The GOP candidates' debate Jan. 16 was the first of two debates in South Carolina this week. Tonight's is the second.

During the Jan. 16, 2012, Republican presidential debate in South Carolina, the candidates from Texas raised new issues plus some we’ve touched on before.

Here’s a round-up of our previous research on issues that Texas Gov. Rick Perry and U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Lake Jackson discussed.


The congressman frequently calls for a reduction in U.S. military spending, and in the South Carolina debate, he said that while the United States needs "a strong national defense," the nation’s power is diluted by having "900 bases in 130 countries." PolitiFact explored that statement after Paul made it during a Sept. 12, 2011, debate, rating it Mostly True.

Paul also said he gets "twice as much money" from active members of the military as the other candidates put together. We rated a similar Paul statement True for the period from April through June 2011.

In South Carolina, Paul also spoke about his belief that civil liberties are under attack, saying "the Patriot Act has eliminated the Fourth Amendment," which protects Americans against "unreasonable searches and seizures." Last year, PolitiFact Ohio examined the Patriot Act while fact-checking a claim by U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, that the law has given the government the right to reach deeply into people's private lives, into their business affairs, without a court order." The Truth-O-Meter rated the Kucinich statement Half True.


In the debate, the Texas governor described actions by the National Labor Relations Board in South Carolina as unconstitutional. PolitiFact examined the situation in October after another Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, said that federal board had told Boeing it couldn’t build a factory in a non-union state — a claim rated False on the Truth-O-Meter.

Also during the debate, Perry touted his flat-tax plan, which we scrutinized in November after he said in an interview that it would give everyone a tax cut. We rated that claim False.

The governor also returned to a familiar topic — securing the U.S.-Mexico border. "When I'm the president of the United States that border will be locked down," Perry said. "And it will be secure by one year from the time I take my hand off the Bible."

PolitiFact has done a number of checks on border security, including a Perry claim in October that he "sent over $400 million to the border of Mexico in the form of Texas Ranger recon teams." We rated that statement Mostly False.

Similarly, job creation in Texas has been a prominent topic in Perry’s campaign, and in the South Carolina debate, he repeated the statement that during his more than a decade as governor of Texas, "over a million net new jobs" were created. We dug into a similar claim in October, rating Half True Perry’s claim that "in Texas, we created over 1 million new jobs while the rest of the nation lost over 2 million."