Debate Moderator Attacks Rubio With Claim He Already Admitted Was False [UPDATED]

Derek Hunter Contributor
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CNBC debate moderator John Harwood went hard after Florida Sen. [crscore]Marco Rubio[/crscore] during Wednesday night’s debate, claiming his tax plan favored the wealthy.

“The Tax Foundation, which was alluded to earlier, scored your tax plan and concluded that you give nearly twice as much of a gain in after-tax income to the top 1 percent as to people in the middle of the income scale,” Harwood asked. “Since you’re the champion of Americans living paycheck to paycheck, don’t you have that backward?”

“No, you’re wrong,” Rubio responded. “In fact, the largest after-tax gains is for the people at the lowest end of the tax spectrum.”

Harwood would have none of it. “The Tax Foundation,” he interrupted, “just to be clear, they said…”

“No, you wrote a story on it, and you had to go back and correct it,” Rubio insisted.

“No, I did not,” Harwood laughed.

“No, you did,” replied Rubio.

Harwood ignored Rubio and repeated the charge after the debate on MSNBC.

But Harwood was wrong, and Rubio was right.

In an October 14 column, entitled “Tax Plans of G.O.P. Favor the Rich Despite Populist Talk,” Harwood wrote what he said he wrote about Rubio’s tax plan — that it favors the rich. But, after tweeting a link to his column:

Less than an hour later, Harwood tweeted the following correction:

Curiously, Harwood’s column does not reflect this correction, and still claims Rubio’s plan would “deliver disproportionate gains to the most affluent.”

Harwood even retweeted Marco Rubio’s policy director saying, “In other words, lowest 10% see more than double the benefits of top 1%.”

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UPDATE: Scott Hodge, president of the Tax Foundation, weighed in and sided with Marco Rubio’s assessment of his organization’s analysis.

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Harwood, for his part, is unapologetically standing by his interpretation of that data and his question.