The presidential race kept PolitiFact Florida’s Truth-O-Meter busy in the weeks leading up to the start of voting in the early states.
Here were our Top 5 stories in January, counting down to the most popular:
He made a biting claim about the consequences of poor dental care during debate on a state bill that would change the rules for Medicaid coverage. It’s not so much that you’ll die of pain, of course, but dentists and research confirm that an untreated abscess can infect other parts of the body, either through the bones or the bloodstream. Most people won’t die from a toothache, but it’s a condition that if left untreated can lead to the worst: a fatal result. We rated the statement True.
We wrote about the battle between the two Republican senators who are rivals in the presidential race. The key thing to know is that Rubio co-authored the bipartisan Gang of 8 bill, which included a path to legal status in 2013, and Cruz fought it and voted against it. Rubio now supports a piecemeal approach,while Cruz seems to think mass deportations could happen over time simply by enforcing current laws. We explain the differences.
The trade deficit is about $50 billion. Estimates to build a wall vary widely, though the ones we saw were smaller than the trade deficit. It’s impossible to know a precise figure because Trump hasn’t offered a detailed plan. However, Trump’s overall message here is misleading because he suggests that the size of the trade deficit is proof that Mexico could pay for the wall. In reality, the trade deficit has nothing to do with whether the Mexican government could afford to write the United States a check to build the wall. We rated his statement False.
Rubio made this statement in Iowa after his ankle boots became the subject of Internet scrutiny after he was photographed wearing them in New Hampshire. His Florsheim ankle boots aren’t made in Wisconsin, where the company is headquartered. Florsheim told us most of their products are made in China, but Rubio’s boots came from India. We rated this statement Pants on Fire.
The DNC chair and South Florida congresswoman made this claim Jan. 17 -- before additional Democratic debates were in the works, including an MSNBC debate Feb. 4 in New Hampshire. Her best point is that the Democrats largely scheduled their debates with TV networks, which means viewers without cable can see them. But other than that, her statement is very disingenuous. At the time, there were six Democratic party debates compared with 11 scheduled for the Republicans, and half of the Democratic debates are on weekends -- including one the weekend before Christmas and another on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend. If the Democrats had wanted to "maximize" opportunities for viewers, the party could have added more debates, scheduled them on weekdays and avoided holidays. We rate this claim False.
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MSNBC, "MSNBC to host New Hampshire Democratic debate," Jan. 31, 2016
See individual fact-checks for additional sources