Claims from the vice presidential debate between Republican Mike Pence and Democrat Tim Kaine, and how it stacks up with the facts:
Pence: "The fact that under this past administration, we've almost doubled the national debt is atrocious.... Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine want more of the same."
The facts: As a share of the total US economy, the national debt has gone up 35 percent, not a doubling.
Still, the debt has ballooned to $19.6 trillion. This largely reflected efforts by the Obama administration to stop the Great Recession.
Would Clinton similarly increase the debt? Not according to an analysis by the independent Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.
The Clinton plan with its tax increases would increase the gross debt — both privately and publicly held— by $450 billion over 10 years. Mind you, that is on top of an $8.8 trillion increase already projected by the government under current law.
As for Trump, the committee says his tax-cut-heavy plan would increase the gross debt by $4.3 trillion —nearly 10 times more than Clinton's plan would do.
Kaine: (On fighting the Islamic State) "Donald Trump doesn't have a plan."
The facts: Hillary Clinton also doesn't have a plan that is materially different than what President Barack Obama is already doing.
She's described a three-part strategy that involves crushing IS "on its home turf" in the Middle East, disrupting its infrastructure on the ground and online, and protecting America and its allies. All are current elements of the Obama administration's strategy, so it's not clear what would change or if she would accelerate any portions of it.
It's also the case that Trump has not laid out a clear plan.
Pence: She was the "architect of the Obama administration's foreign policy." He said the Middle East is "spinning out of control" and suggested that the ongoing crisis in Syria was the result of a "failed and weak foreign policy that Hillary Clinton helped lead" in the Obama administration." Moreover, he said that that President Barack Obama and Clinton gave Russia room to launch its aggressive moves in Ukraine.
The facts: Clinton pushed for increased US intervention after Syrian President Bashar Assad used chemical weapons against rebels. But Obama is the commander in chief and nothing has swayed him thus far.
On Russia, Clinton as secretary of state helped seal a nuclear arms-control treaty and secure Russia's acquiescence to a Nato-led military intervention in Libya. By comparison, Republican Donald Trump has rung alarm bells in Washington and Europe with his overtures to Russia's authoritarian leader.
Clinton and her supporters say she would be far tougher on Moscow than Trump, whose unusual foreign policy statements include musings about Nato's relevance and suggestions that he could accept Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region.
"You guys love Russia," Kaine said, reminding Pence that he and Trump have praised Russian President Vladimir Putin as a great leader.
Pence: "The Trump Foundation is a private family foundation. They give virtually every cent in the Trump Foundation to charitable causes. Less than 10 cents on the dollar in the Clinton Foundation has gone to charitable causes."
The facts: Rather than send funds to other charities, the Clinton Foundation tends to spend its money on its own programs. Pence's claim ignores these internal initiatives, overlooking the Clinton Foundation's work on African farming, climate change and AIDS treatment.
As for Trump's foundation, news reports have raised multiple questions about its namesake's generosity.
Funds have been used to buy paintings of Trump and a signed football helmet that belonged to Tim Tebow. Money from the foundation has also reportedly helped settled legal cases against Trump's for-profit businesses. Trump even paid the IRS a $2,500 penalty this year after it was uncovered that the foundation broke tax laws by giving a political contribution to Florida's attorney general.
Published Date: Oct 05, 2016 08:05 AM | Updated Date: Oct 25, 2016 12:25 PM