Fact checking a Ted Cruz campaign appearance in Milwaukee

Republican U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas (left) was interviewed by CNN host Anderson Cooper during a town hall event for GOP presidential candidates at the Riverside Theater in Milwaukee on March 29, 2016. (Michael McLoone photo)
Republican U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas (left) was interviewed by CNN host Anderson Cooper during a town hall event for GOP presidential candidates at the Riverside Theater in Milwaukee on March 29, 2016. (Michael McLoone photo)

The day before a new poll showed him leading in Wisconsin less than a week before the state’s primary, Republican presidential contender Ted Cruz appeared in Milwaukee at a town hall hosted by CNN and made several statements similar to claims that have been previously evaluated by PolitiFact.

Let’s take a look at the comments made by the Texas senator at the Riverside Theater.

President Barack Obama has followed a pattern year after year "where he refuses to say the words ‘radical Islamic terrorism.’ "

Cruz previously made that claim while speaking about terrorism during a visit to Virginia in November 2015. At that time, Cruz’s statement was that Obama "will not utter the words ‘radical Islamic terrorism’ and as matter of policy, nobody in the administration will say the words ‘radical Islamic terrorism.’"

PolitiFact Virginia rated it True.

Nidal Hassan murdered "innocent souls" and then the Obama administration "defined that terrorist attack as workplace violence."

PolitiFact has not fact checked that particular claim. But in a December 2015 article, PolitiFact National referenced the case of Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan. The psychiatrist shot and killed 13 people on Nov. 5, 2009, at a military site in Fort Hood, Texas.

The article noted that the administration initially labeled that shooting workplace violence, but that President Barack Obama later called it terrorism.

The media have given "Donald Trump $2 billion dollars in" free coverage.

That claim in Milwaukee by Cruz is essentially on target, based on a statement made in March 2016 by fellow GOP presidential contender John Kasich.

The Ohio governor used the figure of $1.8 billion for Trump while saying he himself had gotten virtually no free media. PolitiFact National issued a rating of Mostly True because the analysis that came up with the figure for Trump estimated that Kasich had earned nearly $38 million in free media.

"My father was imprisoned and tortured in Cuba."

PolitiFact hasn’t checked that claim. But PolitiFact Texas did a November 2015 article on the background of Cruz’s father.  

The article said "it’s a dramatic story that culminates, in part, in a nearly penniless Rafael Cruz making his way from jailhouse beatings to the University of Texas."

But our colleagues noted that a New York Times story suggests the elder Cruz, a minister who stumps for his son, may have embellished his activism in Cuba.