Carly Fiorina’s Hillary Clinton Video Makes The Right Points But The Wrong Conclusion — VIDEO
Since the end of her failed bid as a presidential candidate (and, for a strange few weeks, as a vice presidential candidate), Carly Fiorina has denounced Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton over Twitter. On Wednesday afternoon, Fiorina criticized Clinton's honesty in a short video she posted via Twitter. The video shows clips of Clinton making various statements that the ad implies are untrue. They range from Clinton's claims about her emails, to her trip to Bosnia, to her financial status upon leaving the White House. At the end, Fiorina, sitting at a desk next to an open window, faces the camera, telling the viewer:
And now we know, just as we've always known, but now the proof is indisputable. We know that Hillary Clinton is not only a liar; she's a first-class, grade-A corrupt politician.
Fact-checking website Politifact has been tracking statements made by politicians and political groups since 2007, and according to its research, many of the statements made by Clinton featured in the video are, indeed, false. Politifact rates statements as "True," "Mostly True," "Half-True," "Mostly False," "False," and the most egregious, "Pants On Fire!" But while many of the Clinton statements featured in Fioina's video are rated at least partially false, does Fiorina's ultimate conclusion about Clinton hold?
"I Remember Landing Under Sniper Fire."
The first clip in the video, Clinton's March 2008 account of landing in Bosnia in 1996 "under sniper fire," was given Politifact's "Pants on Fire!" rating. When criticized for her account, Clinton told The Philadelphia Daily News that her description was a "misstatement," and later said the error showed "[she was] human. Which for some people is a revelation."
"We Came Out Of The White House ... Dead Broke."
Politifact rated Clinton's claim that she and her husband were "broke" and in debt upon leaving the White House "Mostly False."
However, Politifact's investigation into the Clintons' finances revealed that, without accounting for the Clintons' mortgaged homes, they actually did "possibly have more liabilities than assets" -- a problem Politifact attributed to Bill Clinton's "enormous" legal bills.
Clinton later told Fusion's Jorge Ramos that she "regret[s]" her "dead broke" comments, calling them "accurate, but inartful."
"I Never Sent Nor Received Information That Was Classified At The Time."
Of the tens of thousands of emails investigators reviewed, 113 contained classified information, and three of those had classification markers. FBI Director James Comey has said Clinton should have known that some of the 113 were classified, but others she might have understandably missed.
After the FBI review of her emails, Clinton told Fox News Sunday that "what I told the FBI, which [FBI Director James Comey] said was truthful, is consistent with what I have said publicly."
Here's The Thing: Some Of The Evidence May Be Correct, But Fiorina's Conclusion Isn't.
While a number of the statements Clinton made in the video were rated false (at least to some degree) by Politifact, those statements alone are not enough to justify the conclusion Fiorina draws at the end of the clip — that Clinton is a "liar" and, therefore, also "corrupt." I can easily imagine an ad the Clinton campaign might construct, had Fiorina won the Republican nomination, using her own statements that were determined by fact-checkers to be untrue. For example, Fiorina's use of wildly inaccurate abortion statistics, her statement that most Syrian refugees were young men, or her erroneous statistics about female job loss under President Obama.
"The proof," Hillary Clinton might conclude at the end of the ad, "is indisputable. Carly Fiorina is a liar." However, just as with the video Fiorina released Wednesday, the evidence would be insufficient to prove the accusation.
Even Fiorina's simple claim that Clinton is a "liar" does not appear to be fair, given Politifact's other rankings of Clinton's statements. In fact, Politifact only rated Clinton's statements to be "Mostly False" or worse 27 percent of the time, which actually places her among the most honest politicians they track on the national stage. Conversely, Politifact's investigation into Fiorina's statements rated them "Mostly False" to "Pants on Fire!" 55 percent of the time. Let me rephrase: Carly Fiorina actually has a much worse record amongst fact-checkers than Hillary Clinton.
You know who else has a worse Politifact record than Clinton? Donald Trump, whose statements have been rated a shocking 71 percent "Mostly False" to "Pants on Fire!" Meaning that over two-thirds of his vetted comments were found to be inaccurate.
If Fiorina is looking vote for the most honest candidate, she may want to rethink her Clinton attack.