Ted Cruz and the Truth-O-Meter Already Hot

Sen. Ted Cruz, reportedly running for president, already has a varied Truth-O-Meter record (Photo by Alex Wong, Getty Images, Feb. 26, 2015).
Sen. Ted Cruz, reportedly running for president, already has a varied Truth-O-Meter record (Photo by Alex Wong, Getty Images, Feb. 26, 2015).

Just a few years after launching an underdog U.S. Senate campaign that became a juggernaut, Ted Cruz of Texas announced his 2016 candidacy for president. (See his pre-announcement tweet here.)

Win or lose in this expected venture, Sen. Cruz, a Republican, already has a Truth-O-Meter record that through 2014 had drawn as many online views as about anything we’ve done. Indeed, Cruz’s PolitiFact report card nearly had as many page views as the longer report card reflecting fact checks of longtime Gov. Rick Perry.

We’ll be listening Monday to see if Cruz revisits any of the claims already fact-checked. Please email us if you hear anything curious.

See Cruz’s full PolitiFact report card here. Take in a PolitiFact look into his eligibility to run (Cruz was born in Canada) here.

Here’s a sampler of recent checks of Cruz:

In this article, posted here, PolitiFact gave Cruz credit for noting there’s been little global temperature change since 1998. Also, the temperatures measured are lower than what many computer models had predicted.

However, focusing on that period essentially means cherry-picking a timeframe that starts at an extremely warm year and ignores that the first decade of the 21st century -- even as it’s been stable -- has been the warmest on record. While scientists don’t deny that there’s been a recent "pause" in warming, they expect it to be a temporary trend. Not only is one anomalous period not enough to undercut longer-term projections, but other types of measurements do show evidence of continued global warming over the past two decades, including rising ocean temperatures and shrinking sea ice.

Cruz  had a point, we recently found, in that every year, demonstrations in Tehran mark the Nov. 4 anniversary of students taking over the U.S. embassy in 1979 and taking hostages. But that date doesn’t appear to be akin to the special American days Cruz singled out. In fact, it’s not a holiday on the calendar at all nor is it formally designated Death to America Day.

Data backed this up in our look. But Cruz did not note there are some income streams not part of the cited calculations that would tend to help those of us in the bottom 99 percent, relatively speaking. Also, tax changes that took effect in 2013 may slightly be reducing how much of the nation’s income is held by the top 1 percent.

Our most-viewed Cruz fact check through 2014 was one we wrote in September.

At the time, Cruz did not offer nor did we find confirmation of such crucifixions. Earlier in the year, however, ISIS had strung up the bodies of individuals already executed on cross-like posts in a Syrian town.

Another most-viewed Cruz fact check centered on his claim that Barack Obama had promised amnesty to immigrants.

We suppose the Obama administration’s 2012 declaration it wouldn’t deport certain young residents already here by 2007 might be misinterpreted as an everlasting amnesty signal by some. But, we concluded, Obama hadn’t offered amnesty to anyone.

Other factors in children streaming north from Central America include home-country conditions and a policy reaffirmed by Congress before Obama became president enabling unaccompanied children from places other than Canada and Mexico to settle here with family members or others while waiting for immigration cases to be heard.

What else?