At the final Republican debate before Super Tuesday, Donald Trump did what he does best. He lied repeatedly. He claimed he didn’t support socialized healthcare, he claimed he never supported the United States intervention in Libya, he claimed Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito sided with his sister on an abortion law, and he smeared Ted Cruz, saying the Texas Senator told voters Ben Carson was leaving Iowa, and dropping out of the race.
Let’s dispatch the first two lies off the bat.
During the first Republican debate on Fox News August 6, Donald Trump praised the healthcare systems of Canada and Scotland, saying:
“As far as single payer, it works in Canada. It works incredibly well in Scotland. It could have worked in a different age, which is the age you’re talking about here.”
Worked in a different age? What does that even mean?
And during his famous “60 Minutes” interview in September, Trump and host Scott Pelley had the following exchange:
PELLEY: “How do you fix it?”
TRUMP: “There’s many different ways, by the way. Everybody’s got to be covered. This is an un-Republican thing for me to say because a lot of times they say, “No, no, the lower 25 percent that can’t afford private. But–“”
PELLEY: “Universal health care.”
TRUMP: “I am going to take care of everybody. I don’t care if it costs me votes or not. Everybody’s going to be taken care of much better than they’re taken care of now.”
PELLEY: “The uninsured person is going to be taken care of. How? How?”
TRUMP: “They’re going to be taken care of. I would make a deal with existing hospitals to take care of people. And, you know what, if this is probably–”
PELLEY: “Make a deal? Who pays for it?”
TRUMP: “–the government’s gonna pay for it. But we’re going to save so much money on the other side.”
Trump has a habit of simply denying any accusation that comes his way during the widely-watched debates, with the hope that nobody will take the time to Google the material in question. Unfortunately for him, I like to Google.
During Thursday’s Houston debate, Ted Cruz said:
“One of the real challenges with both Donald and Senator Rubio is that they have agreed over and over again with both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. For example, in Libya, both of them agreed with the Obama-Clinton policy of toppling the government in Libya. That was a disaster; it gave the country over to radical Islamic terrorism, and it endangered America…”
Trump didn’t like that his support for the Libyan intervention was being mentioned, so he lied, saying:
“…He said that I was in favor of Libya? I never discussed that subject. I was in favor of Libya? We would be so much better off if Qaddafi were in charge right now…You look at Libya right now. ISIS, as we speak, is taking over their oil, as we speak. It’s a total mess. We would have been better off if the politicians took a day off instead of going into war.”
“It’s interesting. Donald just said that he never came out in favor of toppling Qaddafi in Libya…I assume Donald Trump will apologize when he sees that he said exactly that.”
To parrot Cruz, I find that interesting. In 2011, Trump indeed came out in favor of the Libyan intervention, saying the following in a video blog:
“I can’t believe what our country is doing. Qaddafi in Libya is killing thousands of people. Nobody knows how bad it is. And we’re sitting around, we have soldiers all over the Middle East, and we’re not bringing them in to stop this horrible carnage–and that’s what it is, it’s a carnage. You talk about all of the things that have happened in history, this could be one of the worst.
Now we should go in, we should stop this guy–which would be very easy and very quick. We could do it surgically, stop him from doing it, and save these lives. This is absolutely nuts. We don’t want to get involved, and you’re gonna end up with something like you’ve never seen before.
Ultimately, the people will appreciate it. They’re gonna end up taking over the country eventually…But we have go in to save these lives; these people are being slaughtered like animals. It’s horrible what’s going on; it has to be stopped…He’s killing people with machine guns in the streets…We should do, on a humanitarian basis, immediately go into Libya, knock this guy out very quickly, very surgically, very effectively, and save the lives.”
So, Mr. Trump, you wanna rethink your lie from the debate? “I never discussed that subject. I was in favor of Libya? We would be so much better off if Qaddafi were in charge right now.” Sounds a little creaky to me.
