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A child dives into balloons on the floor after the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on July 29, 2016. (AP) A child dives into balloons on the floor after the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on July 29, 2016. (AP)

A child dives into balloons on the floor after the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on July 29, 2016. (AP)

By PolitiFact Staff June 5, 2023

The field of candidates for the Republican nomination for president has been set. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, enterpreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and others are challenging former President Donald Trump, who is running for a third time.

Since leaving office, Trump — the frontrunner in early polls — has been indicted four times on federal and state charges, and was found liable by a jury in a civil lawsuit for sexually abusing and defaming writer E. Jean Carroll.

On the Democratic side, President Joe Biden formally announced his reelection bid in a video released April 25. His challengers are U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips of Minnesota and Marianne Williamson; Robert F. Kennedy Jr. initially entered the race as a Democrat, only to announce Oct. 9 he’s running as an independent.

Here are the people who have officially declared themselves to be candidates or announced an exploratory committee, and a look at how some of their claims have fared on our Truth-O-Meter.

If you hear a statement by a presidential candidate or potential contender we should fact-check, email us at [email protected]

Where do the GOP candidates stand on a federal abortion ban?


Former President Donald Trump stands with former first lady Melania Trump on Nov. 15, 2022, after announcing his third run for president during an event at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla. (AP)

Donald Trump

The former president, defeated by Biden in 2020, became the first candidate to publicly join the 2024 fray, announcing on Nov. 15, 2022, his third run for the White House.

Since leaving office, Trump has been a subject of two special counsel investigations, one involving the events on Jan. 6, 2021, and another about classified documents found at his home in Mar-A-Lago in Florida. Trump was indicted June 9 by special counsel Jack Smith in the documents case on 37 counts, including the "willful retention of national defense information."

On March 30, a Manhattan grand jury indicted Trump on 34 felony criminal charges of falsifying business records involving a $130,000 hush money payment in 2016 to adult film actor Stormy Daniels.

In addition, prosecutors are investigating Trump’s role in possible election interference in Georgia. Trump’s indictments  won’t prevent him from running for president. Likewise, running for president won’t shield him from legal troubles.

Our recent fact-checks of Trump:

Fact-check: Donald Trump’s repeated falsehood that he saved the U.S. auto industry 

Trump misplaced blame when he said drug shortages were Biden’s fault

Ron DeSantis mandated COVID-19 vaccines in Florida? No, that Donald Trump claim rates Pants on Fire!

Trump says DOJ is trying to criminalize asking questions. That’s not what indictment says.

Read all of our fact-checks about Trump

Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, his wife Casey and their children onstage after speaking to supporters Nov. 8, 2022, at an election night party after winning his race for reelection in Tampa, Fla. (AP)

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis

Fresh off a national book tour and celebrating a slew of recently passed conservative legislation in his state, DeSantis filed papers with the Federal Election Commission on May 24 to run for president, hours ahead of a planned formal announcement in a Twitter Spaces conversation with Elon Musk.

DeSantis, who has publicly feuded with the owners of his state’s most popular tourist attraction (Walt Disney World) and his party’s most-popular figure (Donald Trump), recently signed bills banning most abortions after six weeks, allowing residents to carry concealed weapons without permits, and several bills he said target "woke" ideology, such as restrictions on transgender care for minors and restrictions on drag shows and diversity programs.

Our recent fact-checks of DeSantis:

Ron DeSantis exaggerates number of migrants in US illegally under President Joe Biden 

DeSantis says he removed critical race theory from K-12 schools, but districts say it wasn’t taught 

Illinois law expanding police eligibility to some immigrants is narrower than critics say 

Ron DeSantis’ False claim that some states allow ‘post-birth’ abortions. None do. 

Read all our fact-checks about DeSantis

Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley greets supporters after her speech  Feb. 15, 2023, in Charleston, S.C. (AP)

Nikki Haley

The former South Carolina governor, who served as United Nations ambassador in the Trump administration, announced her candidacy in a video posted Feb. 14, 2023, on Twitter. She called for a "new generation" of leadership in the video, flip-flopping on her pledge not to run against her former boss.

Our recent fact-checks of Haley:

Nikki Haley’s claim that Joe Biden added 20 million ineligible people to Medicaid is wrong

Fact-checking Nikki Haley’s debate attack on Ron DeSantis about fracking, drilling

Nikki Haley falsely links transgender athletes with teen girls’ suicidal ideation

New mortgage rules don’t punish those with good credit to reward people with bad credit 

Read all of our fact-checks about Haley

Vivek Ramaswamy

The businessman and author of the books "Woke, Inc." and "Nation of Victims" announced his candidacy in a video on Feb. 21, 2023. Ramaswamy said in his video that the U.S. is in the midst of an identity crisis with "new secular religions like COVID-ism, climate-ism and gender ideology."

Our recent fact-checks of Ramaswamy:

Vivek Ramaswamy got it wrong; being trans isn’t a mental health disorder. 

