Truth-squading the Senate debate

Time Kaine (left) and George Allen shook hands after their debate.
Time Kaine (left) and George Allen shook hands after their debate.

You’ve been busy this holiday season and so have we.

PolitiFact Virginia got an early present in the form of last week’s debate between Republican George Allen and Democrat Tim Kaine, the two leading candidates in the 2012 race for the U.S. Senate seat that will be vacated by Jim Webb, D-Va.

The 90-minute exchange gave us just what we wanted: a list of political claims to fact check. In case you’ve missed them, we’ve submitted three debate statements to the Truth-O-Meter so far:

*Kaine’s claim that the national debt increased by $16,000 every second Allen was in the Senate from 2001 to 2007 was rated True. But we also pointed out that the debt has grown by $48,000 a second since Barack Obama became president in 2009 -- a fact that Kaine, a strong Obama supporter, did not note.

*Allen’s claim that the U.S. is No. 1 in the world in fossil fuel resources was rated True. That’s largely because of the nation’s huge coal supplies. Allen wants the U.S. significantly step up its energy production.

*Allen’s claim that the U.S. lent $2 billion to help Brazil’s state-owned energy company explore for oil and gas was rated False. The federal government did not directly lend any money to the South American nation for energy exploration.

We’re hustling to complete several other fact checks from the debate. Stay tuned.



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