Final debate between Cruz, Sadler goes smoother

Ted Cruz, left, and Paul Sadler square off in Dallas on Oct. 19, 2012. Photo L.M. Otero/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Ted Cruz, left, and Paul Sadler square off in Dallas on Oct. 19, 2012. Photo L.M. Otero/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Though the talk didn't get as heated as the U.S. Senate hopefuls’ last matchup, Ted Cruz and Paul Sadler found plenty to disagree about Oct. 19, 2012.

In their final debate before the Nov. 6, 2012, election, the Democrat (Sadler) and the Republican (Cruz) seeking to fill Kay Bailey Hutchison’s seat went toe-to-toe on how to create jobs, how to pay for health care and how to dig the country out of debt.

Sadler again emphasized his experience as a member of the Texas Legislature in the 1990s and 2000s, mentioning his work on teacher pay raises and insurance, which we addressed directly in our Feb. 17, 2012, item on this Sadler statement: "We passed three pay increases for teachers and provided them with health insurance" -- Mostly True.

As the pair tangled over budget and tax issues, Cruz made a claim similar to a Mitt Romney statement that PolitiFact checked Oct. 3, 2012. The Republican presidential candidate’s claim that President Barack Obama cut $716 billion from Medicare was rated Half True.

Cruz said U.S. median incomes had dropped by $4,000 under Obama, which mirrored another statement from the Romney camp. PolitiFact found on Sept. 19, 2012, that a Romney ad saying, "Under Obama, families have lost over $4,000 a year in income," used solid numbers but went overboard in attributing the drop to the president. Those factors, also present in Cruz’s version, earned the ad a Half True rating.

Do "closing tax loopholes," "eliminating deductions" and "raising taxes" mean the same thing? Cruz and Sadler differed on that and other tax questions, but less contentiously than in their Oct. 2, 2012, debate, when Cruz claimed Sadler had advocated a state income tax for Texas:

Sadler: "That’s just a lie, Ted."

Cruz: "Did you support an income tax, yes or no?"

Sadler: "I never supported an income tax."

Well, except for the time he proposed one, as it turned out, which earned him a Pants on Fire rating.

See more of our Cruz and Sadler checks collected at right, and send us your suggestions for new items at