Fact check: Biden says Obama didn't put people in cages
"Comparing [Obama] to the president we have is outrageous, number one. We didn’t lock people up in cages, we didn’t separate families, we didn’t do all of those things,” Biden said, defending the Obama administration’s record on immigration after a question about deportations.
Biden is half right. The Obama administration did detain people in cage-like structures, earning criticism from activists. Last year, Democratic activists circulated photos of children inside chain link fenced spaces in an attack on President Donald Trump, only for onlookers to later realize the photos were from 2014.
Buttigieg talked up an immigration-related accomplishment Thursday night he once shied away from mentioning on the campaign trail.
“The only reason that South Bend is growing right now, after years of shrinking, is immigration. It’s one of the reasons we acted, not waiting for Washington, to create city-issued municipal IDs, so that people regardless of immigration status in our city had the opportunity to have the benefits of identification,” the South Bend mayor said.
NBC News reported on Buttigieg’s program back in June. South Bend’s “Community Resident Card” program was the result of Buttigieg's desire to coax the city’s 4,500 undocumented immigrants out of the shadows without jeopardizing their well being. Read more about the unique program here.
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67d ago / 1:49 AM UTC
Dems go after Trump on China policies, say they would use tariffs in combating China
Candidates were asked about how they would handle the ongoing China trade war, which Trump has ratcheted up. Yang was the first to go, saying he would not remove tariffs right away but come up with a plan to deal with intellectual property theft.
Buttigieg said Trump mocked him, suggesting it was impossible to conceive of him making a deal with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Buttigieg shot back that he would love to see Trump make a deal with China, adding he thought that was supposed to happen months ago.
The moderators moved on to Klobuchar, Castro, Warren and Harris, who hit Trump’s strategy but insisted on taking China to task.
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67d ago / 2:02 AM UTC
Trump reacts to Democratic debate
As the third Democratic debate got underway in Houston Thursday night, President Donald Trump took aim at several of the candidates taking the stage there, including Warren and Biden.
"I hit Pocahontas way too early. I thought she was gone. She's emerged from the ashes and now it looks like she could beat Sleepy Joe, he's falling asleep. He has no idea what the hell he's doing or saying," Trump said in remarks before House Republicans at their annual retreat in Baltimore Thursday night.
Trump brought out another favored trail nickname for a Democratic rival, calling Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., "Crazy Bernie" and mocked the pronunciation of South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg's name, repeatedly saying, "Boot-edge-edge."
The president then brought up Chinese President Xi Jinping. "Whoa boy. He’s a furious kind of a guy. Great guy. He’s dying to see ... he wants Sleepy Joe."
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67d ago / 1:33 AM UTC
If Yang can’t fulfill cash giveaway, then Alexis Ohanian will
After Yang’s pledge to give $1,000 a month to 10 random American families raised questions about possible campaign finance violations, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian tweeted that “I like this idea so much,” he’ll personally step in if Yang can’t.
Fact check: Would Biden's health care plan leave 10 million uncovered?
“The problem with your plan is that it leaves 10 million people uncovered,” Castro said during Thursday’s debate, criticizing Biden's health care proposal.
This is mostly true, according to the text of Biden's own plan. His plan estimates that his expansion of the Affordable Care Act would insure "more than an estimated 97 percent of Americans."
There’s an estimated 327 million people living in America; 3 percent of the population is approximately 10 million. Estimates on the number of non-citizens vary and it's unclear how Biden's proposal would affect immigrant communities in practice, which could change these numbers. Still, Biden has said he wants to give everyone a chance to be covered.
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67d ago / 1:32 AM UTC
Gun restrictions have broad support
As Democrats debate some new gun restrictions, some of their proposals will fall on receptive ears among Democratic primary voters — and among many voters who aren't Democrats as well.
An August NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found that:
Eighty-nine percent of all Americans and 97 percent of Democratic primary voters support expanding background checks to all firearm sales and transfers.
Sixty-two percent of all Americans and 87 percent of Democratic primary voters support banning the sale of selected semi-automatic firearms referred to as assault weapons.
And three quarters of all Americans and 89 percent of Democratic primary voters support a voluntary program where the government would buy back firearms that people no longer want.
What's not popular: Only a quarter of Americans back a ban on the sale of all handguns.
Asked during the debate if the Obama administration made a mistake deporting so many people, Biden distanced himself from the results of Obama-era immigration policy. Biden also described the administration’s deportation and detention practices as the work of a former president doing his best, and described Obama’s immigration policy as entirely different from that of the Trump administration’s practice of separating families and placing detainees in cages.
During the Obama years, unaccompanied child migrants and entire families with children were housed in facilities that included cages.
However, one major difference between the Obama and Trump administrations, recognized by most human rights advocates, is that the Trump administration has held individuals, including children, in detention for longer periods of time.
A lot of the hype coming into tonight was in having Biden, Warren and Sanders — the three front-runners — on the same stage. But the seven other candidates have been solid, at times taking up major chunks of the debate without a word from the top three.
The also-rans have been better than the frontrunners tonight.
Fact check: Klobuchar says three gun control bills are waiting 'on Mitch McConnell’s desk'
Klobuchar poked at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for inaction on gun control measures, saying that the Kentucky Republican has three bills on his desk right now: "Universal background checks, closing the Charleston loophole, and passing my bill to make sure domestic abusers don’t get AK-47s.”
This is true — but all three bills face an unclear, if not flat-out bleak, fate in the GOP-controlled Senate.