Cruz & Fiorina Say Obama Put More Women In Poverty. Are They Right?

Photo: Robyn Beck/Getty Images.
For the first time in the GOP debates so far, the candidates were asked about an issue that directly affects women: The wage gap. On Wednesday night at the debate in Boulder, CO, Senator Ted Cruz was asked specifically about what he'd do to help level the playing field between men and women. Unfortunately, he didn't say much.

"There are a lot of single moms in my family. My sister is a single mom, both my aunts are single moms, my mother was a single mom when my father left us," he began, before relating a story about how his father left his family, found Jesus, and then returned.

But he was short on policy-based solutions: "Under Barack Obama, 3.7 million women have entered poverty," he said.

Carly Fiorina jumped in to add a stab at Hillary Clinton. "It is the height of hypocrisy for Hillary Clinton to be talking about being the first woman president when every single policy under Barack Obama has been bad for women," she said, suggesting that Clinton will just continue Obama's policies.

Both candidates were referencing the fact that the number of Americans in poverty grew under Obama — and they're right, it did. According to the United States Census Bureau, there were about 5.5 million more Americans in poverty in 2013 than there were 2008. But there are two reasons why that's slightly misleading: First off, the number of Americans overall has grown. Secondly, while the percentage of Americans in poverty has grown, the tide has turned, too. The number of overall Americans in poverty fell between 2012 and 2013 and it appears that the trend is continuing. If it continues, those stats won't be accurate when it comes time to vote.

So yes, there are more Americans in poverty than there were in 2008; but no, it's not a clear-cut case that Obama's policies have specifically hurt the economics of women.

Clinton, meanwhile, voiced her opposition. While the candidates discussed working women, she tweeted the following:
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