According to the NYT's transcript of last night's Republican presidential debate, the participants used words connected with accusations of untruth at least 25 times. By my (program's) count:
1 not true
(Also 14 instances of wrong…)
And curiously, none of these accusations were directed against representatives of ISIS or Al Qaeda or drug cartels or Russia or China, or even at Democrats — every one of them, unless I missed something, was directed at one of the other Republican candidates on the debate stage, or at a recent Republican administration. The exchange featured here is all too typical.
I'm not going to try to fact-check all of these allegations. But I'd like to point out one interesting case where something apparently untrue went unchallenged.
DICKERSON: Something, in talking to voters that they wish somebody would tell you to cut it out is the profanity. What’s your reaction to that?
TRUMP: Well, I’ll tell you — over the years, I’ve made many speeches. People have asked me, big companies have asked me to make speeches, and friends of mine that run big companies, on success.
And on occasion, in order to sort of uh really highlight something, I’ll use a profanity. Uh one of the profanities that I got uh credited with using, that I didn’t use, was a very bad word, two weeks ago, that I never used.
I said, […pause…] “you.” And everybody said “Oh, he didn’t say anything wrong.” But you bleeped it, so everyone thinks I said the ((word)) — I didn’t say anything. I never said the word.
It is very unfair, that criticism.
Mr. Trump was apparently referring to the episode discussed here and here, where there's some disagreement about whether he whispered "fuck" or just mouthed it. Either way, it pretty clearly counts as "profanity". And there are plenty of other f-bomb examples, as well as the case where he repeated an audience member's use of the word "pussy" to describe Ted Cruz, discussed at length in "Pussy and pusillanimous", 2/10/2016.
Given his stated belief that he could "stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose voters", it seems, um, pusillanimous for him not to own his f-bombs.