As she heads to California, how has Hillary Clinton fared with the truth?
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is scheduled to visit Los Angeles on Saturday. Her campaign says she’ll deliver a public speech about lifting wages for Americans and attend an event to raise cash for her White House bid.
The former secretary of state is the latest presidential hopeful to make plans in California in advance of the state’s increasingly important June 7th primary election. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz stumped in Southern California earlier this week as part of his campaign for the GOP presidential nomination. He repeated a claim PolitiFact rated Mostly False about most polls showing him beating Clinton in November.
As Clinton and others eye the Golden State, PolitiFact California is highlighting their PolitiFact ‘report cards,’ and fact-checking their words. The report cards show how many and what percentage of claims examined by the independent fact-checking website are rated True, Mostly True, Half True, Mostly False, False or Pants On Fire for each candidate. The last rating is designated for only the most absurdly false statements.
As of mid-April, PolitiFact had fact-checked 185 claims made by Hillary Clinton. Of those, it rated 28 percent on the false side of the spectrum, either Mostly False, False or Pants On Fire. By contrast, it labeled 72 percent either True, Mostly True or Half True.
Below is her PolitiFact report card. Click here for a dynamic look at the results.
Early this month, Clinton earned a Pants On Fire for her claim on Meet the Press that: "I'm the only candidate in the Democratic primary, or actually on either side, who Wall Street financiers and hedge fund managers are actually running ads against." After consulting with the Center for Responsive Politics and the Political TV Ad Archive, PolitiFact found groups backed by Wall Street have run attack ads against virtually every candidate.
About the same time, PolitiFact rated a separate Clinton claim, about torture, as True: "Another thing we know that does not work, based on lots of empirical evidence, is torture." PolitiFact spoke with experts scoured reports on the subject and found "the preponderance of the evidence shows that the details interrogators will get from a detainee can typically be acquired without torture. When torture is used, the "information" extracted is likely to be fiction created by a prisoner who will say anything to get the punishment to stop."
Measuring Clinton's rivals
PolitiFact has measured more than just Clinton’s record with the truth. It’s looked at all presidential candidates, including her top rival for the Democratic nomination, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. As of the same time period, the website had examined only 86 of his claims. But it found Sanders was just about as truthful, garnering True, Mostly True or Half True ratings on 70 percent of his statements. Sanders scored Mostly False or False ratings 30 percent of the time. He’s never felt the burn of a Pants On Fire rating from PolitiFact, unlike Clinton who’s earned the scorching label three times.
Clinton and Sanders have earned far fewer false ratings than either of the leading GOP candidates for president.
As of last week, PolitiFact had rated 67 percent of Cruz’ claims either Mostly False, False or Pants On Fire. Meanwhile, it’s rated closer to 75 percent of Republican frontrunner Donald Trump’s statements on the false side of PolitiFact’s Truth-O-Meter.
Contact PolitiFact California on Twitter @CAPolitiFact with interesting or provocative claims made by presidential candidates while they’re stumping in California. We’ll review them for a possible fact check.