Five Republicans seeking to oust President Joe Biden from the White House in 2024 argued at the start of the third presidential primary debate over the war between Israel and Hamas, the threat from China and the U.S.’s handling of terrorism.
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., met at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami. Dade County.
They repeatedly expressed support for Israel and condemned Hamas, while criticizing Biden for his administration’s response.
A half-hour drive away, former President Donald Trump opened his rally in Hialeah, Florida, to commemorate his 2016 election victory and declare that if elected again in 2024, he would “finish the work we started.”
PolitiFact is in the process of fact-checking their claims:
Ron DeSantis: “We had Florida residents who were over there after the attack. He (Biden) left them stranded; they couldn’t get flights outside. So I gathered resources in Florida. I sent planes to Israel and brought back over 700 people to safety.”
This gives the misleading impression that the Biden administration has failed to evacuate Americans, but that is not the case.
At Oct. 12The next day, the Biden administration announced that the U.S. government would organize charter flights to help U.S. citizens and their immediate families leave Israel.
The federal government offered 6,900 seats to Americans in Israel by air, land and sea. As of Oct. 31, about 1,500 U.S. citizens and their family members had left Israel on federal transportation, a State Department spokesperson told PolitiFact.
DeSantis signed an agreement on October 12th supreme command Allows the state of Florida to evacuate Americans from Israel. Accordingly, around 700 Americans flew from Israel to Florida on four flights Information reported by DeSantis’ office on October 24.
The Florida Division of Emergency Management told PolitiFact the flights will cost about $32 million. The flights were free for passengers.
DeSantis: ‘There could have been more hostages’ if Florida hadn’t sent planes to Israel to evacuate Americans.
We cannot evaluate this as hypothetical, but this statement ignores the timing of the hostage taking.
Israel had secured cities in the area until October 10th.
Chris Christie: When the U.S. attorney was in New Jersey after 9/11, “We stopped all hate crimes that targeted Jewish Americans in New Jersey or Muslim Americans in New Jersey.”
The Asbury Park Press published the numbers in 2016. Hate crimes actually went down.
The total number of reported hate crimes was 775 in 2010, the newspaper reported. The total number of hate crimes then fell every year until 2015 – from 606 to 553,459,373 and finally 367 in 2015.
Religiously motivated hate crimes also fell until 2015. This year they rose nearly 10 percent in New Jersey.
DeSantis: “I actually served in Iraq back then”
That’s right. DeSantis earned his law degree from Harvard University and served in the U.S. Navy as a lawyer, also known as a Judge Advocate General (JAG), officer. Be Military Records show He entered Harvard in his second year in 2004 and served from 2005 to 2010.
From 2007 to 2008, he was stationed in Iraq with SEAL Team 1 as senior legal counsel to Marine Capt. Dane Thorleifson, commander of Special Operations Task Force West in Fallujah.
DeSantis: “I have already traded in Florida. We had a group from Students for Justice of Palestine; they said they were in common cause with Hamas, they said we weren’t just in solidarity, that’s what we are. We disabled them.”
That doesn’t tell the whole story. In Palestine, there were no Florida chapters of Students for Justice that had publicly commented on their association with Hamas.
The group’s national body described Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel as “the resistance” in an Oct. 12 statement. Toolkit This included advice that campus chapters could use to host protests in support of Palestinians. One section of the toolkit states: “Palestinian students in exile are PART of this movement and not in solidarity with this movement.”
That language led DeSantis to close the chapters on the Florida campuses, citing a state law that provided for the “knowingly providing material support … to a designated foreign terrorist organization.” This affected the chapter University of Florida and that University of South Florida.
Experts on the First Amendment and constitutional law expressed doubts about DeSantis’ use of the law and said the anti-terrorism law does not apply to speech.
Tim Scott: “I believe we have sleeper terrorist cells in America. Thousands of people have come from Yemen, Iran, Syria and Iraq.”
The needs context.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection Publications the frequency with which immigration officials encounter a known or suspected terrorist in each fiscal year. However, the government does not disclose the nationalities of those arrested.
There is no data on how many people from Yemen, Iran, Syria and Iraq have crossed U.S. borders under President Joe Biden’s administration.
In the fiscal year ended September 30, 2023, CBP Encountered a person on the terrorist watch list 591 times. Most of these encounters occurred at ports of entry on the northern border. Individuals on this list who are encountered at the border may be denied entry into the United States.
Scott’s comments came as he discussed southern border security. However, Alex Nowrasteh, vice president of economic and social policy studies at the libertarian Cato Institute, recently stated to Congress that its analysis of terrorist attacks in the United States from 1975 to 2022 showed that none of the people involved crossed the southern border illegally.
Vivek Ramaswamy: “Do you want to use US tax dollars to fund the ban on Christians? That’s exactly what happens. They use the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. They banned them. The Ukrainian parliament did this just last week, supported by our dollars.”
This requires context.
In October, the Ukrainian parliament took a step toward banning the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, although a ban has not yet been fully approved.
Ramaswamy glossed over the fact that the church was targeted for a ban due to alleged ties to Russia, which invaded Ukraine in February 2022.
Most Ukrainian Christians belong to another entity, the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, which was formed in 2018 by the merger of two churches that have no Russian ties.
The Ukrainian Orthodox Church is the religious home of about 4% of the Ukrainian population. Reuters reportedciting data from the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology.
The Ukrainian Orthodox Church rejects the proposed ban, saying it severed ties with Russia after the invasion. However, a government commission ruled that the church was still canonically linked to Russia, Reuters reported.
Ramaswamy: “Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden received a $5 million bribe from Ukraine. That’s why we’re sending $200 billion back to the same country.”
Bribery allegations against Hunter Biden are unfounded. They are from 2020 form The FBI agents are recording unconfirmed reports from confidential human sources. An FBI official told the House Oversight Committee that the allegations on the confidential reporting forms were not verified.
An unnamed whistleblower said that Mykola Zlochevsky, an executive at the Ukrainian energy company Burisma who was under investigation for money laundering and tax evasion, paid both Joe Biden and Hunter Biden $5 million each to convince the elder Biden to to advocate for the dismissal of Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin.
Devon Archer, who sat on Burisma’s board with Hunter Biden, denied the bribery allegations in August testimony before the House Oversight Committee.
Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, the US Congress has done so $113 billion allocated for Ukraine. Citing the Ukrainian government, Fox News reported reported In February, the United States announced that it had provided a total of $196 billion in military, financial and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine, but that number was correct been questioned.
Nikki Haley: DeSantis “has spoken out against fracking. He is against drilling.”
That is Half true.
In November 2018, Florida voters also approved a constitutional amendment banning offshore drilling for oil and natural gas in areas beneath state waters.
As a presidential candidate, DeSantis has said he would respect Florida’s ban but was open to fracking elsewhere.