In order to make her case to the American people Monday at the first presidential debate, Hillary Clinton had to resort to some tricks — stretching the truth, changing the narrative and outright lying.
Here are her five biggest whoppers of the evening — and of her campaign.
1. Iran was weeks away from a nuclear bomb
“With respect to Iran, when I became secretary of state, Iran was weeks away from having enough nuclear material to form a bomb,” Clinton claimed, in an obvious attempt to puff up her own chops.
She became secretary of state nearly eight years ago — no sign of a nuke yet. And there was none at the time, according to NBC News foreign correspondent and MSNBC anchor Ayman Mohyeldin.
Clinton claims Iran was “weeks away” from a nuclear bomb. No intelligence estimate from any country supports that. Wrong #debatenight
— Ayman Mohyeldin (@AymanM) September 27, 2016
2. Clinton claimed that “tuition-free” and “debt-free” are one and the same
“I think building the middle class, investing in the middle class, making college debt free so more young people can get their education. Helping people refinance their tax — their debt from college at a lower rate.”
The Associated Press caught the former secretary of state on that particular whopper.
“Clinton has proposed making college tuition free for in-state students who go to a public college or university,” The AP reported. “But tuition free doesn’t equate to debt free. Under her plan, the government would pay for in-state tuition at public colleges and universities for students from families earning less than $125,000 a year. That would leave students still bearing the cost of room and board, which makes up more than half of the average $18,943 sticker price at a four-year public university, according to the College Board.”
Furthermore, The AP noted that Clinton’s tuition-free proposal would result in higher tuition costs, compounding the problem.
“Experts worry about other effects: Will colleges raise tuition once the government starts paying, increasing the cost to taxpayers? Will more students flock to public colleges because of the subsidy, also raising costs?”
3. Clinton denied her role in campaigning for the Trans-Pacific Partnership while secretary of state
Clinton tried to wiggle her way out of this one several times Monday night.
“That is not accurate. I was against [the TPP] once it was finally negotiated. The terms were laid out,” Clinton claimed. “I did say, I hoped it would be a good deal.”
Once again, The AP called Clinton out on this one.
“Trump is correct. As secretary of state, Clinton called the deal that was taking shape the ‘gold standard’ of trade agreements, in a 2012 trip to Australia, and championed the agreement in other venues around the world. She did not merely express the hope that it would turn out well,” The AP reported.
4. Clinton lied about Donald Trump’s federal income tax payments
Clinton has claimed several times while on the campaign trail that Trump pays no federal income taxes. Sound familiar? It should. That same claim was made four years ago against then-Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, and it’s just as false now as it was then.
Clinton dragged that same tired (and false) argument against Trump during a recent appearance on NBC News.
Trump “needs to release his tax returns. The only two we have show that he hasn’t paid a penny in taxes. And yet he goes around talking about ‘make America great.’ You know, that means paying for our military. That means paying for our roads. That means paying for the V.A. That means a lot of things. And if you’ve got someone running for president who’s afraid to release his tax returns because it will expose the fact that he pays no federal income tax,” Clinton said.
This time Politifact came to the rescue to set the record straight.
This time Politifact came to the rescue to set the record straight, calling Clinton’s claim “mostly false.”
“Clinton’s statement contains an element of truth but ignores critical facts that would give a different impression. We rate it Mostly False,,” Politifact reported.
5. Job creation? Clinton doesn’t have a clue
Clinton made a misstatement common among politicians — especially liberals — that small businesses create most new jobs. It is actually new businesses that do so, and this time the somewhat left-leaning Politico caught the former secretary of state.
“That means jobs in infrastructure, in advanced manufacturing … and small business because most of the new jobs will come from small business.”
“It’s a favorite line of almost all politicians, and Hillary Clinton has used it before. But small businesses are not in fact the job creators. That role belongs to new businesses,” Politico reported.
“One recent study used Census data to look at job creation in 2005. It found that startups created 3.5 million net new jobs-a million more than were created in the entire private sector. In other words, non-startup businesses were responsible that year for a 1 million job decline in employment.”
But perhaps Clinton could be given a pass on this one — being a longtime politician, she’s never created
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