Luck of the Irish on the Truth-O-Meter
Happy St. Paddy's Day to you.
In honor of the day, peek at these fact checks about Ireland and the Irish:
• Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said last year: "U.S. teenagers have now fallen behind their counterparts in Ireland, Poland and even Vietnam in math and science."
At least he didn't say even Ireland, right? PolitiFact Florida rated this Mostly True, saying the United States trails the three countries in question. But it’s not so much that it's "fallen behind" -- the U.S. has been behind Ireland and Poland for years, and Vietnam was first tested in 2012.
• In her first run for the presidency in 2008, Hillary Clinton declared: "I helped to bring peace to Northern Ireland."
In the 1990s, she played a role a First Lady, especially with women in Northern Ireland, but we found her statement left the impression that she was more involved than she was. Half True.
Clinton was perhaps best known in Northern Ireland for an Oct. 31, 1997, speech at the University of Ulster in Belfast in which she brought back a teapot that had been given to her in a previous visit.
"I don't know whether a Catholic or a Protestant made this teapot. I don't know whether a Catholic or a Protestant sold this teapot. I only know that this teapot serves me very well," Clinton said. "And this teapot stands for all those conversations around those thousands of kitchen tables where mothers and fathers look at one another with despair because they cannot imagine that the future will be any better for their children. But this teapot also is on the kitchen table where mothers and fathers look at one another and say, we have to do better. We cannot permit this to go on. We have to take a stand for our children."
• In 2011, an Ohio Republican, Jim Jordan, made a claim about the nation's Gross Domestic Product: "Our debt to GDP ratios, our deficit to GDP ratios are quickly approaching the countries we have been reading about for the last year and a half. We are not far behind Ireland, Greece, Portugal and Spain and all these countries we have been reading about."
Half True, PolitiFact Ohio held. The United States hadn’t yet reached the debt-to-GDP levels of the countries he cited, but it seemed on its way there. Still, it wasn't clear that attaining those debt levels would cause the catastrophic economic damage he implies.
Other countries with high debt-to-GDP ratios hadn't imploded, but specifically citing nations like Ireland and Greece implied that disaster is near for the United States economy. In reality, the United States, with its ability to control its own monetary supply, has lots more going for it than Ireland or Greece.