Fact check: Is Common Core "eliminated" in New Jersey?

Republican U.S. presidential candidate Governor Chris Christie (L) and Senator Marco Rubio speak simultaneously during the Fox Business Network Republican presidential candidates debate in North Charleston, South Carolina, January 14, 2016.

Randall Hill/Reuters

Last Updated Jan 15, 2016 2:41 PM EST

During Thursday night's Republican debate in South Carolina, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was attacked on several fronts for an allegedly left-leaning past, including his supposed support for Common Core education standards, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, and Planned Parenthood.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio called out his rival for propping up Common Core, the reading and math standards implemented in 42 states, plus the District of Columbia, and widely reviled by conservatives as acts of federal overreach.

"I like Chris Christie, but we can not afford to have a president of the United States that supports Common Core," Rubio said on the main stage.

Christie refuted that: "Common Core has been eliminated in New Jersey."

But Christie, who once supported the education standards, has flipped on the issue since last year.

In May, the governor asked New Jersey's department of education to review the implementation of Common Core in the state's school system.

But according to NJ.com, earlier this week, the panel charged with reviewing the standards recommended that 84 percent of them remain in place, with slight revisions to the rest. Common Core, the news site reported, does "still have a place in New Jersey classrooms."

Rubio also launched an attack on Christie's support of Sonia Sotomayor, an Obama-appointed Supreme Court justice.

Christie denied that he ever did so, a claim he has repeated on CBS' "Face the Nation."

But in 2009, the New Jersey Republican wrote in a statement: "After watching and listening to Judge Sotomayor's performance at the confirmation hearings this week, I am confident that she is qualified for the position of Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court."

And responding to another Rubio attack that he had made a "donation" to Planned Parenthood, Christie said at Thursday's debate that "I never wrote a check to Planned Parenthood."

Christie's own past statements, however, confirm Rubio's charge.

In a 1994 article by the New Jersey Star-Ledger, Christie, who was running for a seat in the Morris County legislature at the time, said he gave privately to the women's health organization.

"I support Planned Parenthood privately with my personal contribution and that should be the goal of any such agency, to find private donations," Christie said. "It's also no secret that I am pro-choice."