Political rhetoric · Politics

Democratic Presidential Candidates Claims vs. Facts

Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton
Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, left, and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., stand stage before a Democratic presidential primary debate at the University of Michigan-Flint, Sunday, March 6, 2016, in Flint, Mich. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

On Sunday,. March 6, 2016 Democratic Presidential candidates Senator Bernie Sanders and Mrs. Hillary Clinton met at the University of Michigan located in Flint (MI) for a debate. As usual, claims were made that are not borne out by the facts. Here are a few.

Wall Street

Referring to a speech she gave in December 2007, Mrs. Clinton claimed that she went to “Wall Street” and scolded them because they “were wrecking the economy.” However, in the same speech where she “scolded” Wall Street, Mrs. Clinton also praised Wall Street and thanked the “wonderful donors” in the audience.

On numerous occasions, Mrs. Clinton has referred to the December 2007 speech as an indication that she can be “tough” on the financial industry. She has also used the speech to deflect Senator Sanders’ criticism that Mrs. Clinton has a cozy relationship with bankers and investment houses. While a record of the speech does, in fact, show that Mrs. Clinton scolded bankers for their role in the financial crisis as well as urging them to stem the chaos, Mrs. Clinton also took the time to spread the blame beyond big banks stating that: “Now, who’s exactly to blame for the housing crisis? Well, that’s always a question that the press and people ask and I think there’s plenty of blame to go around.” In the same speech, Mrs. Clinton was also laudatory towards Wall Street.

Though I could find no record of the fee paid to Mrs. Clinton for that speech, throughout the course of her political career, Mrs. Clinton’s campaign received nearly $700,000 from J.P. Morgan. Mrs. Clinton also received $225,000 from Bank of America for one (1) speech after she left the State Department. Bear Sterns is known to have “donated” $50,000 to her campaign from 1999 to 2004, while Merryll Lynch”donated” over $33,000 during the same time period. Meanwhile, Senator Sanders has received no compensation for the speeches he has given.

Click here for a copy of the speech.

poverty_hungry

Senator Sanders claimed that “When you’re white, you don’t know what it’s like to be poor.” Though Caucasians are less likely to know poverty, the Census Bureau estimates that the poverty rate among Caucasians was 11.6% below the national average between 2007 and 2011. 27% of those defined as “poor” were American-Indians and Alaskan natives, followed by Dominicans at 26.3%, African-Americans at 25.8% and 16.2% were Cubans. Overall, 14.3% of the population fell below the poverty level set by the federal government.

TPP

Commenting on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Mrs. Clinton stated that: “I thought it was reasonable to know what was in it before I opposed it.” In fact, Mrs. Clinton was a strong advocate of the TPP even before the details were known. As Secretary of State, Mrs. Clinton gave numerous speeches around the world in support of the TPP going so far as affirming that it “sets the gold standard in trade agreement” in a speech she gave in Australia in 2012. While she said that the final agreement did not address her concerns, it has been modified to eliminate certain provisions opposed to by liberal activists.

Unlike the last debate of the Republican Presidential candidates, neither Mrs. Clinton nor Senator Sanders made mention of the size of their hands or other appendages.

Politically unbiased yours,

Beau

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