AP FACT CHECK: Examining claims from the Democratic debate

From left, Democratic presidential candidates entrepreneur Andrew Yang, former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and businessman Tom Steyer stand on stage Friday, Feb. 7, 2020, before the start of a Democratic presidential primary debate hosted by ABC News, Apple News, and WMUR-TV at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Seven Democratic presidential candidates sparred Friday night in a wide-ranging debate held in the pivotal days before the New Hampshire primary.

A look at how some of their claims from Manchester, New Hampshire, compare with the facts:

Sen. AMY KLOBUCHAR, on Pete Buttigieg’s evolution on health care: “And Pete, while you have a different plan now, you sent out a tweet just a few years ago that said henceforth, forthwith, indubitably, affirmatively, you are for ‘Medicare for All’ for the ages.”

BUTTIGIEG: “Just to be clear, the truth is that I have been consistent throughout in my position on delivering health care for every American.”

THE FACTS: Klobuchar is right. Before he launched his presidential campaign, Buttigieg sounded supportive of “Medicare for All.” He isn’t now.

In February 2018, he was involved in a Twitter exchange as liberals were pressing Democratic politicians to back a government health plan.

“When/where have you ever heard me oppose ‘Medicare for All?’” he asked in a Feb. 17, 2018, response to an activist’s query.

A day later, he tweeted out a column he wrote as a Harvard University senior, saying he’d “been on record on this one since 2004.”

On the same day, he sent out a separate tweet: “Gosh! Okay … I, Pete Buttigieg, politician, do henceforth and forthwith declare, most affirmatively and indubitably, unto the ages, that I do favor ‘Medicare for All,’ as I do favor any measure that would help get all Americans covered. Now, if you’ll excuse me, potholes await.”

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JOE BIDEN, saying President Barack Obama asked him to get 156,000 troops out of Iraq: “I did that.”

THE FACTS: True, but that’s not the end of the story. Obama asked Biden to take the lead in efforts to withdraw troops and coordinate efforts to maintain stability in Baghdad. What Biden did not mention was that some of the troops had to go back.

Obama and Biden failed to win agreement from the Iraqi government to keep a limited number of U.S. troops there after December 2011. That was the deadline for a complete U.S. pullout under a deal negotiated by the Bush administration in late 2008. Biden was still vice president when Obama was compelled to return American troops to Iraq in 2014 after the rise of the Islamic State extremist group.

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ANDREW YANG, tech entrepreneur: “We have record high corporate profits in this country right now.”

THE FACTS: Corporate profits are high, but they’re not at record levels.

Companies earned $1.84 trillion in profits in 2018, slightly below the $1.86 trillion earned in 2014, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. But as a share of national income, corporate profits were 6.6% in 2018. That’s down from 7.6% in 2012 and significantly below the peak of 8.9% in 1929.

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Source: Associated Press –