Fact-checking Hillary Clinton's acceptance of the Democratic nomination
The Democratic Party has a new presidential nominee, and for the first time for either major political party, she is a woman.
Hillary Clinton — a former secretary of state, senator and first lady — accepted her party’s nomination on July 28, 2016, the final night of the Democratic National Convention. After being introduced by her daughter Chelsea, Clinton challenged the campaign message of Republican nominee Donald Trump as being all about himself.
"That's why ‘Stronger Together’ is not just a lesson from our history," Clinton told the crowd at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pa. "It's not just a slogan for our campaign. It's a guiding principle for the country we've always been and the future we're going to build."
The night also saw speeches by Republicans who decided this election to vote for Clinton over Trump, as well as the families of fallen police officers. Several service members rallied on Clinton’s behalf, and singer Katy Perry sang her songs "Roar" and "Rise."
Clinton’s address was the night’s biggest moment. Let’s see how accurate it was.
Attacking Donald Trump
Clinton critiqued Trump’s address at the Republican National Convention a week earlier, saying "he spoke for 70-odd minutes – and I do mean odd," and should not be trusted.
"And most of all, don't believe anyone who says: ‘I alone can fix it.,’ " Clinton said. "Those were actually Donald Trump's words in Cleveland."
We looked back at his speech, and Trump really did say this.
"Nobody knows the system better than me, which is why I alone can fix it," Trump said.
However, Trump did allude to working with others in different parts of his speech. He said he would work with law enforcement and added this tidbit about working with allied countries..
"We must work with all of our allies who share our goal of destroying ISIS and stamping out Islamic terror," he said. "This includes working with our greatest ally in the region, the State of Israel."
With that extra context, we rated Clinton’s claim Mostly True.
Clinton also attacked Trump’s view of the military, again using his own words.
"Now Donald Trump says, and this is a quote, 'I know more about ISIS than the generals do.' No, Donald, you don't," Clinton said. "He thinks that he knows more than our military because he claimed our armed forces are 'a disaster.' "
Did Trump characterize the military that way?
We checked the context. Trump used the line in the midst of a response to a question from Maria Bartiromo during a Fox Business Network debate, who asked about South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley’s reference to Trump as one of "the angriest voices."
"I'm very angry because our country is being run horribly and I will gladly accept the mantle of anger," Trump said. "Our military is a disaster."
We couldn't find any other comments from Trump characterizing the military as a disaster, but he repeatedly has said it is "depleted."
His comments have been slightly unclear, but recent ones have not been as broadly critical. So we rate Clinton’s claim Mostly True.
Clinton also attacked Trump’s campaign slogan "Make America Great Again," by claiming his merchandise was primarily made overseas.
"He also talks a big game about putting ‘America First,’ " Clinton said. "Please explain to me what part of ‘America First’ leads him to make Trump ties in China, not Colorado. Trump suits in Mexico, not Michigan. Trump furniture in Turkey, not Ohio. Trump picture frames in India, not Wisconsin. Donald Trump says he wants to make America great again. Well, he could start by actually making things in America again."
We found examples of Trump ties made in China, suits in Mexico and furniture in Turkey. We did not find a clear example of a Trump picture frame made in India.
It’s worth noting we also came across suits listed made in the United States, as well as other Trump-brand, U.S.-made products that Clinton did not name, including the "Make America Great Again" baseball caps.
This statement rated Mostly True.
Clinton talked up her national security credentials as well, saying the Iran nuclear deal effectively closed the door on Iran getting a nuclear weapon.
"I'm proud that we put a lid on Iran's nuclear program without firing a single shot," she said. "Now we have to enforce it, and keep supporting Israel's security."
She’s right that the deal was made without going to battle, but is the country’s nuclear program really stopped?
The deal lifts sanctions on Iran for the country’s cooperation in agreeing to curb its nuclear program and allow inspections. Iran is allowed, however, to keep a reduced number of centrifuges operational, but in limited capacities not suitable for bomb development.
Experts told us Iran would effectively be unable to create a nuclear bomb, provided the conditions of the deal are met.