Trump is not only banking on his own supporters’ blind devotion, but on others who may be Cruz supporters, or Rubio supporters, who won’t bother to look this stuff up. Trump’s lies remain uncontested, for the most part, because of this.
During the debate, Trump asked Cruz for an apology for criticizing his sister, Maryanne Trump Barry, who is a radical pro-abortion federal judge:
“Ted’s been very critical. I have a sister, who’s a brilliant judge. He’s been criticizing my sister for signing a certain bill. You know who else signed that bill? Justice Samuel Alito. A very conservative member of the Supreme Court–with my sister, signed that bill. So, I think that maybe we should get a little bit of an apology from Ted. What do you think?”
Funny thing is, as Gabby Morrongiello of The Washington Examiner Tweeted:
Trump said Alito "signed bill" w/ his sis upholding partial-birth abortion in NJ. Here's Alito's concurring opinion pic.twitter.com/LDkeUvWil0
— Gabby Morrongiello (@gabriellahope_) February 26, 2016
Another lie. Alito didn’t agree with Trump’s sister. From the text, Alito argues that he’s essentially bound by Supreme Court precedent, but he disagrees with the decision. That’s why he wrote a separate opinion in which he says:
“I do not join Judge Barry’s opinion, which was never necesary and Is now obsolete. That opinion fails to discuss the one authority that dictates the result in this appeal, namely, the Supreme Court’s decision in Stenberg v. Carhart, 2000 WL 825889 (U.S. June 28, 2000). Our responsibility as a lower court is to follow and apply controlling Supreme Court precedent.”
The full text of the decision can be read here for all the Trump supporters who will hyperventilate over this, trying to come up with an excuse.
Ted Cruz and Ben Carson
Lastly, trump continues to push the “Cruz lied about Ben Carson” narrative. It’s a lie.
Here’s what Trump said in the Houston debate:
“I watched what this man did to Dr. Ben Carson, who I respect, in Iowa. Where he said that Ben Carson is out of the race, he has left Iowa, and he’s out of the race. And I thought it was disgraceful. He got a lot of votes because of that–took them away from Ben Carson.”
Let’s set aside the time Trump called Carson “pathological,” and compared him to a child molester. Nah, let’s not set it aside. Here’s the video from November:
Hmm, not entirely sure Trump really respects Carson.
Anyway, Trump places blame directly on Ted Cruz for something in which Cruz had absolutely zero involvement. A Cruz staffer in Iowa misinterpreted misleading reporting from Jake Tapper and Dana Bash on CNN the night of the Iowa Caucus, and it basically turned into a bad game of telephone. I documented, with painstaking detail, the entire Cruz/Carson Iowa timeline here. Ted Cruz had no involvement. Let me repeat that. No involvement. But he’s such a good guy that he apologized multiple times that the incident even occurred at all.
Once again, Trump tells a blatant lie.
The best part of this situation is that Trump himself told the lie in Nevada he alleges Cruz told in Iowa. At a rally in Sparks, Nevada on Tuesday, Trump said the following:
“These other guys, they’re all gone. You know what? They made their little speeches this morning, and they ran away. And you shouldn’t be voting for people…these guys, they’ve never abandoned you because they’re never here. But they made a couple of speeches and they’re gone–and you’ll never see them again, believe me. But Trump’s gonna be with you here all night. All night.”
Whoops. Cruz was in Nevada all night Tuesday.
— Catherine Van (@cat08van) February 24, 2016
— Catherine Frazier (@catblackfrazier) February 24, 2016
Ain’t that a kick in the chops. Will Trump apologize? Unlikely.
This is what Donald Trump does. He lies in front of large audiences who he knows will be unlikely to investigate his claims after the debates. Well, here I am, Mr. Trump, calling you what you are. A liar. You lied about Ted Cruz telling voters Carson was out of the race, you lied about not supporting the Libyan intervention, you lied about Cruz leaving Nevada, you lied about Justice Alito, and you lied about your effusive praise of socialized healthcare.