Stand up for facts and support PolitiFact.

Now is your chance to go on the record as supporting trusted, factual information by joining PolitiFact’s Truth Squad. Contributions or gifts to PolitiFact, which is part of the 501(c)(3) nonprofit Poynter Institute, are tax deductible.

More Info

I would like to contribute

Fact-checking Jebio in the 2016 GOP presidential race
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio competed in the 2016 presidential primary. (File: Getty) Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio competed in the 2016 presidential primary. (File: Getty)

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio competed in the 2016 presidential primary. (File: Getty)

Amy Sherman
By Amy Sherman March 16, 2016

What began as a battle between two Florida Republican politicians ended in a rout by New York billionaire Donald Trump Tuesday night when he slay the chance of any Floridian winning the GOP presidential nomination this year.

Rubio lost the Florida primary by a landslide and suspended his campaign March 15. Weeks earlier, Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush dropped out after the South Carolina primary.

We fact-checked several dozen statements by Bush and Rubio since they declared their candidacy in 2015. (Some fact-checks were completed before they announced.)

Here is Bush’s record on the Truth-O-Meter

Here is Rubio’s record on the Truth-O-Meter

Here’s a look at some of our most-clicked on fact-checks related to Bush and Rubio.


Says Hillary Clinton "is under investigation with the FBI right now."

Bush made this statement at the Jan. 14 debate in South Carolina, but the situation was more complicated than Bush’s comment suggests.

In July 2015, the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community sent a security referral to members of the executive branch. (The New York Times reported it was a criminal investigation but later issued two corrections.) The referral was in connection with Clinton’s account, not whether Clinton herself mishandled information, and did not allege criminal activity.

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.

So Clinton’s actions are clearly front-and-center in an FBI investigation. But Bush went too far to claim Clinton herself is under investigation. We rated his statement Half True. In February, the FBI confirmed that the probe was ongoing.

"A law was passed, apparently in the Clinton administration, about whether, in recruiting offices … Marines or other military should be able to have guns. Apparently it is prohibited."  

Bush made this inaccurate claim after the shooting rampage at two military sites in Chattanooga that took the lives of four Marines and a Navy petty officer. The Defense Department issued a directive, not a law, in 1992 -- when Bush’s father was president. It did not ban firearms outright; it limited them to military personnel who held certain jobs, such as positions in law enforcement. The Army issued a regulation implementing that directive in 1993 -- two months after Clinton was in office. We rated this statement Mostly False

"It takes almost a year for a refugee to be processed in the United States."

Whether the United States should continue to accept Syrian refugees was a subject of debate following the Paris attacks in November which killed 130 people. Bush made this largely accurate claim on CNN days after the attacks.

The worldwide average for processing a refugee to enter the United States is between a year to a year and a half. For Syrian refugees, it takes two years on average. We rated his claim Mostly True

Planned Parenthood is "not actually doing women’s health issues."

Bush, a longtime opponent of abortion, made this exaggerated claim at a town hall in Colorado. Planned Parenthood offers a long list of services that pertain to women’s health beyond abortion including contraception, sexually transmitted infection testing and treatment, pregnancy testing and prenatal services.

In total, Planned Parenthood saw 2.7 million individual patients in 2013, and provided nearly 11 million services. About 12 percent of patients received an abortion. We rated Bush’s statement Pants on Fire.


Hostages were released as soon as Ronald Reagan took office because Iran perceived that America was "no longer under the command of someone weak."

Rubio made this claim on Meet the Press Jan. 17 after news spread of Iran’s release of Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian and four other Americans. The release of prisoners followed the Iran nuclear deal -- an agreement Rubio vowed to rescind if elected.

As for Reagan, this is a GOP talking point we had debunked before. Reagan’s foreign policy approach wasn’t a factor in the hostages’ release, scholars told us. The administration of Jimmy Carter negotiated the deal months before Reagan’s inauguration, without involvement by Reagan or his transition team. We rated the statement Pants On Fire.

"It has been over 80 years since a lame-duck president appointed a Supreme Court justice."

Rubio made this exaggerated claim at the Jan. 14 South Carolina debate following the death of Antonin Scalia.

Rubio omitted that Reagan nominated Kennedy in November 1987 and was confirmed during Reagan’s final year of office in February 1988. Reagan’s timeline doesn’t exactly line up with what Obama faces; Reagan had more time between his nomination and the end of his presidency. But it’s hard for us to see how Obama can be considered a lame duck but not Reagan. Both were second-term presidents who knew they would not serve again but did not yet know who their successor would be. We rated this claim Mostly False.

"I still live in the same working-class neighborhood I grew up in."

Rubio made this comment during his State of the Union response in 2013, but it continued to draw interest during his presidential campaign as Rubio emphasized his humble roots as son of a bartender and hotel maid. In 2013, Rubio’s home was listed for sale at $675,000 -- high above what some might consider a working class price. However, his claim was about his "neighborhood," and and put the median home list value in West Miami at $202,600. We rated his statement Mostly True.

In 2008, then-Sen. Barack Obama "missed 60 or 70 percent of his votes." In 2004, John Kerry missed "close to 60 to 70 percent" and Bob Graham missed "over 30 percent of his votes."

Rubio made this statement about other presidential candidates missing Senate votes during the Oct. 28 debate in Boulder in response to attacks on his own record of missing votes. Those numbers check out, though Obama’s and Kerry’s numbers were over the course of an election year. We rated this statement True.

As we noted in a more recent fact-check, between March 5, 2015 and March 3, 2016 Rubio missed 41 percent of votes -- more than the other two remaining Senators in the race: Republican Ted Cruz or Bernie Sanders, running as a Democrat.

Sign Up For Our Weekly Newsletter

Our Sources

See individual fact-checks for sources

Browse the Truth-O-Meter

More by Amy Sherman

Fact-checking Jebio in the 2016 GOP presidential race