The following is a fact-check of the June 27, 2010 episode of Meet the Press:
SEN. JOHN McCAIN (R-AZ) | Phoenix, Arizona averages the second highest number of kidnappings in the world – FALSE
SEN. McCAIN: Not until we get the borders secure. By the way, on that issue, why is it that Phoenix, Arizona, is the number two kidnapping capital of the world? Does that mean our border’s safe?
Politifact already checked McCain’s assertion that Phoenix, Arizona is the number 2 kidnapping capital in the world. The key part of their check:
Neither the FBI nor the U.S. National Central Bureau of Interpol, an arm of the U.S. Department of Justice that serves as the United States’ representative to Interpol, could confirm that Phoenix has the second-highest frequency of kidnapping cases worldwide.
Phoenix has experienced hundreds of kidnappings over the past few years. However, we couldn’t find reliable around-the-planet evidence to confirm that only Mexico City experiences more of them. In fact, experts advise that such rankings can’t be made based on available information. If they could, they speculate, other cities would prove to have more kidnappings than Arizona’s capital.
After reviewing Politifact’s work, we agree. Therefore, we find Sen. McCain’s statement FALSE.
This fact-check took a combined 30 minutes.
Rep. Mike Pence (R – IN) | Arizona Immigration/Crime Stats | TRUE
From the 5/2/2010 transcript:
REP. PENCE: Well, well, let, let’s be clear for a second. This is no laughing matter for the people of Arizona who are–have been profoundly affected by the fact that there’s nearly a half a million illegal immigrants and, and a rampant drug trade and, and, and human trafficking trade that’s been besetting. Phoenix, Arizona, is, is the kidnapping capital of the United States of America.
According to a 2009 report from the Pew Hispanic Center, in 2008 the estimated number of unauthorized immigrants in Arizona was between 475,000 to 550,000 (6th highest in America among states). While we were unable to find a government report with official numbers to back it up, last year both ABC News and the LA Times reported that in 2008 Arizona had the highest number of kidnappings in America. Both articles indicate the high rate is due primarily to the activity of drug cartels. Therefore we rate both of these facts from Rep. Pence as TRUE.
Special thanks to Jonah and Scott for contributing work on this fact-check.