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March 29, 2015

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They said it, they meant it, but were they right about it?


Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

Moderator Mitch Fox, center, is joined by Senate candidates Sharron Angle and Sen. Harry Reid for a debate Thursday at the Vegas PBS studios.

Reid Angle Debate - Oct. 14 2010

Sharron Angle and Sen. Harry Reid exchange pleasantries after their debate, moderated by Mitch Fox, center, on Thursday at the Vegas PBS studios. Launch slideshow »

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Among the issues raised during the debate, we examine the claims made about four.

Is Social Security, at its current pace, headed toward bankruptcy?

The context: Angle said pre-primary that she wanted to privatize or “transition out” of Social Security, and now she says she wants to save it. Fox asked her why the change in language.

What the candidates say: Angle said the system, which is paying out more than it takes in, is headed toward bankruptcy. She said Thursday night that there needs to be reforms, such as allowing younger people to opt into a private system.

Reid said the fixes ordered during President Ronald Reagan’s administration will preserve Social Security. He referred heavily to the Congressional Budget Office and actuarial numbers. “For the next 30 years, people will be able to get out all the money they want,” he said.

The truth: Despite Reid’s optimism, most everyone believes Social Security will have to be reformed, either by increasing the age before contributors can draw from it, decreasing payments or a combination.

Experts at the centrist think tank Brookings Institution have warned of inaction. In June, an AARP spokesman said, “Congress should act sooner rather than later to address the program’s adequacy of benefits and long-term solvency.”


Does Sen. Harry Reid promise benefits to illegal immigrants?

The context: Host Mitch Fox asked Sharron Angle if she’d denounce her television ads that accuse Reid of giving benefits to illegal immigrants. “Most reputable fact checkers” have disproved the ads, he said.

The candidates say: Angle stood by the ad and the claim, repeating that Reid supports benefits including Social Security for illegal immigrants.

Reid said that attack is false.

The truth: A number of outlets, including the Sun and “Face to Face With Jon Ralston,” have concluded the ad distorts Reid’s record, because Angle’s ad wrongly cites procedural votes on amendments, rather than the intent of the legislation.


Is English the official language?

The context: The candidates were asked whether they support a constitutional amendment making English the official language.

What the candidates said: Angle: “Yes.” Reid: “English is the official language of the United States.”

The truth: English is not the official language. The Constitution does not specify any language as the official language. In 2006, Reid voted against an amendment declaring English the official language.


Angle doesn’t support insurance mandates, including those for cancer screenings or autism.

What the candidates say: Angle would not name any insurance mandates she supported. She said there should be competition for policies across state lines, and advocated the power of the free market in providing coverage.

“The free market will weed out those companies that don’t offer the choices,” she said. “We don’t have to force anyone to buy anything.” Reid called her position extreme.

The truth: While in the Legislature, Angle supported some insurance mandates, such as those for mammograms. She proposed no fewer than five laws that would have expanded state insurance mandates. But during the campaign she has spoken out against those mandates. Thursday’s debate confirmed that she now does not believe health insurance companies should have to mandate any coverage.

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  1. We have Angle on tape telling Scott Ashjian that if he drops out of the race she'll give him access to the Republican leadership. We have Angle in the debate saying she was offering Ashjian the same access as any Nevadan.

    I wonder what I have to give up to get access to the Republican leadership? She's requiring a pretty hefty quid prop quo.

    How about fact-checking that one Mr. Schwartz?

  2. sgibg...
    That was a big moment, and Angle blew it, big time.

    "Oh, I'd give my Jimmy Juice to ANY Nevadan."
    Such unadulterated B.S.

    Saying Harry Reid "voted to give illegal aliens
    Social Security benefits" is a HUGE WHOPPER...and yet, she will not refute it. Heck, she FLAUNTED IT. Ridiculous.

    Liar, Liar, Pants On Fire!!!

    With the mountain of repair jobs Harry Reid the Obama Administration are juggling today, I doubt seriously that "making English our Official Language" is real high up on the priority list of things to "get right on top of"...
    It's really only necessary to those with racial bias, as the sane among us realize that we do NOT need a LAW from the Federal Government to tell us "In America, English is the Language of The Land". Please. Get a grip.

  3. I've come to the conclusion that all comments are based on ideology and the only thing that will matter are the votes cast for Reid or Angle in the election. The vitrol, name-calling and nastiness is beyond the pale! Some seem to forget we are all Americans and we will all accept the final decision by the electorate and go on from there.

  4. Harry Reid was correct about Social Security and the Congressional Budget Office and actuarial numbers. It is not "bankrupt" and like Sen. Reid said, Angle and the Republicans should "stop frightening people". Angle, the John Birch Society, Bush 43, the big bankers and greedy Wall Street moguls want to eliminate Social Security.
    "Expert analysis of evidence from many sources makes clear that large majorities of Americans strongly support Social Security, oppose benefit cuts (even for the sake of deficit reduction), and prefer to strengthen Social Security finances by raising the payroll tax "cap" or otherwise using progressive taxes. Officials who ignore these views will do so at their peril."
    "To cut Social Security benefits in the name of deficit reduction would go against the public's wishes and be politically hazardous. Based on the evidence we have reviewed, any public official who agrees to a "grand bargain" that involves cutting
    Social Security benefits for the sake of deficit reduction will be going against the clear wishes a large majority of the American public, violating the norms of democracy. He or she may well face electoral reprisals. The Deficit Commission should take care not be fooled by misleading results from deliberative forums into believing in a phantom public that will support Social Security cuts. Indeed, in the real world the opposite reaction -- one of outrage at such cuts -- is much more likely. This will be evident to the Commission if it considers the well established findings of scientific survey research."

  5. Angle failed to give straightforward answers to several questions. She skirted around the issues. She was smug, coy, sassy, preening, and well-rehearsed in the Republican party line. What a show-off. That giggle is not endearing nor the smile sincere. She blew her chance to impart a positive vision for Nevada and the nation.

  6. We now expect, to the point it is boring, to hear the cliche from clueless Republican candidates pretending to be the reincarnation of Ronald Reagan: "There you go again". Sen. Reid should have countered Angle's conceit with: "See? More of the same."

  7. Another falsehood by Angle when she said that "Reid was one of the wealthiest Senators".

    Reid is not even close to the top 25 wealthiest Senators. For a top flight lawyer who has had all the connections in Vegas, Harry Reid is relatively poor with an estimated wealth of 2 to 5 million. It would be impossible to name a decent lawyer who has lived in LV over this period of explosive growth that is a poor as Reid.

    Angle is just jealous because she and her husband live off government welfare!

  8. uhhh is sharons favorite word . she must have said that 41 times at least . that is because she can't think as fast as she lies.

  9. Politifact, who most would say is a reputable fact checking organization, rates Angle's ad about Reid as "Barely True", hardly a "whopper" as some would have it:

  10. boftx, thanks for the link. Politifact gives a good explanation. I like this part "Reid's votes affected the policy for former illegal aliens who were later made legal." Or in other words, citizens or legal aliens.

    It would be really nice to argue about what the facts mean rather than what the facts are. About 17 days until the political ads end!