The Democrats are continuing the endless process of cutting down their huge field of presidential candidates, with Tuesday’s debate being the latest attempt to identify someone capable of running against President Trump. The contenders are certainly putting a lot of effort into making themselves look electable — but the big winners from Tuesday night weren’t the Democrat candidates. It was the Republican Party.
Political strategists have been warning for months that the runners in the Democrat race are trying too hard to attract left-wing voters, and in the process driving away the floating voters essential for an election victory. It doesn’t look like anyone’s listening to the analysts, though. Tuesday saw a flood of alarmist claims that aren’t even politically slanted; they’re just plain wrong. Making basic errors in a debate isn’t a good look for anyone who wants to be president.
- Julián Castro opened the bidding by claiming that, according to the latest figures, jobs have been lost in Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania. Castro’s trying to attack President Trump’s record on the economy and job creation. Unfortunately for him, the latest figures are from August, and they show that all three states saw job growth that month — on top of even more job growth since Trump became president.
- Joe Biden was next to show off his ignorance. He claimed that Syrian government forces were firing at US troops withdrawing from Syria. There have been no reports of this. Biden seems to have got confused by reports of Turkish militia firing weapons near a US outpost.
- Tom Steyer told the audience that 90% of workers haven’t had a wage increase in 40 years. That’s wrong on every level. Average wages are up by 22% since 1979 — a pretty significant rise in the standard of living.
- Steyer and Andrew Yang both mixed up the number of opioid deaths with the total number of deaths from drug overdoses — which includes everything from Tylenol to illegal street drugs. This is a basic statistics fail.
- Finally, antique socialist Bernie Sanders claimed that 500,000 people “are going bankrupt for one reason — they came down with cancer.” He has a study to back up this claim. The problem is it says medical costs contributed to those bankruptcies — they weren’t the sole cause. Either Sanders isn’t good at understanding studies or he’s willing to bend the truth to make an argument. We can’t decide.
- The Dems are campaigning hard for 2020, but the way they’re doing it is showing just how extreme and inept they really are. Tuesday’s debate was a classic example. It couldn’t have been better for the GOP if Trump had organized it himself.
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