Ted Cruz fact checks dominated Texas Truth-O-Meter in September
Whether Texan Ted Cruz got it right or wrong, our fact checks of him or stories about him drew the most reader attention in September.
Based on online clicks, five of the Texas Top 10 articles for the month had Cruz connections:
- --Our most-clicked fact check of September culminated in a Mostly True rating of a claim by the Republican senator and presidential candidate that it's always been that babies born to U.S. citizens abroad are citizens from birth. From 1790 on, federal law has held that children born abroad to American citizens become citizens, provided other conditions are met. Yet the law wasn’t explicit about mothers conveying citizenship (which is how the Canadian-born Cruz became an American at birth) until 1934.
- --The No. 3 reader favorite concerned Cruz’s claim, rated False, that the international Iran deal announced in July "trusts the Iranians to inspect themselves" for nuclear weapon violations. A confidential side deal might allow Iranian staff to take photos and video and collect samples at a suspected military-industrial site yet the United Nations agency that watches over possible violations of nuclear weapon bans generally insists its protective protocols aren't being compromised. The side-deal uncertainty aside, we saw no evidence the overall agreement trusts Iranians to inspect themselves.
- --An April check of a flawed online meme about Cruz also made our September top 10. We rated Pants on Fire the claim that Cruz had said, "There is no place for gays or atheists in my America. None. Our Constitution makes that clear." Cruz had been clear about his belief in God and opposition to legalizing gay marriages. However, there was no record of him saying the Constitution leaves no place for gays or atheists in "my America."
- --Our Cruz-centric story on the latest Republican presidential debate also ranked among our most-clicked stories of the month. That piece noted he didn’t get a lot of early opportunities, but made up lost ground. Our fifth-most-clicked Cruz story wrapped up with a Half True rating of his claim that in "the year 2013, the" Barack "Obama administration released 104,000 criminal illegal aliens. They released 196 murderers – people with homicide convictions, who are here illegally." We saw see how Cruz reached his figures. But the federal government says 169 individuals with murder convictions were released and 72 percent of those releases were mandatory—out of the administration’s control. Also, 68,000 of the people Cruz described as released were never actually detained by the agency.
The Politifact Texas September top 10 also included our January 2014 piece finding flaws in a U.S. Census Bureau claim that Americans must answer bureau surveys by law and our Half True in September for Gov. Greg Abbott’s claim on Twitter that after Texas defunded Planned Parenthood, the unintended pregnancy and abortion rates dropped."