6 fact checks you should read on Clinton’s DNC speech

July 29, 2016
Category: Fact-Checking

Hillary Clinton’s acceptance speech on the final night of the Democratic National Convention was “the best speech of her life” and “true to her.” Or, if you’re Donald Trump, it was delivered in a “very average scream.”

But how did fact-checkers rate it? Here are six fact checks from on last night’s speech.

1. On Trump’s speech:

Clinton said “don’t believe anyone who says, ‘I alone can fix it.’ Yes, those were actually Donald Trump’s words in Cleveland. And they should set off alarm bells for all of us.”

FactCheck.org reports that Clinton misrepresented what Trump said, “suggesting he said he could fix everything by himself. Trump was referring to a ‘rigged’ system, and went on to talk about working with others.”

And Politifact points out that Trump did say he’d work with law enforcement officers and allied countries:

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Hillary Clinton
Democratic presidential nominee

Says Donald Trump said at the Republican convention “I alone can fix it.”


2. On the 1 percent:

Clinton said that the top 1 percent in the country are getting 90 percent of income gains, “but that is an outdated figure,” FactCheck.Org reports. “It’s now 52 percent.”

RELATED: “6 fact checks from Donald Trump’s RNC speech

The Washington Post’s fact-check team agreed.

Clinton repeats an old Bernie Sanders line, but the numbers are out of date. Clinton is claiming that the top 1 percent of Americans gets 90 percent of the gains in income, but there is increasing evidence that income imbalance has improved in recent years as the economy has recovered from the Great Recession.

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Hillary Clinton
Presidential candidate

“More than 90 percent of the gains have gone to the top 1 percent.”


3. On Trump’s foreign products:

Clinton noted in her speech that Trump’s “America First” line doesn’t fit with where his products originate from.

PolitiFact marked that “mostly true.”

We found examples of Trump ties made in China, suits in Mexico and furniture in Turkey. We did not find a clear example of a Trump picture frame made in India. It’s worth noting we also came across suits listed made in the United States, as well as other Trump-brand, U.S.-made products that Clinton did not name, including the “Make America Great Again” baseball caps.

4. On overturning Citizens United:

Clinton said, “if necessary, we will pass a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United.”

Here’s how NPR rated that claim:

Passing a constitutional amendment would very likely be really, really, really hard in the current political climate of gridlock. Proposing one requires either a two-thirds vote of the House and Senate or a constitutional convention, which two-thirds of the states would have to call for, according to the National Archives. To be ratified, it requires 38 of the 50 states to approve it. — Danielle Kurtzleben

And not even advocates of this one can agree on language that avoids other First Amendment issues. — Peter Overby

5. On tuition-free college:

Clinton said that, along with her former rival Sen. Bernie Sanders, she’ll work to make college tuition free for the middle class “and debt-free for all.”

The Washington Post offered more details on what that actually means:

Clinton embraced elements of Sanders’s college funding plan, including free tuition at all community colleges. “Middle class” covers a range from about $42,000 to $125,000, and the plan proposes free tuition in phases for families within that range, for students attending in-state four-year schools. But some families will have to wait longer than others.

She proposes immediate free tuition at in-state, four-year schools for students from families making $85,000 or less. Free tuition at such schools will not be available for families making between $85,000 and $125,000 until 2021.

Her plan also demands state financial participation. But experts raised concerns that some states would decline to participate and questioned what that would mean for tuition relief, the New York Times reported.

And from NPR, some background on Clinton’s original plan:

Clinton originally had a “debt-free” college plan, which was designed to ensure that people could attend college without taking out loans; that meant the student had to work and that the family would contribute what it could. But in July, she moved further in her primary rival Bernie Sanders’ direction, proposing that college tuition at public universities for students from families making $125,000 or less (a threshold that would be phased in) would be free. — Danielle Kurtzleben]

6. On job growth:

In her speech, Clinton said the country has seen 15 million private-sector jobs during President Obama’s presidency. FactCheck.org says that number’s a bit off.

The actual number is 10.5 million, and it’s less — 10.1 million — when accounting for the loss of 460,000 public jobs.

PolitiFact rated that one half-true.

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Hillary Clinton
Presidential candidate

“Our economy is so much stronger than when (Barack Obama and Joe Biden) took office. Nearly 15 million new private-sector jobs.”