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A new TV ad by Mitt Romney recites a common Republican criticism of Sen. Hillary Clinton. She "hasn't run a corner store. She hasn't run a state. She hasn't run a city. She has never run anything."
Other candidates have used similar lines about the Democratic front-runner.
Let's take them one at a time. Romney is correct that Clinton hasn't run a state (as he has) or run a city (as Giuliani has). (Our in-depth look at the candidates' experience can be found in our story here.)
He says she hasn't run a corner store. We've found nothing on her resume to indicate she managed a retail establishment on a street corner, but he's probably speaking metaphorically that she lacks management experience in the private sector.
Yet she was a law partner in the Rose Law Firm in Little Rock, Ark., where she served some of the firm's biggest clients and was described as a "rainmaker" who found new clients.
Then Romney adds: "She hasn't run anything."
What about those eight years as first lady?
You might disagree on whether her husband should have entrusted her with reforming health care, or whether a nonelected official with a vague job description should have had a personal staff of 20, plus all that access to White House staff. But she did.
Therefore, you must count those years in the White House, said Stanley Renshon, a political science professor at the City University of New York.
"As first lady, she did have executive experience," Renshon said. "She had responsibility, she did make decisions. She was a very powerful person behind the scenes. She has executive experience."
To support its claim, the Romney campaign quoted U.S. World & News Report publisher Mort Zuckerman, who said Clinton didn't have "that much executive experience." That's a far cry from Romney's blanket statement.
Clinton's resume is fair game for criticism, but given her work as a law partner and her managerial role as first lady, we find Romney is way off with his claim that she "hasn't run anything." We find the claim to be Barely True.
Editor's note: This statement was rated Barely True when it was published. On July 27, 2011, we changed the name for the rating to Mostly False.
The Almanac of American Politics, 2006 and 2004.
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