Ahead of the Milwaukee debate, a look at the candidates on the Truth-O-Meter

The Republicans appear at the CNBC Republican presidential debate on Oct. 28, 2015, in Boulder, Colo. (AP Photo)
The Republicans appear at the CNBC Republican presidential debate on Oct. 28, 2015, in Boulder, Colo. (AP Photo)

The last time the Republican presidential candidates got on stage together, on Oct. 28, 2015 in Boulder, Colo., there were clashes.

Perhaps more so between candidates and members of the media who asked them questions than between the candidates themselves.

Nevertheless, the GOP hopefuls uttered enough Really? statements to produce more than a dozen Truth-O-Meter items done by our PolitiFact colleagues.

We expect more of the same when the candidates reconvene Nov. 10, 2015 in Milwaukee.

Ahead of that debate, we’re taking a look at 10 of the latest fact checks -- two done on each of the five Republican candidates who scored highest in national poll averaging done by Real Clear Politics.

Here we go.  

Ben Carson

Claim: Among manufacturers with fewer than 50 employees, "the average cost in terms of regulations is $34,000 per employee."

Rating: Half True.

Carson cited a figure from a 2014 report from the National Association of Manufacturers. However, the methodology behind the report has some significant shortfalls and no other studies were available.

Claim: His tax plan wouldn't leave the federal government with a $1.1 trillion hole.

Rating: False.

Based on what's publicly known about Carson's plan, his 15 percent flat tax would generate a $1.1 trillion hole between government revenue and spending. By his own math, his plan would create a $1 trillion hole.

Donald Trump

Claim: Said the Oct. 28, 2015 debate was supposed to be three hours, and he "renegotiated it down to two hours."

Rating: Mostly False

Trump played a role in reducing it to two hours. But the plans were for it to last around two hours and 15 minutes -- not three hours or more.

Claim: Ohio Gov. John Kasich "got lucky with a thing called fracking," which "is why Ohio is doing well."

Rating: False.

Though Ohio underwent a fracking boom in recent years, Trump overstated its impact. Fracking jobs account for about 2 percent of the jobs added in the state during Kasich’s tenure. Shale development has improved gross domestic product by about 1 percent and contributed to less than a percent of the state’s tax revenue.

Marco Rubio

Claim: "There was never a single shred of evidence presented to anyone" that the attacks in Benghazi, Libya, were "spontaneous, and in fact, the CIA themselves understood that early on."  

Rating: Half True.

Although investigations showed that some officials thought it was a terrorist attack immediately, there at least appeared to be some question about whether a video could have played a role. There were also several suggestions that it was because of a protest. However, Rubio had a point that much of the early evidence pointed strongly to terrorism.

Claim: Said that under his tax plan, "the greatest gains, percentage-wise," will be "at the lower end of our plan."

Rating: Half True.

The largest percentage income gains would show up among people in the bottom 20 percent, according to the Tax Foundation. However, it’s important to remember that in raw dollars, these gains are relatively modest compared with the total benefits people would see at the upper end of the income spectrum.

Ted Cruz

Claim: My campaign "finished the last quarter reporting the most cash on hand of any Republican in the field … $13.8 million in the bank, $3.5 million more than the Jeb Bush campaign."

Rating: Mostly True.

The figures were correct, but Bush still might remain ahead (perhaps way ahead) in money accumulated on behalf of a Republican. We won’t know how much total cash has been stashed to help each candidate until PACs report again in 2016.

Claim: "Under Barack Obama and the big government economy, the median wage for women has dropped $733."

Rating: False.

Wages actually have risen for women since Obama took office. Cruz's spokesperson said Cruz intended to use a different phrase.

Jeb Bush

Claim: "If you look at the three people on the (debate) stage from the United States Senate, all three of them have a combined two bills that became law that they've sponsored."  

Rating: Mostly True

Of all the bills Cruz, Rubio and Rand Paul of Kentucky have sponsored combined, only two have been signed into law.

But experts said that this isn’t a great measurement of a legislator’s effectiveness, and there are other ways to show impact in Congress. All three senators have their fingerprints on numerous laws as cosponsors or amendment authors.  

Claim: "In Florida, we have the lowest in-state tuition of any state."  

Rating: Mostly False.

That’s not accurate if we look at 2014-15 tuition for four-year public universities compiled by the College Board. That data shows Wyoming had the lowest tuition and Florida was the sixth-lowest.

Bush’s campaign said he was referring to Florida’s ranking as the lowest in 2006-’07 when he left office, but he didn’t specify that timeframe in making his claim.