PolitiFact: Marco Rubio and Bernie Sanders

Posted at 8:51 PM, Feb 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-28 13:36:44-05

The battle to get to the final round of the presidential election gets more intense every day. Politicians are under enormous pressure to perform. And sometimes, they make mistakes.

That’s where PolitiFact comes in - fact checking politicians to help you cast your ballot.

Marco Rubio

Marco Rubio picked up a lot of attention following his breakout performance at Thursday’s Republican debate in Houston.  No surprise, he focused much of his criticism on Donald Trump. But was it true?

PolitiFact looked into Rubio’s claim that Trump hired illegal Polish immigrants and had to pay a million dollar fine, and while it was decades ago they find the claim to be half true.

They also investigated Rubio’s claim that Obamacare contained a bailout for insurance companies, finding that claim to be mostly false.

PolitiFact also investigated a previous claim from Rubio about the current state of K-12 education. He was making his case for school choice when he said, “Two-thirds of our kids can’t read at grade level.”

He was sourcing the National Assessment of Educational Progress, or NAEP.

But some education experts take issue with the term “grade level.” They say Rubio was referring to the NAEP’s “proficient” rating, and many states set standards aligned with the NAEP’s “basic” rating, which is well below “proficient”.

Read PolitiFact’s entire report about why they rated Rubio’s claim about the dire state of America’s reading level for children as half true.

Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders is fighting for votes on the Democratic side by continuing to beat the drum of economic inequality.

He recently claimed in a video for the One Campaign, “There is something profoundly wrong when the richest 80-people in the world own more wealth than the bottom half of the global population, 3.5 billion people.”

It sounds astounding, but is it true? PolitiFact says, Sanders is not far off.

“The one caveat is these are just estimates. So both on the total wealth of the population of the world and also the number of billionaires and how much wealth they have, they’re just estimates,”  says Aaron Sharokman, PolitiFact’s Executive Director.

PolitiFact found reliable date to back up Sanders’ claim, and rated it mostly true.

Fact checkers also recently fact-checked Sanders claim that the U.S. has the “highest rate of childhood poverty of almost any major country on Earth.”  

The evidence suggests, childhood poverty is embarrassingly high in America, but our standard of living makes it difficult to compare to other countries so PolitiFact rated Sanders claim Half True.

Read more truth checks about all the candidates at PolitiFact.