Mike Huckabee, Carly Fiorina and Ben Carson on the Truth-O-Meter
Three more Republicans are throwing their hats into the presidential ring this week: former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former computer executive Carly Fiorina and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson.
Of the three, we’ve fact-checked Huckabee the most, thanks to his previous run for president in 2007, when he staked out a position as a down-to-earth economic populist with strong appeal to evangelicals.
One of our more memorable fact-checks from that race was Huckabee’s claim that the signers of the Declaration of Independence were "brave people, most of whom, by the way, were clergymen." Huckabee (who has worked as a minister) was totally off on the numbers: Only one out of 56 signers was a clergyman. We rated the statement Pants on Fire.
On a totally different note, we couldn’t resist seeing if we could fact-check his claim to have eaten squirrel while in college after cooking the critter in a popcorn popper. We found an eyewitness who confirmed Huckabee’s story, so we rated the claim True.
After losing the 2008 primary contest to John McCain, Huckabee eventually took a job with Fox News, hosting his own show. He is expected to announce his candidacy for the 2016 GOP nominating contest on Tuesday, May 5.
Here is a current snapshot of Huckabee’s scorecard with PolitiFact:
Fiorina, the former chief executive of technology company Hewlett-Packard Co., has been speaking to conservative audiences recently and attacking Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton.
That theme will likely continue: Fiorina’s announcement video, released May 4, kicks off with her watching Clinton on TV, clicking the screen off, and saying, "Our founders never intended us to have a professional political class. … We know the only way to reimagine our government is to reimagine who is leading it."
We fact-checked Fiorina for the first time in 2010 when she ran for U.S. Senate in California against incumbent Democrat Barbara Boxer; Boxer beat her decisively, 52 percent to 42 percent.
In January 2015, we looked at a claim from Fiorina that 70 percent of people living in abject poverty worldwide are women. That’s a repeated talking point that simply doesn’t have evidence to back it up. International bodies that rely on such statistics told us they didn’t have data to prove it, and independent experts echoed the point. We rated the statement False.
Here is a current snapshot of Fiorina’s scorecard with PolitiFact:
Carson, a celebrated pediatric neurosurgeon, is making his first foray into electoral politics. Carson announced his intention to run for the GOP nomination on May 4 during a rally in Detroit.
Carson was head of the pediatric neurosurgery unit of Johns Hopkins Children's Center in Baltimore for many years. His memoir, Gifted Hands, tells his story of growing up in inner-city Detroit before achieving success in medicine. (The book became a 2009 TV movie starring Cuba Gooding, Jr.)
We’ve fact-checked Carson twice. "We spent twice as much per capita for health care in this country as the next closest nation," Carson said in a recent New Hampshire speech. His number was off, though; it’s not twice as much, though he has a point that spending in the United States is higher. We rated his statement Mostly False.
He also made this provocative comment in March: "A lot of people who go into prison straight, and when they come out they’re gay." There is no research that supports this point. We found that the one study that even began to address the topic has too small a sample size -- and too many variables -- to shed light on Carson's claim. And its author said Carson's view was "simplistic." We rated the claim False.
Here is a current snapshot of Carson’s scorecard with PolitiFact: