It’s the new fall season on TV, but you wouldn’t know it from the North Carolina Senate debate Tuesday night, which carried lots and lots of reruns.
Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan and challenger Thom Tillis recited many of the same lines they’ve used in campaign ads and in their first debate.
Tillis, the Republican speaker of the North Carolina House, complained that Hagan was out of touch on the rise of the terrorist group ISIS because she had missed crucial committee meetings in the Senate.
"Senator Hagan, I’d like to know, for example, what priorities there were that were greater that caused you to miss more than half the meetings over the last year -- so we’d have a better understanding of what you’re doing and how you’re acting," Tillis said.
His comments echoed his recent campaign ads that said Hagan, a Democrat, has missed half of the Senate Armed Services Committee's hearings this year. We found he’s right about public meetings (though we could not determine her attendance at private meetings). We rated that claim Mostly True.
Hagan fired back with the same retort she’s been using in the past week, that Tillis "has been waffling" about how the United States should respond to ISIS. We examined that claim after she made it on Oct. 4 and found that his statements have indeed been generally vague. We rated Hagan’s claim Mostly True.
Tillis added a few new details to his remarks about ISIS on Tuesday, saying that the U.S. should establish a no-fly zone over Syria and "should revoke the passport of Americans who are fighting with ISIS in the Middle East."
Hagan brought up education, which was a major topic in the candidates’ first debate, and repeated a claim that many Democrats have made -- that Tillis and his fellow Republicans have been cutting school spending. Tillis, she said, "has cut $500 million from public education." PolitiFact rated that claim Half True.
Tillis also recited a popular Republican line, although he used a slightly new twist. In criticizing Hagan for supporting Obamacare, he said, "Sen. Hagan, when she cast the deciding vote for Obamacare, voted to kill the equivalent of 2.5 million jobs." We rated that Mostly False.
Tillis suggested that the federal government was mandating the Common Core education standards, which prompted Hagan to say that "Common Core was not put together by the Department of Education in Washington. It was put together by governors and by states." We rated her claim Mostly True.
The Republican speaker of the N.C. House also said the state's economy had gotten stronger under his leadership in the state General Assembly.
"We came from far behind," Tillis said. "Fourth-highest unemployment rate when I came in, now we're near the national average."
But we found that was a stretch and that the state was actually still lagging behind most other states. We rated his claim Half True.
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