Assuming Clinton meant by "put a lid" that America will keep Iran’s program in check, we rate her claim Mostly True.
On the economy
Clinton said that the economy has improved significantly under President Barack Obama’s leadership, and said she would continue to build on his progress.
"Now, I don't think President Obama and Vice President (Joe) Biden get the credit they deserve for saving us from the worst economic crisis of our lifetimes," she said. "Our economy is so much stronger than when they took office. Nearly 15 million new private-sector jobs. Twenty million more Americans with health insurance. And an auto industry that just had its best year ever."
We checked her claim on 15 million new private-sector jobs, and found it needed qualification.
That number is accurate, but only if you start from February 2010, a year after Obama took office. Experts told us it made sense to use that figure, however, because Obama could not be held responsible for the recession’s effects early in his administration.
Starting from when Obama took office in February 2009, the increase is more modest — 10.6 million jobs.
We rated this statement Half True.
Clinton’s claim that the auto industry had its best year ever is a holdover from a couple months ago.
This is true by one big measure: Americans bought more cars and trucks in 2015 than ever before. In 2015, Americans bought more than 17.5 million cars. The last peak was 17.3 million in 2000, followed by a collapse to 10.4 million at the height of the recession in 2009.
One caveat, however, is that Clinton’s claim masks the long-term issues with American manufacturers, especially given foreign manufacturers’ growing market share. Still, experts we asked said sales figures are a good measure of the auto industry’s success.
We rated this statement Mostly True.
Clinton also paid homage to former rival Sen. Bernie Sanders, using one of his favorite talking points to describe how she would pay for reforms.
"And here's how: Wall Street, corporations, and the super-rich are going to start paying their fair share of taxes," Clinton said. "Not because we resent success. Because when more than 90 percent of the gains have gone to the top 1 percent, that's where the money is."
Those numbers were once true in 2012. More recent data from 2015, however, shows that the top 1 percent only took in 52 percent of all income that year.
An oft-cited economist on income inequality explained the diminished flow to the nation’s tip-top.
"In 2014 and especially in 2015, the incomes of bottom 99 percent families have finally started recovering in earnest from the losses of the Great Recession," said University of California Berkeley economist Emmanuel Saez.
We rate Clinton’s statement Half True.
Clinton said she was inspired by the Dallas, Texas, community for its response to a tragic shooting that killed five police officers.
"Chief David Brown asked the community to support his force, maybe even join them," Clinton said. "And you know how the community responded? Nearly 500 people applied in just 12 days."
Between July 8, the day after the shooting, and July 20, there were 467 new applications, according to Dallas Police Department data.
That’s close to 500. We rate Clinton’s statement True.
The Humayun Khan story
One notable moment from the last night of the convention was when Khizr Khan, the father of a Muslim-American soldier slain in the Iraq War, pulled out a copy of the U.S. Constitution from his pocket and offered to lend it to Trump.
Khan’s son, Humayun, was a captain in the U.S. Army who sacrificed his life in June 2004 while saving his fellow soldiers in Iraq. He was awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart to commemorate his sacrifice.
The Khan family moved from the United Arab Emirates to the United States in 1980, when Humayun was 2. The family settled down in Maryland, and Humayun went on to graduate from the University of Virginia in 2000, where he joined ROTC.
To hear more about Humayun Khan’s service and to see a full transcript of his father’s speech, read our story.
Trump and internment camps
U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, made a provocative claim about Trump’s defense of Japanese internment camps as proof Trump would make it harder for immigrants to acclimate.
"Grandchildren of Americans who suffered in World War II internment camps — the same camps that Donald Trump has defended — and grew up to be business owners, war heroes, and public servants," Castro said.
Trump likened his proposed Muslim ban to how Roosevelt handled World War II. When pressed by journalists if that meant he supported the internment camps for Japanese Americans under Roosevelt’s order, Trump said he was not praising that exactly.
In another interview, Trump said he hates the "concept" of internment camps, but "would have had to be there at the time to give you a proper answer" on whether he supported or opposed Roosevelt’s action.
Trump’s comments are not as specific as Castro claims, so we rated his statement Half True.