Rand Paul on the Truth-O-Meter

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., is greeted by New Hampshire GOP Chair Jennifer Horn at the party headquarters Oct. 16, 2014, in Concord, N.H.
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., is greeted by New Hampshire GOP Chair Jennifer Horn at the party headquarters Oct. 16, 2014, in Concord, N.H.

Rand Paul, the Republican senator from Kentucky and a possible contender for the presidency in 2016, has been stumping for GOP candidates in recent days, promoting his small-government vision.

The government’s size and role is at the center of several fact-checks we’ve done recently of statements made by or about Paul.  

Here are brief summaries of our recent fact-checks; you can click through for the full reports.

Paul said Ebola is "incredibly contagious," "very transmissible" and "easy to catch." That’s Mostly False. A person who comes into contact with bodily fluids from an Ebola patient for a short period can contract the virus. In that limited sense, Ebola is "easy to catch." However, the overwhelming evidence shows that Ebola is less contagious and transmissible than many other diseases. By the numbers, Ebola patients go on to infect relatively few people.

Paul said the National Institute of Health spent $2.4 million on "origami" condoms. That’s Mostly True. He’s right about the dollar amount and that it goes to developing new condoms that are called "origami." But he leaves out that NIH has long encouraged condoms to reduce unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases, and public health advocates have high hopes for pleated condoms that people will find easier to use.

Liberal blogger Doug Muder noted that Paul’s 2011 budget included a big cut to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We rated that True. Paul proposed cutting the CDC budget by $1.165 billion, which we confirmed through 2011 budget documents. Paul’s most detailed budget proposal would have trimmed CDC spending by slightly more, about $1.2 billion.

• Finally, Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger said he didn’t support Paul for president in 2016, because Paul "has put out budgets to cut the military in half." We rated that False. We found Paul’s earlier budget proposed reducing military budgets by 25 percent to 30 percent, not 50 percent. Paul later unveiled another budget that actually increased year-over-year defense spending, though it did not keep pace with estimated projections in growth. Finally, Paul’s reductions mainly stem from winding down actions in Iraq and Afghanistan.