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How accurate were candidates’ statements at the third Democratic debate?

The three major contenders for the Democratic Party's 2016 presidential nomination shared the stage on Saturday night for the final time this year. Politifact's Jon Greenberg joins Hari Sreenivasan from Washington to fact-check what they said.

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  • HARI SREENIVASAN, PBS ANCHOR:

    Joining me now from Washington for further analysis of the debate is Jon Greenberg from Politifact.

    Jon, during the discussion on terrorism and the Islamic state group, Hillary Clinton made a statement about the impact of Donald Trump's idea to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. Let's take a listen.

    (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

    HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He is becoming ISIS's best recruiter. They are going to people showing videos of Donald Trump insulting Islam and Muslims in order to recruit more radical jihadists.

    (END VIDEO CLIP)

  • HARI SREENIVASAN:

    Any truth to that?

  • JON GREENBERG, POLITIFACT:

    Well, I think the issue here is that Hillary Clinton said there was a video being produced. And the problem is not the Clinton campaign nor anybody else can point to a video. So there was an article that the Clinton campaign talked about which had some people saying that ISIS was referring to Donald Trump, but no mention of a video. The people who really do track this stuff say, you know, if Donald Trump had shown up in an ISIS video, lots of people would be talking about it. And nobody was talking about it. So in the absence of evidence, we really have no choice but to say this is false.

  • HARI SREENIVASAN:

    Okay. In the Q and A over gun control, Maryland governor Martin O'Malley accused Mrs. Clinton of flip-flopping. Let's take a listen.

    (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

    MARTIN O'MALLEY (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Secretary Clinton changes her position on this every election year, it seems. Having one position in 2000, and then campaigning against President Obama and saying we don't need federal standards.

    (END VIDEO CLIP)

  • HARI SREENIVASAN:

    Now she said that's not true. who is right here?

  • JON GREENBERG:

    To be precise, in 2000, she was pushing hard. and she was talking about having photo identification licenses for all gun owners. And then in 2008, she backed off and said no, we don't need that kind of licensing.

    However, the important thing is you got to key in O'Malley saying no federal standards. Clinton has never backed way from having federal standards. So that part of his claim is inaccurate. But you can find that Hillary Clinton has shifted her position a bit on gun control over the years.

  • HARI SREENIVASAN:

    OK. Finally, Senator Bernie Sanders, who advocates Medicare for everyone, said a single-payer health care system would reduce U.S. healthcare spending. Here's that.

    (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

    SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Why is it that we spend almost three times per capita as to what they spend in the U.K., 50 percent more than what they say – what they pay in France — countries that guarantee health care to all of their people –

    (END VIDEO CLIP)

  • HARI SREENIVASAN:

    It feels like we're back a few years ago debating the Affordable Care Act. But is he right?

  • JON GREENBERG:

    Well, we don't know whether or not having a single-payer system would necessarily reduce health care expenditures here in the United States. And we're not the in prediction business.

    On the other hand, what we can fact check is his basic math, and the numbers there are very clear. In the United Kingdom, we're looking at about per capita $3,200 U.S. per person. And then in France, it's about maybe $4,100. Whereas the United States is at $8,700. So if you do the math, Bernie Sanders is correct, and then that's what we did. So we gave him a true.

  • HARI SREENIVASAN:

    All right, Jon Greenberg from Politicfact, joining us from Washington. Thanks so much.

  • JON GREENBERG:

    My pleasure.

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