Fact-checking Clinton’s Democratic convention speech: what was true?
Hilary Clinton the US Presidential candidate for the Democrats questions how America First is at the heart of Trump policy if he’s branded suits and ties are made in China and shirts made in Bangladesh.
Hillary Clinton did not pepper her acceptance of the Democratic nomination for president with many statistics on crime and poverty, as her opponent Donald Trump did last week, in a speech heavily shaded by cherry-picked figures and falsehoods.
But she still painted a broad picture of the United States to go with her policy ideas and made numerous claims about Trump, in particular.
“As your secretary of state I went to 112 countries.”
“Look at what happened in Dallas after the assassinations of five brave police officers. Chief David Brown asked the community to support his force, maybe even join them. And you know how the community responded? Nearly 500 people applied in just 12 days.”
From 8 July to 20 July, the police department reported 467 applications, a 243% increase. The Dallas Area Rapid Transit, one of whose officers died in the attack, reported a similar increase of over 300%.
“My grandfather worked in the same Scranton lace mill for 50 years … My dad, Hugh, made it to college. He played football at Penn State and enlisted in the navy after Pearl Harbor. When the war was over he started his own small business, printing fabric for draperies.”
Hugh Simpson Rodham, Clinton’s paternal grandfather, started working in a Scranton lace mill at age 11 and retired over five decades later. His son Hugh Rodham played football at Penn State, graduated in 1935, and served as a navy fitness instructor during the second world war. He started a drapery business in Chicago after the war.
A video that introduced Clinton omitted her prestigious legal career in favor of her time spent working for the Children’s Defense Fund. Clinton also worked at the Rose Law Firm, one of the oldest and largest corporate law firms the US, and one that came to haunt her when Congress tried unsuccessfully to find wrongdoing in Clinton deals with one of the firm’s clients.
“My mother, Dorothy, was abandoned by her parents as a young girl. She ended up on her own at 14, working as a house maid.”
“We built a coalition. And our work helped convince Congress to ensure access to education for all students with disabilities.”
Clinton is taking credit for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which passed in 1998, while she was first lady. Her role in the success of the program has been disputed since her first presidential campaign in 2008, when Republican senator Orrin Hatch, one of the architects of the compromise, said that then senator Ted Kennedy was the main power behind the bill. But Kennedy frequently gave credit to Clinton’s behind-the-scenes work, and in her remark on Thursday she qualified to give credit to the “coalition”.
“Our economy is so much stronger than when [Barack Obama and Joe Biden] took office. Nearly 15 million new private-sector jobs, 21 million more Americans with health insurance, and an auto industry that just had its best year ever.”
The US has added about 9.3m new jobs since Obama took office, but Clinton cites a low from the worst episode of the recession, in 2010. Similarly, her insurance figure not only includes those covered under Obama’s signature healthcare exchanges but under Medicaid expansions and young people on parents’ plans. She is correct that US automakers had a record year in 2015.
“In Atlantic City, 60 miles from here, you’ll find contractors and small businesses who lost everything because Donald Trump refused to pay his bills. People who did the work and needed the money, and didn’t get it – not because he couldn’t pay them, but because he wouldn’t pay them. He just stiffed them.
Clinton is correct in that Trump refused to pay contractors hired to work on his failed Taj Mahal Casino, which went bankrupt in 1991. Trump refused to pay m to 253 people. The businessman himself was in financial straits but banks gave him a 0,000-a-month allowance while his debts were renegotiated.
“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.”
Trump-branded suits and ties are made in China, suits are made in Mexico, the US, India and China, shirts made in Bangladesh, glassware made in Slovenia, furniture in Turkey and glasses and perfume in Bangladesh, Honduras and elsewhere. An Amazon search for a Trump picture frame turns up one item, produced by a Tulsa-based company.
“We will not ban a religion.”
Clinton’s suggestion that Trump wants to ban Islam is exaggerated: Trump has proposed bans, however, that would nearly be tantamount, including a ban on Muslims entering the US and bans on migration from countries that have suffered terrorist attacks.
“Because when more than 90% of the gains have gone to the top 1%, that’s where the money is.”
Clinton did not distinguish between general inequality, income or wealth generated within a specific set of years. She may be drawing from 2014 research on extreme gains by the top 1% of earners. The top 1% still gained 52% of the growth in incomes from 2009 through 2015, down from the years from 2009 through 2012, when the top 1% took 91% of the economy’s growth.
The Associated Press contributed reporting.
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