How we make the call
A false statement about a candidate’s position or a fact involving policy. It’s one thing to point out differences between records. It’s another for a candidate or third-party group to present false information or inaccurately portray a candidate’s political record.
A statement that distorts a candidate’s record or a fact involving policy, or which omits a fact that is essential to understanding a candidate’s position.
A statement that may be generally truthful, but lacks context and could easily mislead or be misconstrued.
A statement, however strident, that is based on accurate facts.
|Who:||Hillary for America|
|What:||30-second TV ad “New World”|
|The call:||No Foul|
As Michigan prepares to host presidential primaries on March 8, candidate ads are only beginning to flicker across the state and are generally positive, focusing on the themes of each candidate and mostly avoiding the kind of inflammatory accusations that keep Truth Squad in fighting shape. This rosy vibe will likely change following a slew of primaries and caucuses in the days leading up to Michigan, including “Super Tuesday” on March 1.
In this ad, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tries to build on her portrayal of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, her Democratic opponent, as a “single issue” candidate, as she highlights her own experience in a chaotic, often dangerous world. The Clinton ad begins with fleeting images of what appear to be a foreign mob protest, a distant war zone and a tornado looming ominously behind vehicles traveling down a roadway, giving way to images of Clinton with a group of military personnel, hugging a senior citizen and across a table from Russian President Vladimir Putin. The ad began airing in stations across Michigan on Feb. 19, less than three weeks before Michigan's March 8 Democratic primary.
Relevant text of the ad
“The world a president has to grapple with; sometimes you can't even imagine. That's the job and she's the one who's proven she can get it done...securing a massive reduction in nuclear weapons...standing up against the abuse of women...protecting Social Security...expanding benefits for the National Guard...and winning health care for 8 million children.”
Statements under review
“Securing a massive reduction in nuclear weapons”
In 2010, then-Secretary of State Clinton pushed for ratification of a nuclear arms treaty with Russia that she argued would “advance our national security and provide predictability and stability” between the world powers. The New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, signed in April that year by President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, cut the number of nuclear weapons held by the United States and Russia by a third. It was ratified in December 2010 by the U.S. Senate by a vote of 71 to 26.
“...standing up against the abuse of women”
In 2005, then-U.S. Sen. Clinton was one of 58 co-sponsors on the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, passed by unanimous consent by the Senate. The act provides funding for investigation and prosecution of violent crimes against women and imposes automatic and mandatory restitution on those convicted. Her campaign website also lays out plans to provide greater support and protections for victims of campus rape.
“...protecting Social Security”
Clinton has long opposed proposals to privatize Social Security or raise the retirement age. Her campaign site calls for expanded benefits for widows and women who take significant time our of the workforce to care for children or aging parents, while calling for raising the taxable cap on Social Security income for the wealthiest Americans.
“...expanding benefits for the National Guard”
In 2005, the Senate approved a defense bill sponsored by Clinton and GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham that extended military health benefits for members of the National Guard and Reserve. The measure gives Guard and Reserve members access to the military's Tricare health system even when they are not on active duty.
“...and winning health care for 8 million children.”
Clinton has taken (and is often given) credit for helping with passage of the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which Medicaid says provides health care coverage for more than 8 million children. The measure was signed into law in 1997 – when Clinton was first lady. She was not in Congress at the time, so she cannot be given literal credit for the act’s legislative passage. Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy was pivotal in shepherding it through Congress.
Though Kennedy himself told the Associated Press in 2007 the measure “wouldn't be in existence today if we didn't have Hillary pushing for it from the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue.”
|The call:||No Foul|
By and large, this relatively straightforward spot accurately states Clinton's role on a variety of issues, including nuclear arms reduction, abuse of women, health care benefits for members of the Guard and Reserve as well as her position on Social Security. As first lady, Clinton was deeply involved in the push to expand health care for poor children. "She wasn't a legislator, she didn't write the law, and she wasn't the president, so she didn't make the decisions," Nick Littlefield, then a senior health adviser to Kennedy, told the AP. "But we relied on her, worked with her and she was pivotal in encouraging the White House to do it." The ad avoids more controversial issues in Clinton’s high-profile public life as first lady, U.S. Senator and Secretary of State.