No foul in by-the-numbers Clinton ad

How we make the call

Flagrant foul

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.

Regular foul

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.

Warning

A statement that may be generally truthful, but lacks context and could easily mislead or be misconstrued.

No foul

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.

About The Author

Bridge Staff

Bridge’s mission is to inform Michigan citizens about their state, amplify their views and explore the challenges of our civic life.

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Comments

Roxann Morin
Thu, 02/25/2016 - 9:57am
Wow, you caught her being honest. There is always a first time for everything.
Thu, 02/25/2016 - 11:17am
Cute comment, but it doesn't change the truth. Probity trumps prejudice.
Rich
Thu, 02/25/2016 - 9:57am
So sayeth the woman who has reaped millions of dollars from banks and Wall Street, and has so much baggage in her history that it would make a UPS 747 freighter unflyable. Time for a change in Washington.
Tom
Thu, 02/25/2016 - 11:41am
I find Hillary Clinton no more or no less dishonest than most of the politicians we are asked to vote for including our own governor. I'm tired of hearing about the emails which I consider irrelevant to the more important issues at hand. I sympathize with what Bernie Sanders is proposing but have little faith that he will be able to achieve his goals. He is an independent in democrat's clothing. He will not have the coat tails necessary to help the democrats win additional seats in the house and senate. Without a better balance of power in these legislative bodies no progressive president will be able to achieve very much, as Obama has found out. Clinton has a much better chance of helping democrats win seats in congress and advancing a more progressive agenda. I have faith that the majority of voters are too intelligent to consider Donald Trump as a viable alternative. And for now, I am keeping the faith.
Sandra Williams
Thu, 02/25/2016 - 2:21pm
I agree Tom. I want to know what Bernie as really accomplished!
John Grant
Thu, 02/25/2016 - 11:47am
One look at the wingnuts running for president on the Republic Party side confirms something Sec. Clinton said decades ago. she was being attacked by, and I paraphrase, "the vast right wing conspiracy." The corporate media mocked her because it was ignorant of the billions that were and would be spent to create a national right wing propaganda TV channel (FOX) and its local affiliates in every market in the country, right wing radio (Limbaugh and many other rabid nut cases), the chain of right wing think tanks (ie, the Mackinac Center in Michigan) in most states, ALEC, a right wing legislative arm which spews out pre-fabricated, pre-written legislation for Republic Party state houses all over the country, set up publishing houses that print facist-style books which would never have been printed in the commercial press in order to disseminate propaganda and provide salaries for right-wing "thinkers". Not to mention the millions pumped into court cases with right-wing goals and "right thinking" politicians on the local and national level, including the Teabag Lickers, creating an orthodoxy of hate, racism, bigotry, and xenophobia in our national political life. This seditious party met on the first day of Obama's presidency, in secret, pledging to make his a failed presidency no matter the cost to the American people and they did so to serve their lust for power. Yet the corporate media chooses to ignore the billions spent to discredit the president and his possible successor, Hillary Clinton. And when a demagogue like Donald Trump proves to be successful the media pundits all look at each other saying "Who could have known?" as if the evidence leading to this hadn't been growing all around them since the Reagan presidency. Would some one please fact check the Andrea Mitchels and Wolf Blitzers and Chuck Todds of this world for signs of intelligence or journalistic life. Don't forget Chris Matthews and the Fox transplant Morning Joe. Their arrogance and parochialism is on display every day.
ArtZ
Fri, 02/26/2016 - 5:51pm
Sorry I am fed up with the MSM and the free coverage to the Trump and Sander's campaign - the weather channel and the comics are a welcome relief.
ArtZ
Sun, 03/06/2016 - 4:18pm
ttps://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2016/03/05/clintons-claim-th... In Flint, Mich., “our city’s children were poisoned by toxic water because their governor wanted to save a little money.” — Hillary Clinton, remarks on Super Tuesday, March 2, 2016 ..... The Pinocchio Test Clinton’s claim that Flint was poisoned because the GOP governor ‘wanted to save a little money’ One difficulty in making a ruling is that not all of the facts have been gathered about the decision-making behind the fateful decision to shift to the river water. But that also means that Clinton cannot be so definitive in her statements assigning the blame to the Republican governor. As far as we know, there was no direct involvement by Snyder in the decisions regarding Flint’s water supply, especially concerning questions about costs. The key decisions were made by people he appointed — and perhaps his office was kept in the loop about those decisions — but that is not the same thing as directly assigning blame to Snyder. If Clinton wants to make the argument that Milbank makes — that Snyder’s system of emergency managers was to blame — then she needs to explicitly make that case. Unless new information comes to light showing Snyder’s direct involvement, we will regard this as a Two Pinocchio claim. There is some smoke — but no fire. Two Pinocchios