Saturday, October 25th, 2014

Dewhurst and Cruz tread familiar claims in U.S. Senate debate

WFAA-TV

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and Ted Cruz, the former state solicitor-general, duked it out in a July 17, 2012, Republican U.S. Senate debate at WFAA-TV in Dallas, which we watched for tough, familiar claims. (A sampling appears to the right.)

Among debate thrusts and parries, Dewhurst pointed out that Cruz lacks a business background. That is True, as we noted in an earlier check.

Cruz, defending his support for a border-long fence, said Article 1 of the Constitution provides for the federal government to secure U.S. borders. The Constitution gives Congress authority over the naturalization of citizens, as we discussed in our look at a claim about immigration and the Constitution by U.S. Rep. John Carter, R-Round Rock.

In the debate, Dewhurst said afresh that he has not supported a payroll tax, though he conceded that a measure with a payroll element passed the Senate in 2005. That Senate action, part of an unsuccessful attempt to overhaul the state’s business franchise tax and reduce school property taxes, helped lead us to earlier rate False a similar claim by Dewhurst. No payroll tax passed into law, but the prospect was considered, with Dewhurst’s support.

Cruz, presented with a Dewhurst TV ad pointing out that Cruz represented a Chinese company against an American manufacturer, said the claim misleads about a commercial dispute. In April 2012, we rated Mostly True Dewhurst’s claim that Cruz represents a Chinese company found guilty of stealing U.S. blueprints. We concluded that viewers might take "guilty" in Dewhurst's ad as hinting that Cruz represents someone convicted of a criminal act. The judgment involved a civil battle.

Republican voters will choose between the foes in their July 31, 2012, primary runoff. The victor will face the winner of the Democratic primary runoff between former state Rep. Paul Sadler and retired teacher Grady Yarbrough. At stake is the chance to succeed Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, who did not seek re-election.

Nudge us -- by email at politifact@statesman.com -- or on Twitter, if you like, if you notice a new statement that should be subjected to the Truth-O-Meter.