I’m not going to lie, when rumors began swirling that Donald Trump had a “big announcement” to make, I really didn’t think he was actually going to announce that he was running for president. I figured he’d do a big build up to make it seem like he was going to run, then just hold some sort of press conference that seemed like it was some kind of big announcement, but ultimately never delivered his official candidacy into the GOP presidential race.
Well, I was wrong; as bizarre as it is to write, Trump is our nation’s newest Republican presidential candidate.
Naturally, his announcement speech was ridiculous. I tried my best to watch the whole thing but I just couldn’t. At this point, Trump has become such a joke that it’s impossible to take anything he says seriously. But from what I’ve read about the speech in its entirety, it was just a word salad of lies and nonsense.
Politifact essentially confirmed as much when they decided to take three of the biggest things he said during his speech and deemed that none of them contained even a shred of truth.
The first statement they checked was when Trump claimed that ISIS has “just built a hotel in Syria.” That’s one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard, and it was rated as “False” by Politifact. The only thing they did find was that ISIS had taken over an old, already built hotel in Iraq – not Syria.
Next up was a statement he made about our GDP being negative for the first quarter of 2015, claiming that it had never happened before:
The last quarter, it was just announced, our gross domestic product — a sign of strength, right? But not for us. It was below zero. Who ever heard of this? It’s never below zero.
This was actually rated as “Pants on Fire” by the fact-checking site. First, as they pointed out, he didn’t even phrase his statement correctly. GDP is never zero – he was clearly referring to growth of GDP which, it’s true, contracted for the first quarter of 2015 – but that’s not unprecedented. In fact, it’s happened 42 times since they began tracking GDP growth in 1947 – including just last year.
Then the third statement they checked concerned Trump’s claim that our national unemployment rate was actually somewhere around 18-20 percent, not 5.6 percent. That’s another statement which was rated as “False” by Politifact.
First, unemployment is actually at 5.5 percent, so he couldn’t even get that right. Even going beyond that, they found no plausible way in which you can use any set of numbers pertaining to job statistics to come anywhere close to “18-20” percent. In other words, Trump essentially just made this number up.
Then again, considering other aspects of his speech I’ve seen, most of what he said was just made up nonsense.
I feel sorry for fact checkers during this election. While Democrats like Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are clearly going to make statements that might not be factually accurate, this GOP field is going to keep these poor people up at night researching the nonsense that they can’t seem to stop spewing at a record pace.
And for someone with as big of a mouth as Donald Trump, I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s someone specifically assigned to researching the mounds of bullcrap he’ll be shoveling over the next few months.
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