The trendy knock on Hillary Clinton, even among those who acknowledge that she’s the most capable and knowledgeable of the 2016 candidates for President, is the accusation that she’s just not honest. Her opponents keep insisting that she can’t be trusted, that she’s not telling the truth, and that there is therefore no telling what she might do while in office. But whenever fact checkers look at what Clinton and her opponents are saying during this election cycle, she rates out as the most honest of the bunch.
It may come as a surprise considering how often her opponents have tried to ding her for honesty issues. But according to campaign-long data from respected fact checking entity PolitFact, the picture looks very different. These sites only evaluate controversial or contentious claims made by each candidate, so if for instance they rate a candidate’s statements as being “true” half the time, it doesn’t mean the candidate is lying the other half the time. It’s more accurately an indicator of what percentage of the time a candidate turns out to have been telling the truth when he or she is specifically accused of lying.
PolitiFact has rated 24% of Hillary Clinton‘s contentious claims as receiving a perfect “True” score (source link), which may not sound impressive until you consider that just 15% of Bernie Sanders‘ contentious claims have rated out as “True” (source link). There are two other passable categories, “Mostly True” and “Half True.” If you add up the numbers from the top three boxes, Clinton comes out at 72% and Sanders comes out at 70%, which are both robust scores. In the bottom two boxes, just 14% of Clinton’s challenged statements have rated out as “False” or “Pants on Fire” while Sanders has fallen into those bottom two boxes 15% of the time.
Again, lest you get jaded, it doesn’t mean that either candidate is lying 14% or 15% of the time they open their mouths. This is merely a percentage of the most highly contested claims they’ve each made during this election. In other words, whenever Clinton or Sanders has been accused of lying, most of the time it turns out they were actually telling the truth. Objectively speaking, these are the two most honest candidates in the race, with Clinton receiving the slight numerical edge. Now for contrast, let’s take a look at the numbers for the top 2016 republican candidates.
It turns out Donald Trump’s statements have only rated out as being fully “True” a mere 3% of the time (source link). In fact he rates out as “False” or “Pants on Fire” an astounding 61% of the time. Ted Cruz is nearly as dishonest, rated “True” just 6% of the time, and “False” or “Pants on Fire” 36% of the time (source link). So what does this tell us?
The factual bottom line is that Hillary Clinton is the most honest candidate in the 2016 election. Bernie Sanders is a close second, making them the two most comparatively “honest” politicians in the race. In contrast, Donald Trump rates out as nearly a pathological liar, and Cruz doesn’t do much better. So much for the notion that Clinton is the one who can’t be trusted. This false perception is largely a function of her longtime status as the clear frontrunner and expected winner, causing the other candidates to take the most shots at her honesty out of desperation. But as the above numbers irrefutably spell out, when the others accuse Hillary of lying, it most often turns out they’re the ones who are lying. Here’s more on Hillary Clinton. If you enjoy Daily News Bin, consider making a contribution: