Three “unbiased” articles from Politico. The first two are allegedly “fact-checks”.
As s August ended, a new Donald Trump emerged. Coached by his third campaign management team, he stayed on message, read from a teleprompter and focused on policy. It lasted about a month.
After he lied on Sept. 16 that he was not the person responsible for the birtherism campaign to delegitimize Barack Obama’s presidency, POLITICO chose to spend a week fact-checking Trump. We fact-checked Hillary Clinton over the same time.
We subjected every statement made by both the Republican and Democratic candidates — in speeches, in interviews and on Twitter — to our magazine’s rigorous fact-checking process. The conclusion is inescapable: Trump’s mishandling of facts and propensity for exaggeration so greatly exceed Clinton’s as to make the comparison almost ludicrous.
Trump’s “lie” on September 16th wasn’t a lie. Birtherism originated with the Hillary campaign.
Here’s a couple more of Trump’s “lies”:
1. “The reason I do manufacture things overseas — I have to do this, there is no choice, because [other countries] have devalued their currency so much that our companies are out of business for the most part.” (Sept. 20, Fox 8 interview)
Manufacturing is diminishing as a share of the economy, but it’s hardly vanishing. The sector constituted 11.8 percent of GDP in the first quarter of 2016. In the first quarter of 2006, it made up 13.1 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.
2. “Excessive regulation costs our economy $2 trillion a year. Can you believe that? Two trillion dollars a year.” (Sept. 21, Toledo, Ohio, rally)
The $2 trillion estimate comes from a report from the conservative Competitive Enterprise Institute. It’s widely quoted, but independent fact-checkers have questioned its methodology. Additionally, the figure excludes any benefits derived from the effect of regulations. The Cleveland Plain Dealer notes that car seat belts, for example, are included as a cost. But the lives/money saved as a result is not used as an offset, even though the federal government has estimated the benefits of regulations outstripped the costs.
Now here is what they had to say about Hillary:
Hiillary Clinton’s relationship to the truth is solid — but her most brazen misrepresentations come when she’s talking about herself.
In the lead-up to the first presidential debate of the general election, POLITICO subjected every statement made by both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump — in speeches, in interviews and on Twitter — to our magazine’s rigorous fact-checking process. The conclusion: Though Clinton is far more practiced at sticking to defensible policy positions and recollections of history, she’s significantly more lax when addressing her own transgressions — the potential Achilles’ heel of a candidacy marred by questions of her truthfulness.
Compared with Trump’s machine-gun style of spewing falsehoods, Clinton’s detours from the truth were rarer and more targeted. POLITICO’s five-day analysis suggests that in just over 1.5 hours of remarks last week, the former secretary of state averaged one falsehood every 12 minutes.
In raw numbers, Clinton made eight erroneous statements in five days.
Clinton’s most glaring statement was the mischaracterization of her handling of classified information. She’s been rebuked by the director of the FBI for negligence and told the agency she didn’t realize a “(C)” denoted classified material. But last week, she described how “careful” she is with classified information.
Clinton also overstepped when describing her campaign’s transparency on her health, arguing that she’s met the standard of all previous candidates for office. Except there is no standard, and she’s arguably kept private significant details about her physical health.
Even if you believe Politico, Trump tells lots of little lies, but Hillary’s lies are whoppers.
Here’s the third article:
Obamaworld laughed as it watched Donald Trump’s hostile takeover of the GOP. After eight years of Republican opposition, inconsistent policy demands and racialized hate against the first black president, President Barack Obama’s aides, past and present, thought Republicans had gotten what they deserved–and more, all but forfeiting the 2016 race to the woman they defeated eight years ago.
They’re not laughing anymore.
Going into Monday night’s debate, Obama’s team is feeling that same anxiety expressed by some top Hillary Clinton aides: maybe the country isn’t what they thought, maybe the resistance to Obamacare and gay marriage and the progress they’re so proud of is broader than the vocal fringe they’ve always dismissed. Maybe, the president’s aides – current and former – now concede, they’re going to have to live with the fact that Trump could end up in the Oval Office in part due to a backlash against Obama.
“I’m trying to think of a series to compare it to, which was a series that started as a comedy and became a high stakes drama,” said Ben LaBolt, a former White House aide and press secretary for Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign. “I feel like we’re maybe in the fifth season of ‘Breaking Bad’ here. We’re way beyond the laughs, and just sitting on the edge of our seats in terror.”
“There’s not a lot of mirth in the circles I run in about him,” said another former senior Obama campaign staffer.
Privately, Obama has expressed mixed feelings, according to people close to the president. He’s still nursing amusement at Republicans for being hapless enough to get railroaded by Trump, but it’s mixed with frustration that there are so many Americans he failed to reach. People who’ve spoken to him say the president wonders what he might have done differently to break through in a way that would make people who’ve benefited from his policies—like those enjoying added health benefits courtesy of Obamacare—support Democrats.
Though only a few weeks ago, current and former Obama aides would joke about how the president’s great political legacy might be the Republican Party destroying itself in front of him. Now, on the record, they push back on the very suggestion that Obama’s legacy should be viewed in any frame that Trump also occupies.
“I don’t think he thinks it’s his legacy, I don’t think any of us think it’s his legacy,” said Dan Pfeiffer, a former senior adviser to the president. “Trumpism is a lot of things in this country. President Obama is the face of that for some Republicans, but the Republican Party got themselves into this mess.”
But they worry about what even a Trump loss says about Obama’s America.
“I think he will lose badly in this election, but I think the impact he’s had on our political process is incredibly damaging, and will be lasting,” said Tommy Vietor, a former national security spokesman who noted that his own amusement at Trump ended a year ago. “He’s made us look stupid. I think he is stupid.”
For any efforts Obama made in urging people to disagree without being disagreeable, as the president likes to say, “Trump has shattered that,” Vietor said. “He has brought back a brand of politics that is you punch your opponent as hard as you can, it doesn’t matter if it’s a low blow, it doesn’t matter if it’s not of substance. That’s a bad lesson for people to learn.”
According to Earnest, Obama is serious about wanting a functional opposition and wishes that he’d had one to negotiate with on immigration reform, trade, infrastructure and other priorities. The sense of lost opportunity eats at them, as does the sense that it’s not going away, despite their confidence in Clinton’s chances.
Shorter: Obama good, Trump bad.
President Barack Obama said Friday that he will not negotiate over the debt ceiling with Republicans, whom Obama accused of wanting to negotiate “under the threat of blowing up the whole economy.”
Nope, no bias here.