It is interesting to listen to Donald Trump supporters talk about how they are voting for him because Hillary Clinton can't be trusted and Sen. Ted Cruz is "Lyin' Ted." Yet they seem to be deaf to the daily falsehoods coming out of their candidate's mouth.
Politifact.com rated statements by Clinton and scored 49 percent of them as either "True" or "Mostly True." They found that 29 percent of her statements were "Mostly False," "False," or "Pants on Fire."
On the other hand, Politifact.com also rated statements by Trump and scored just 9 percent of them as either "True" or "Mostly True." They found that 76 percent of Trump's statements were "Mostly False," "False," or "Pants on Fire."
As stated by columnist David Brookes in The New York Times, "Trump is perhaps the most dishonest person to run for high office in our lifetimes. All politicians stretch the truth, but Trump has a steady obliviousness to accuracy."
Trump has stated that Clinton was winning only because she was a woman and that "Women don't even like her." Yet data from the primary contests show that Clinton has won more women votes than all the other presidential candidates, including Trump. Meanwhile, Trump is viewed as unfavorable by 69 percent of women polled by NBC News and The Wall Street Journal as well as a majority of Republican women. Clinton's unfavorable ratings among women are at 45 percent, according to the same poll.
Trump was recently asked on ABC's "Good Morning America" if he had seen an ad showing women reading negative comments that Trump has made about women. Trump's response: "Well, you know, I have seen it. And it was a [Mitt] Romney deal." Within 30 minutes, Trump appeared on NBC's "Today" show and was asked about the same ad. But this time Trump stated, "Honestly, I have not seen the ad. So I would have to see it. I have heard about the ad, but I have not seen the ad."
Trump brags that "I'm self-funding my campaign" and "I'm not going to take any money." Yet the "Donate" button on his website has accepted $7.5 million from donors as of early March. Trump says he has "self-funded" his campaign. Yet records show that he has given his campaign only $250,318 while lending his campaign $17.5 million, which will be paid back to him by the donations that he says he is not accepting.
Trump promised to pay the legal fees of his supporters who were arrested for violent behavior at his rallies. While his promise was heard by millions, Trump then told George Stephanopoulos on "Good Morning America" on March 15 that he "never said" said he would pay legal fees.
Depending on the day, Trump has said that the wall he will build bordering Mexico will cost $4 billion, $8 billion, $10 billion and $12 billion. The real price, according to engineers: $25 billion.
Trump loves to brag about the success of Trump Water, Trump Steak, Trump Mortgage, Trump University, Trump Airlines and Trump Magazine. But all of the businesses were failures. Trump Magazine, for example, went out of business after 10 issues. When he couldn't pay his bills, Trump Airlines was taken over by the banks. Trump has declared bankruptcy four times, taking care of himself while leaving investors and creditors who trusted him empty-handed.
While Trump talks about bringing jobs to Americans, of the 250 jobs at his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida, 246 of them were filled by foreign workers between 2013 and fall 2015, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, in response to a freedom of information request by CNN News. The foreign workers were temporarily imported by Trump using the federal government's H-2B Visa Program, which is supposed to be limited to businesses that can't find American workers. Yet local employment offices in Florida state that Trump does the minimum required by law to find and hire American workers at his resort. Tom Veenstra, director at the Palm Beach County Career office, stated that "We have hundreds of qualified candidates for jobs like" the ones Trump needs to run his resort.
Why has Trump refused to release any of his tax returns? Many say that he has exaggerated his wealth tenfold and that he has exaggerated the amount of money he gives to charities, especially to veteran organizations. Only tax returns will tell us, but Trump doesn't want us to know.
Politifact.com and FactCheck.org are good online sources for fact-checking what our politicians tell us.
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Tom Zirpoli writes from Westminster. His column appears Wednesdays. Zirpoli is program coordinator for the Human Services Management graduate program at McDaniel College. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.