In debate, Ted Cruz pipes up on Iran deal, cutting off Planned Parenthood aid

Ted Cruz of Texas had a few moments in the 11-candidate debate in California Sept. 16, 2015 (Getty Images photo).
Ted Cruz of Texas had a few moments in the 11-candidate debate in California Sept. 16, 2015 (Getty Images photo).

Early on, it didn't look like tonight's Republican presidential debate was delivering ample moments for Sen. Ted Cruz, the Texan remaining in the field.

Then came questions about Iran and defunding Planned Parenthood.

Around half an hour elapsed between Cruz's opening statement and his response to a question enabling him to hammer his opposition to the Iran agreement. Saying he'd tear it up once he's president, Cruz also said the deal hastens Iran's path to having nuclear weapons.

That's FALSE, PolitiFact in Washington, D.C., recently concluded. The deal may be less than perfect, but experts advised that it’s hard to see how implementing the agreement -- rather than doing nothing at all -- would actually "facilitate and accelerate" an Iranian nuclear weapon. The worst-case scenario would be that the deal throws up a couple years’ worth of roadblocks that would not exist otherwise.

After that fact check was published, Cruz responded in an article for the National Review in response to our fact-check after we published our findings. He disagreed with our rating and argued that our report was biased. 

"As I wrote in my new book A Time for Truth, 'PolitiFact' represents a new species of yellow journalism, where liberal reporters dress up as 'facts' their liberal opinions and accuse anyone who disagrees with them of 'lying,' " Cruz wrote. 

He also repeated his previous comments about why he opposes a nuclear deal with Iran. "The notion that the terms of President Obama’s deal will in any way prevent Tehran from getting a nuclear bomb is fanciful at best," he said. 

In the debate, Cruz went on to say the Iran deal unbelievably lets Iran inspect itself. We've been looking into just such a claim by the senator, whose office advises he relied on this Associated Press news story to reach that conclusion.

Cruz also revisited his opposition to federal aid flowing to Planned Parenthood, whose employees have appeared in hidden-camera videos to be cavalierly discussing the use of fetal parts in research. Cruz has repeatedly indicated he believes Congress should stem money to Planned Parenthood this fall even at the risk of shutting down the government. In August, PolitiFact posted this story on eight things to know about Planned Parenthood.

Some time later--the debate ran longer than two hours--Cruz called the appointment of John Roberts to the U.S. Supreme Court a "mistake." Cruz has been critical of Roberts' role upholding the Obamacare law.

In the debate, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush shot back that Cruz had backed the Roberts' nomination when it happened (as this Washington Post news story relates). It's true, Cruz replied, he backed Roberts once he was nominated.

Cruz said he'd place civil rights activist Rosa Parks on a revamped $20 bill. He called Parks "a principal pioneer that helped change this country."

Catch a lot more on PolitiFact's site and enjoy the Austin American-Statesman's coverage here.

See Ted Cruz's Truth-O-Meter report card here.

What drew your attention?