Why Vivek Ramaswamy’s claim about what Mike Pence could have done on Jan. 6 is False 

More deaths from climate policies than climate change? Scientists say Ramaswamy’s claim is baseless

Vivek Ramaswamy is partially right about patriotism decline among young Americans 

Read all our fact-checks about Ramaswamy

Asa Hutchinson

Asa Hutchinson, a Republican who led Arkansas for two terms as governor, announced on ABC’s "This Week" on April 2 that he is running for president. He formally launched his campaign in a speech in Arkansas April 26.

Hutchinson said in his speech that "from Congress to the DEA to Homeland Security, I have served our country in times of crisis" and that his "mettle has been tested."

Before serving as governor, Hutchinson was a member of Congress and also served as head of the Drug Enforcement Administration and as undersecretary for border and transportation at the Department of Homeland Security under former President George W. Bush.

We have not published any fact checks of Hutchinson, but will list them here when we do.

Chris Christie

Christie, who served as New Jersey’s governor from 2010 to 2018, filed paperwork June 6 with the Federal Election Commission to join the race, hours ahead of a formal announcement in New Hampshire.

Christie ran for the Republican nomination in 2016, but dropped out of the race after poor showings in the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary. Christie endorsed Trump that year and was part of his transition team, but has since been critical of the former president. In May, after Trump’s CNN town hall, Christie called Trump a "coward" and a "puppet of Putin" for not supporting Ukraine in its war with Russia.

Our recent fact-checks of Christie:

Fact-checking Chris Christie on U.S. security obligations toward Ukraine

Chris Christie knocks Ron DeSantis for Florida’s increased spending. But he omits revenue rose, too.

Trump did not sign any major immigration laws, but he did issue orders that changed policy

Chris Christie exaggerates about Joe Biden capital-gains tax proposal

Read all our fact-checks of Christie

Steve Laffey

The former mayor of Cranston, Rhode Island announced in a video on Feb. 1 that he is running for president. Laffey lost a U.S. Senate primary bid in that state in 2006. We have not published any fact-checks of Laffey, but will list them here if we do.

Dropped out: U.S. Tim Scott, R-S.C., announced he was suspending his campaign Nov. 12 in a Fox News interview. Former Vice President Mike Pence suspended his campaign Oct. 28. Other candidates who dropped out of the race include Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, radio host Larry Elder, former U.S. Rep. William Hurd and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum.


President Joe Biden delivered the State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Feb. 7, 2023, at the U.S. Capitol. (AP)

President Joe Biden

Biden officially announced that he will seek a second term in an April 25 video. Biden centered his argument around protecting personal freedoms and criticized "MAGA extremists" over images of the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., and Trump and DeSantis.

"Every generation of Americans has faced a moment when they have to defend democracy," said Biden, who said he wants to "finish the job" he started.

In the months before his announcement, Biden focused his talking points on the health of the economy, his efforts to make Medicare more affordable, and Republican efforts to limit abortion access after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. Read our roundup of recent fact-checks

Our recent fact-checks of Biden:

Biden said Obama spent hundreds of millions to bury Florida power lines. That lacks evidence 

Joe Biden claims that Hispanic unemployment has been cut in half. That’s Mostly True.

Does Trump support punishments for women who get abortions? Biden ad uses old, retracted remark 

What Biden omits in his repeated claim about teaching at the University of Pennsylvania

Read all of our fact checks about Biden

Check out our Biden Promise Tracker scorecard

Marianne Williamson

The author and self-help guru who ran for president in 2020 announced her candidacy in an interview with Medill News Service on Feb. 23, 2023. Among her 2020 proposals was creating a Department of Peace. She formally announced her run March 4 in Washington, D.C.

Our previous fact-checks of Williamson:

Fact-checking Marianne Williamson on school funding in the United States

Was Jimmy Carter the last president to call Israeli settlements illegal?

Read all of our fact checks about Williamson

U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips

Phillips, a third-term Congressman from Minnesota, launched his campaign Oct. 27, 2023 in New Hampshire. We have not yet fact-checked Phillips.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., independent

The environmental lawyer, anti-vaccine activist and nephew of former President John F. Kennedy filed papers April 5 with the Federal Election Commission to run for president as a Democrat. He formally announced his run in an April 19 speech in Boston.

Kennedy changed course Oct. 9 to run as an independent. The Associated Press reported that Kennedy has better favorability ratings among Republicans than Democrats. Kennedy’s four siblings issued a joint statement denouncing their brother’s run, saying it is "perilous for our country."

Kennedy founded the anti-vaccine organization Children’s Health Defense and wrote a 2021 book called "The Real Anthony Fauci," in which he was critical of the former director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our recent fact checks of Kennedy:

COVID-19 wasn’t targeted to spare Jewish and Chinese people, as Robert F. Kennedy Jr. claimed

No evidence atrazine in the water supply is causing more kids to identify as transgender 

No, the COVID-19 vaccine is not the deadliest vaccine ever made 

Read all of our fact-checks about Kennedy

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