CLEVELAND, OH -- Republicans seeking their party's 2016 presidential nomination have the challenging task of trying to stand out among the 17 candidates in the race, and Thursday's televised debate was the first opportunity for the party to start whittling down its choices. So it's no surprise that the candidates had a vested interest in puffing up their own records as governors, senators and public figures.
Some of the claims in the Cleveland debate and how they compare with the facts:
DONALD TRUMP: "If it weren't for me, you wouldn't even be talking about illegal immigration."
THE FACTS: Republicans have been talking about immigration for at least 30 years, including former President George W. Bush and the Republican field in the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections. In 2013, an immigration overhaul seeking to address illegal immigration passed the Senate with strong Republican support, although the House never took it up. And Republican debate about immigration has only intensified in the wake of President Barack Obama's sweeping executive action shielding from deportation millions of immigrants in the U.S. illegally.
JEB BUSH, on his goal of 4 percent economic growth: "We can do this."
THE FACTS: Most economists say the U.S. under any president is unlikely to grow consistently at even close to 4 percent, largely due to the difficulty of overcoming decades-long trends.
Current forecasts put growth averaging half the rate of Bush's goal. To grow the economy faster, the country must either add more workers or increase their efficiency so their time on the job generates more income. The retirement of the baby boom generation will shrink the number of workers in the economy, making a huge increase of new employees unlikely.
Only four of the 16 presidential terms since World War II have experienced annual economic growth averaging more than 4 percent after inflation, according to research published last year by Princeton University economists Alan Blinder and Mark Watson.
TRUMP: "I built a net worth of more than $10 billion."
THE FACTS: Trump's precise net worth has long been a moving target.
Federal documents filed with the Federal Election Commission calculated his wealth at $8.7 billion. But the form requires disclosures of value ranges rather than precise sums. The government also doesn't specify how to value real estate, leaving Trump free to assess many of his proprieties in the highest bracket - over $50 million.
Trump argues that many of his properties are worth even more, a claim that cannot be verified without access to his private documents. He's put his personal brand and marketing deals at $3.3 billion. Other assessments put his wealth at far less. Forbes Magazine, for example, valued his brand at just $125 million. Last month, Bloomberg News estimated his total worth at $2.9 billion.
JEB BUSH: "You get rid of Obamacare and replace it with something that doesn't suppress wages and kill jobs."
THE FACTS: According to the Labor Department, the unemployment rate was 9.9 percent in March 2010, when Obama signed the Affordable Care Act. In June of this year, it had fallen to 5.3 percent. The economy has added more than 12 million jobs since March 2010.
While the health care law doesn't seem to have had a major impact on jobs, some lesser consequences are likely. The Congressional Budget Office projected that the availability of government subsidized health insurance will prompt some people to drop out of the labor market, since they can get coverage without holding down a job.
On replacing Obamacare, Republicans may be able to repeal Obama's law, but it's unclear if and how they would replace it. The party has yet to rally behind a plan of its own, partly because of internal ideological differences. Some Republicans say it would be the job of the 2016 presidential nominee to forge a consensus.
CHRIS CHRISTIE: "We brought the budget into balance with no tax increases."
THE FACTS: Not exactly.
As New Jersey's governor, Christie in his first term cut the earned income tax credit, which largely benefits low-income workers, from 25 percent of the federal credit to 20 percent. He surprised Democrats this summer by proposing to bring it up to 30 percent. Democrats quickly approved the change.
Christie also repeatedly delayed implementing the Homestead credit program, which grants property tax relief, angering elderly and low-income homeowners, even as he capped property tax increases overall. He also extended the sales tax on online purchases to out-of-state retailers and pushed for higher taxes on e-cigarettes, but failed.
To be sure, Christie has vetoed a number of proposed tax increases, but his record is not free of raising taxes or their close cousin, fees.
JEB BUSH: "During my eight years in office, 1.3 million jobs were created, and we left the state better off."
FACT CHECK: Yes, but by December 2009, 900,000 of those 1.3 million jobs had been eliminated.
During Bush's tenure as Florida's governor, the state benefited from a huge housing bubble that then burst just as he left the governor's mansion. Florida was one of several "sun and sand" states where home prices soared during last decade's housing mania even more than they did nationwide. Home prices jumped 160 percent in Florida from 1999 through 2006, more than double the national increase of 74 percent, according to real estate data provider Zillow.
That growth fueled a 50 percent jump in construction jobs, and the boost to home values made many Floridians feel wealthier, leading them to spend more. Home prices started to fall in 2006, Bush's last year in the governor's mansion.