Checking in on Jebio in January 2016
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and U.S. Senator Marco Rubio are competitors in the Republican presidential primary. (Getty file photo) Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and U.S. Senator Marco Rubio are competitors in the Republican presidential primary. (Getty file photo)

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and U.S. Senator Marco Rubio are competitors in the Republican presidential primary. (Getty file photo)

Joshua Gillin
By Joshua Gillin January 21, 2016
Amy Sherman
By Amy Sherman January 21, 2016

In less than two weeks, the nation will start the process of voting for our next president -- and Florida will play a pivotal role.

Two Republican candidates -- U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio and former Gov. Jeb Bush -- are longtime Florida residents. And there are other candidates who live at least part of the time in Florida, including Republican frontrunner Donald Trump.

Before the Feb. 1 Iowa caucus, PolitiFact Florida decided to check in on how Bush and Rubio are faring on our Truth-O-Meter. Floridians start voting by absentee ballot in February leading up to the March 15 primary. Here’s a look at some of the latest fact-checks of both:


We have fact-checked Rubio 125 times as of Jan. 21:

While speaking with voters in Iowa Jan. 18, Rubio said his much-discussed boots are "made in Wisconsin." His Florsheim ankle boots aren’t made in the Badger State, 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 Rubio’s statement Pants on Fire!

Rubio said on Meet the Press Jan. 17 that hostages were released as soon as Ronald Reagan took office because Iran perceived that America was "no longer under the command of someone weak."

In reality, Reagan’s foreign policy approach wasn’t a factor in the hostages’ release, as scholars told us. The Carter administration negotiated the deal months before Reagan’s inauguration, without involvement by Reagan or his transition team. Rubio’s claim is an imaginative re-reading of history. We rated the statement Pants On Fire.

Rubio and presidential rival U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas have battled each other on immigration.

During the Jan. 14 debate, Rubio said Cruz used to be "in favor of birthright citizenship" but is now against it.

He was referring to a 2011 radio interview in which Cruz said birthright citizenship was guaranteed by the 14th Amendment, and it was better for conservatives to focus on border security instead of trying to change the Constitution. He has since insisted he opposed birthright citizenship then and opposes it now. Cruz has said he now supports Congress pursuing a way to change the policy. While that raises questions on some details about Cruz’s position, it’s different than what Rubio claimed. We rated Rubio’s statement Mostly False.


We have fact-checked Bush 75 times as of Jan. 21:

During the Jan. 14 debate, Bush said Hillary Clinton "is under investigation with the FBI right now." That’s not telling the full story. The FBI is conducting a general inquiry into the security of Clinton’s private email server. But law enforcement officials have said Clinton herself is not the target of the inquiry, and it is not a full-blown criminal investigation. We rated his statement Half True.

In a post on Medium, Bush said "As governor of Florida, I used a combination of strategies to help reduce heroin use among youth in Florida by approximately 50 percent." Bush was governor from January 1999 to January 2007. There are statistics that back up his numerical claim. However, that’s drawing from a report that cautions against drawing broad conclusions for such low-frequency events. Experts praise Bush for his drug policies, but it’s important to note that broader demographic and social factors -- reflected in falling youth heroin use nationally during that period -- likely made a difference as well. We rated the claim Half True.

During the Dec. 15 debate, Bush said, "Two months ago, Donald Trump said that ISIS was not our fight." Trump immediately denied making that statement. But five months before, Trump said on CNN something close to what Bush indicated:

"The situation with ISIS has to be dealt firmly and strongly. When you have people being beheaded -- I would love not to be over there. That's not our fight. That's other people's fight. That's revolutions, that's whatever you want to call it, religious wars."

We rated Bush’s comment Mostly True.

Spot a claim in the presidential race we should fact-check? Email [email protected] or tweet #PolitiFactThis

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Checking in on Jebio in January 2016