PolitiFact Florida: Clinton wants to admit thousands of refugees with no vetting, Rick Scott says

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This article appeared on PolitiFact.com on Sept. 29, 2016.

Gov. Rick Scott backed up Donald Trump’s first presidential debate performance, praising the Republican nominee and lamenting that Hillary Clinton wasn’t pressed hard enough on her policy positions.

In a Sept. 27 Facebook post touting an ad from the pro-Trump Rebuilding America Now PAC, Scott declared the real estate mogul “the winner in last night’s debate because he is the candidate for change.”

“The biggest loser was the American people,” Scott wrote, “because we never got to hear a vigorous conversation about why Hillary set up an illegal email server for classified information or why she wants to bring in thousands of refugees to America from all around the world without any kind of security screening.”

We’ll set aside the email controversy and focus on the assertion about vetting refugees. Does Clinton want to bring in thousands of foreigners with no background checks at all?

She does want to allow refugees into America, although the figures are up for debate — but the idea that there will be no security screening is wrong. Continue reading

WUSF: PolitiFact Fl. Checks Up On The Presidential Debate

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This segment was broadcast on WUSF on Sept. 28, 2016.

The claims came fast and furious during Monday night’s first presidential debate. But how true were some of those statements? WUSF’s Steve Newborn takes a closer look at what Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump said, with the help of PolitiFact Florida’s Josh Gillin.

PolitiFact Florida: David Jolly attacks Charlie Crist for saying Alabama chain gang was a ‘great sight’

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This article appeared on PolitiFact.com on Sept. 19, 2016.

During a congressional debate, Republican U.S. Rep. David Jolly attacked his Democratic opponent Charlie Crist for a proposal to bring chain gangs to Florida when Crist served as a Republican state senator.

At a televised debate in St. Petersburg Sept. 19, 2016, moderators from the Tampa Bay Times and 10 News WTSP allowed the candidates to ask the other a question. Crist declined, saying he’d rather save the time for a question from a college student.

Jolly used the time to paint a vivid picture of Crist traveling to Alabama in 1995 with Florida’s first African-American corrections secretary to inspect a chain gang in operation.

“You stood there, over three African-American prisoners in chains, on their knees, on the side of the road. Saying that it was a great sight. Saying we needed to bring it to Florida,” Jolly said. “And you did this — whether you know or not — on the eve of Juneteenth, the day the African-American community celebrates the end of slavery.”

Crist replied that he was in favor of chain gangs because of the state’s high crime rate at the time (we fact-checked Crist’s rebuttal). He called Jolly’s insinuation that race had anything to do with it “appalling.” Continue reading

WUSF: PolitiFact Fl Checks Up On Patrick Murphy’s Resume; Social Security Stance

This segment was broadcast on WUSF on Sept. 14, 2016.

The battle of the airwaves is heating up in the race for Florida’s U.S. Senate seat. So WUSF’s Steve Newborn talks with PolitiFact Florida’s Josh Gillin to look at two claims lobbed by a Republican lobbying committee against Democrat Patrick Murphy.

PolitiFact Florida: Rubio ad claims he helped constituent’s daughter get cancer-fighting drug before FDA approval

This article appeared on PolitiFact.com on Aug. 31, 2016.

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio looked to bolster his re-election bid ahead of his Florida primary win by highlighting how he helped procure life-extending medicine for an Orlando woman’s daughter.

In a campaign ad released Aug. 18, Blanquita Trabold recounted how Rubio came to her family’s aid as her grown child suffered from terminal breast cancer.

As Trabold described how her daughter’s condition worsened, the screen read, “Doctors recommended a drug that was still in FDA trials. Senator Rubio worked with the FDA to get it.”

“I called Sen. Rubio. I said, ‘This drug has not been approved by the FDA. But if you can get it, perhaps we can save my daughter’s life.’ He got me the medication within a week,” she continued. “Thanks to Marco, I had three more months of my daughter. Marco Rubio was there for me when I needed him the most.”

We hadn’t heard this account of Rubio helping a constituent get an experimental drug before, and there were no news accounts of the case. We wanted to see whether Rubio did intervene, and how fast it happened. Continue reading