Fact Checking the Vice Presidential Debate – Live Updates
Update 9:02 PM: Waiting for Mike Pence (R-IN) and Time Kaine (D-VA) to take the stage.
Update 9:05 PM: Mike Pence and Tim Kaine have taken the stage. The next update will be fact checking a statement made by either Pence or Kaine.
Fact Check #1: Did Hillary Clinton reignite the search for Osama bin Laden, ultimately leading to his assassination?
During the debate, Tim Kaine referenced Hillary Clinton’s role in the successful raid and assassination of Osama bin Laden, saying that she “reignited” the search for bin Laden. Though we will never be entirely sure of the circumstances surrounding the bin Laden raid (due to its classified nature), it seems clear that Hillary Clinton was a powerful figure in pushing the raid forward. In fact, there may have been times when she was the only member in Barack Obama’s cabinet who was in favor of the raid:
“Through weeks of sometimes heated White House debate in 2011, Clinton was alone among the president’s topmost cabinet officers to back it. Vice President Biden, a potential political rival for Clinton in 2016, opposed it. So did then-Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates.”
According to Leading From Behind: The Reluctant President and the Advisors Who Decide for Him, Hillary Clinton talked President Obama into carrying out the raid after three separate plan cancellations.
It seems clear that Hillary Clinton was a major presence in the successful raid of Osama bin Laden’s compound. Objective News Report rates Kaine’s statement TRUE.
Fact Check #2: Did Mike Pence leave Indiana with “2 billion in the bank”?
During the debate, Mike Pence claimed that he left Indiana with $2 billion in the bank when boasting about his record as the state’s Governor. The figure he is referencing is the Indiana reserves. Pence has also publicly claimed that Indiana has a $210 million surplus.
According to financial statements from the state of Indiana, his figures are accurate. However, it is important to note that some of the fiscal success can be attributed to the $133 million in reversions, which is money that the state failed to spend or that Pence directly withheld.
Though Pence’s figures are accurate, there are finer details that Americans should know. Objective News Report rates Pence’s statement TRUE, BUT POTENTIALLY MISLEADING.
Fact Check #3: What was Hillary Clinton’s role in the Iran Deal and will the Deal lead to a nuclear Iran?
A lot has been made tonight about the Iran Deal and Hillary Clinton’s role in bringing the Iran Deal to fruition. Both Tim Kaine and Mike Pence have mentioned that Hillary Clinton, then Secretary of State had a significant role in getting the Iran Deal done.
Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State when the Iran Deal negotiations began. Initially, Clinton was skeptical of negotiating with the Iranians and did not want to meet with the Iranians without preconditions. During her time in the State Department, she played a major role in setting the sanctions Iran would face if the Iran Deal was not made. However, it is unclear whether not these sanctions would have coerced Iran to the negotiating table. The Iran Deal was eventually completed in July 2015 with John Kerry as Secretary of State. Hillary Clinton supports the Iran Deal in its current state. Objective News Report rates the claim that Hillary Clinton was a major factor in the Iran Deal agreement SOMEWHAT TRUE. Although initially she had a significant role negotiationg the sanctions, the final agreement was not reached until John Kerry took over as Secretary of State.
But will the Iran Deal lead to a nuclear Iran? More than once, Mike Pence stated that the Iran Deal would result in Iran getting their hands on nuclear weapons. It is important to recognize that the purpose of the Iran Deal is to reduce the capability of Iran to develop a nuclear weapon.
Though not perfect, the Iran Deal seems to be a success (so far). According to a report by the Washington Post, Iran has everything it is required to do on “virtually all accounts.” The International Atomic Energy Agency, the agency responsible for monitoring Iran and their compliance with the Iran Deal, recently stated that Iran has fulfilled the initial guidelines of the Deal. There is no evidence to suggest that Iran is closer to nuclear weapon now than before the Deal was agreed upon. Objective News Report rates the claim that the Iran Deal has led to Iran being closer to obtaining a nuclear weapon ABSOLUTELY FALSE.
Update 10:37 PM: The debate has ended. Thanks for following along!