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Reality Check: Claims from the Milwaukee GOP debate

Reality Check: Claims from the Milwaukee GOP debate

MADISON, Wis. - The fourth Republican debate in Milwaukee Tuesday night featured a host of claims from the candidates over two hours.

News 3 took a look at some questionable mentions from the candidates during the discussion.

Ben Carson was asked early on in the debate about whether he would raise the minimum wage.

"Every time we raise the minimum wage the number of jobless people increases," Carson said. "This is particularly a problem in the black community. Only 19.8 percent of black teens have a job."

News 3 finds this is misleading.

According to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, 20.1 percent of black teens ages 16 to 19 have a job, but that doesn't mean that the rest of them are unemployed. Many are likely in school or not searching for a job. The BLS cites the "unemployment rate" of black teens, or those who want a job and don't have one, at 25.6 percent.

Sen. Marco Rubio's answer on the minimum wage also included this statement.

"For the life of me I don't know why we have stigmatized vocational education," Rubio said. "Welders make more money than philosophers."

News 3 finds this is false.

According to the BLS, the average national wage for a welder is $40,040. The average for a philosophy professor is $71,350.

Sen. Rand Paul also talked Tuesday night about income.

"I think we ought to look at where income inequality seems to be the worst," Paul said. "It seems to be worst in cities run by Democrats, states run by Democrats and countries run by Democrats."

News 3 finds this is misleading.

There's a statistic used to measure this called the gini index, which is tracked by the U.S. Census Bureau.

By that measure, two of the top five most unequal metro areas are run by Democratic mayors and three by Republicans. A look at the top 10 shows four Democrats, five Republicans and one Independent.

It is also a mixed bag for states. Of the top five, three have Democratic governors and two are Republicans. When you look at the top 10, four are Democrats and six are Republicans.

There's also a big caveat -- nearly all of these places have had changes in party control over the last few years.

Donald Trump made a claim some are wondering about regarding President Dwight Eisenhower.

"He moved a million and a half illegal immigrants out of this country, move just beyond the border," Trump said. "They came back, [he] moved them again beyond the border. They came back, didn't like it, moved them way south, and they never came back."

News 3 finds this is misleading.

Trump is referring to a controversial Eisenhower program called "Operation Wetback" in 1954, where the government arrested thousands of illegal immigrants.

According to the Texas Historical Association, those numbers are estimated to be much less than Trump cited, with the total more likely in the hundreds of thousands.

He also never mentioned the widely considered inhumane practices of the operation where people were trucked across the border with many of them dying in the process.


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