Saturday, January 31st, 2015

Debatable claims in N.H.

SUMMARY: Immigration and the Iraq war dominated the Republican candidates' Sept. 5, 2007, debate in Durham, N.H. Here are a few claims we checked:

• Duncan Hunter, a Republican House member from Southern California, earns a True for his claim that detainees at Guantanamo Bay get chicken and rice. And he can rightly take credit for building a border fence between San Diego and Tijuana, and he's correct that smuggling declined. But it declined along the entire San Diego County section of the border, which contains only sections of secure fencing. We give him a Mostly True.

• Ron Paul overstated the number of U.S. deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan. He said the number is "over 5,000," but the official count is 4,349. Since he was off by 13 percent, we rate the statement a Mostly True.

• Mike Huckabee is right that Arkansas has an amendment to its state constitution concerning human life, but he oversimplifies and overstates its impact. We give him a Barely True.

• Sam Brownback is correct that rates of heterosexual marriage have declined in Europe, but he fails to note that the decline began before gay marriage was legalized and is influenced by larger demographic trends. We give his claim a Barely True.

But Brownback has his numbers right for his claim about out-of-wedlock births, which earns a True.