Why is this even a debate question? Of course, politicians bend the truth and spread fear to gain votes. What don't politicians do to gain votes? I don't think any politicians can be trusted. That's the sad state of the world we live in today. Fear is just another tactic that is now used.
When an election is near, politicians tend to focus only on events or subject matter that invokes feeling of fear and insecurity. Most campaigns focus on issues politicians feel will frighten voters in believing that if you don't vote for them, these issues or circumstances will only get worse and will have a negative effect on your life, the lives of your children, job, or the countries economy.
Americans are gullible and scared, so it's easy to see why politicians would do such a thing. The news media makes it easier for them to do so as well. As long as the media is helping them out this trend will never slow down. We can actually see it speeding up year over year.
I have never seen fear mongering and misinformation used as much as it has been used in the 2016 presidential election cycle. That shows the amount of desperation the candidates have. If you truly feel that you are the best man for the job, you don't have to use low blows to get what you want. Your record should speak for itself. Politicians have always used fear to get people to vote for them but it has been used this year on a whole different level. There is an "us" versus "them" theme in their rhetoric. We have to "take back our country" is also another running theme or my favorite we are not going to be "politically correct" anymore. Ah, political correctness is just simple human decency and good manners. You don't have to be an insensitive bigot to bully your way into getting what you want. It won't work anyway because cooler heads will prevail.