PolitiFact Florida’s Top 5 fact-checks for October 2015

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio sparred during the CNBC debate Oct. 28, 2015. (Associated Press)
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio sparred during the CNBC debate Oct. 28, 2015. (Associated Press)

Florida’s presidential candidates former Gov. Jeb Bush and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio dominated our most widely read fact-checks in October, in addition to claims about guns following the mass shooting at a community college in Oregon.

Here is a look at our Top 5 most clicked-on new fact-checks in October counting down to our most popular:

5. U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz: "380 Americans have been killed in 294 mass shootings in 2015 alone."

The Democratic National Committee chair from South Florida cited the crowdsourcing site Mass Shooting Tracker, which uses an extremely broad definition of what many people would consider a mass shooting. If she had used a more restrictive definition that only counts incidents with deaths, as the federal government does, she would have come up with a much lower number. The nonpartisan Congressional Research Service counted 25 incidents in 2013, compared with 363 incidents counted by Mass Shooting Tracker. We rated this claim Half True.

4. Rubio: Says a question about his financial skills at the CNBC debate included "discredited attacks from Democrats and my political opponents."

Rubio was responding to examples debate moderator Becky Quick gave when asking if he was prepared to oversee the nation’s economy as president. She listed troubles he had experienced with campaign bookkeeping, foreclosure proceedings and liquidating a retirement account with tax penalties. All of these events happened and have been well-documented. It wasn’t accurate for Rubio to refer to the issues as "discredited," whether his opponents have used them to attack him or not. We rated this claim False.

3. State Rep. Matt Gaetz: "In the states that allow open carry, violent crime was 23 percent lower."

This is a fact that experts say is largely meaningless and shouldn’t weigh into any serious policy discussion. There may be less crime in those states, but there’s no way the single data point that Gaetz gave can provide clues as to the effects of open carry laws. Gaetz’s statement is a one-year snapshot that is misleading. We rated this claim Half True.

2.  Bush: "The top 1 percent pay 45 percent of all taxes in the country."  

The 45-percent number applies to federal income taxes, not all taxes. Bush spoke generically about "all taxes," so if we look at all federal taxes, the share for the top 1 percent was 27.9 percent. We rated this claim Half True.

1. Rubio: 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."  

Those numbers check out, although Graham had heart surgery leading up to the launching of his campaign. We rated this claim True.

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