Ahead of her Wisconsin visit, Hillary Clinton on the Truth-O-Meter
With Hillary Clinton poised to visit Wisconsin for the first time in her 2016 presidential campaign, we’re taking a look at her record on the Truth-O-Meter since she announced her run earlier this year.
Clinton’s appearance in Milwaukee, scheduled for Sept. 10, 2015, is to include a public event at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a private fund-raiser.
We’ll start our summary with claims made by and about Clinton that were checked by PolitiFact Wisconsin.
Then we’ll cover claims made by Clinton that were checked by PolitiFact National.
PolitiFact Wisconsin ratings of claims by, about Clinton
Says Scott Walker "cut back early voting and signed legislation that would make it harder for college students to vote."
Legislation signed by the Wisconsin governor and Republican presidential candidate reduced the number of days allowed for so-called early voting, in which voters cast absentee ballots at a municipal clerk's office before Election Day, but the blanket claim about college students overstates those changes. Some provisions could make it more difficult for certain college students to vote -- if, for example, they don't have a Wisconsin drivers license, or moved to Wisconsin less than 28 days before an election.
Says Scott Walker's defunding of Planned Parenthood "left women across the state stranded with nowhere else to turn" for cancer screenings, breast exams and birth control.
In 2011, Walker eliminated all state funding to Planned Parenthood, which in turn closed five clinics over the next three years. The loss of those clinics meant women were referred to other facilities, in some cases a considerable distance away, in order to continue getting services. But Clinton’s statement went too far in that Walker’s move affected only some parts of Wisconsin and it’s wrong to say women in those areas have "nowhere else to turn."
Scott Walker: "Hillary Clinton's rejection of efforts to make it easier to vote and harder to cheat not only defies logic, but the will of the majority of Americans."
Polls show strong support for voter ID laws, including from Democrats. But the other elements of Walker’s claim -- easier to vote and harder to cheat -- amount to a split. It’s clearly not easier to vote if the extra step of obtaining a photo ID is added. Likewise, it is harder to cheat if there is an extra verification step at the polling place.
Reince Priebus: Clinton took "money from kings of Saudi Arabia and Morocco and Oman and Yemen."
The monarchies of Saudi Arabia, Morocco and Oman contributed to the Clinton Foundation, but Yemen, which does not have a king, had not. And although the claim by the Republican National Committee chairman was made during a discussion of the Clinton foundation as well as contributions to political candidates, his phrasing could have left the impression that Clinton herself, rather than the foundation, received the money.
Priebus: In recent polling in battleground states, a "majority of the people" said Clinton "is untrustworthy."
In Colorado, Virginia, Iowa and Florida and Pennsylvania, more people said Clinton is not honest and trustworthy than said she is. But the percentage reached a majority -- more than 50 percent -- only in Colorado and Virginia. Meanwhile, by 47 percent to 46 percent, people polled in Ohio said Clinton is honest and trustworthy.
PolitiFact National ratings of Clinton claims
(We’ve included here Clinton’s more broad claims, and have excluded claims she made about specific GOP presidential candidates, other than Walker, or specific states. But all of the Clinton fact checks are available here.)
"If I had not asked for my emails all to be made public, none of this would have been in the public arena."
Clinton’s request was the driving force behind the State Department’s decision to release the emails as soon as possible. However, multiple pending open records requests for her emails likely would have made some of these emails public regardless. It was disingenuous for Clinton to treat her request as proactive transparency, when her practices protected her email from public scrutiny until she was out of office.
"The United States is 65th out of 142 nations and other territories on equal pay."
Clinton cited a finding from one international survey of executives, but other data -- including actual wage data from more than two dozen advanced countries -- shows the United States second only to Germany in the lack of gender-based wage discrimination for men and women who hold the same job.
"Not one of the 17 GOP candidates has discussed how they'd address the rising cost of college."
While some Republican hopefuls haven’t had much to say on the issue, it’s not accurate to say none of them have. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio has made higher education spending a major plank of his campaign, and other candidates such as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and businesswoman Carly Fiorina have set forth ideas and positions.
Says she "called for addressing risks of derivatives, cracking down on subprime mortgages and improving financial oversight" early on in the financial crisis.
The crisis hit a peak in summer 2008, though it started to gain traction in 2007. Clinton began addressing the subprime mortgage issue in her appearances in March 2007. Later that year, she took on derivatives. She also proposed specific plans for solving these problems and increasing oversight of financial institutions.
"Not a single Republican candidate, announced or potential, is clearly and consistently supporting a path to citizenship. Not one."
Clinton was telling voters who want a path to citizenship that there's no one candidate on the GOP side who supports that issue. But there is one, U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. She does have a point that the other candidates either have never backed a path to citizenship or have sent mixed signals.
Despite keeping distance from national media interviewers, "I did local press all along, the last three months."
Clinton made that statement in early July 2015. A review of Clinton’s interactions with the media during the first three months of her campaign showed that she offered numerous interviews with local news outlets during the third month of that time frame. Prior to that, however, her interactions with with local news outlets were just about as scarce as they were with national outlets.
"All my grandparents" immigrated to America.
Clinton made the claim while talking about immigration in Iowa. Her paternal grandfather, Hugh Rodham Sr., was born in England, but her three other grandparents were born in the United States. It’s possible she misspoke, but it doesn’t make her comment more accurate.
"The stock market does better when you have a Democratic president in the White House."
The numbers back her up, but it’s worth noting that luck, timing and several other factors in the broader economy also play a role in determining stock market performance.
"The United States invented the community college. Nobody else had ever done anything like it."
This is largely correct, as the specific U.S. system was an innovation, though Clinton’s terminology could have been more precise. Also, other types of institutions in Europe share characteristics of community colleges.
"African-American children are 500 percent more likely to die from asthma than white kids."
According to a 2006 federal study, she’s right. According to more recent data, she’s slightly off, but only because she has underestimated the gap: In reality, it appears that black children are seven to eight times as likely to die of asthma as white children.
Hedge fund managers "pay less in taxes than nurses and truck drivers."
She was clearly wrong for dollar amounts, which is what her statement was about. If she meant to say tax rates, that's more complicated, and the data doesn't clearly back up the point.
"The top 25 hedge fund managers (are) making more than all of America's kindergarten teachers combined."
Federal data shows that America’s 158,000 kindergarten teachers together make $8.5 billion a year. There were a few possible problems with the data for hedge fund managers’ earnings, but there’s no denying it’s significantly higher than a kindergarten teacher’s compensation.
American schools are "more segregated than they were in the 1960s."
Overall, experts say and the data shows that the United States has taken two steps forward and one step back, but hasn’t quite reverted to pre-Civil Rights levels of segregation. Clinton would have been more accurate setting her time frame a little later. But she has a strong point that the country has fallen back from the high levels of diversity that existed from the 1970s to the early 1990s.
"Twenty-three million Americans suffer from addiction, but only 1 in 10 get treatment."
The actual ratio is about one of nine, not one in 10, and it’s worth noting that the treatment statistics include only the most intensive methods, leaving out such widely used approaches as Alcoholics Anonymous. Still, experts said Clinton’s claim is close to accurate.