With less than week until Election Day, I thought I’d take a moment to size up the two candidates based upon how honest or dishonest they truly are. Especially considering there’s been this completely ridiculous notion pushed among many Americans that both candidates are “equally as dishonest” — a statement that couldn’t be further from the truth.
The truth is, most politicians aren’t all that honest. Based upon my years of following politics, an “honest” politician is usually only completely truthful around 40-50 percent of the time, with slightly less dishonest politicians in the mid to low 30’s. The rest is either a mixture of partial truths, half truths, misinformation or outright lies.
To prove my point, I thought I’d compare the Politifact scorecards of Barack Obama, Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, Paul Ryan, Jeb Bush and John Kasich.
What I’ll do is take the six rankings Politifact uses (True/Mostly True/Half True/Mostly False/False/Pants on Fire) and combine them into two categories: Honest and Dishonest.
For “honest” I combine True/Mostly True into one number, then I do the same thing for “dishonest” by combining Mostly False/False/Pants on Fire. I discard Half True considering many of those statements are subjective and could go either way. I also list the Pants on Fire lies considering those are the statements that don’t contain a shred of truth to them, making them much more significant.
Alright, let’s begin.
- Honest with 286 out of 595 comments: 48%
- Dishonest with 150 out of 595 comments: 26%
- Pants on Fire with 9 out of 595 comments: 2%
- Honest with 29 out of 75 comments: 38%
- Dishonest with 25 out of 75 comments: 32%
- Pants on Fire with 4 out of 75 comments: 5%
- Honest with 55 out of 107 comments: 51%
- Dishonest with 30 out of 107 comments: 28%
- Pants on Fire with out 0 of 107 comments: 0%
- Honest with 23 out of 65 comments: 35%
- Dishonest with 26 out of 65 comments: 40%
- Pants on Fire with 2 out of 65 comments: 3%
- Honest with 38 out of 79 comments: 48%
- Dishonest with 24 out of 79 comments: 31%
- Pants on Fire with 2 out of 79 comments: 3%
- Honest with 34 out of 64 comments: 53%
- Dishonest with 20 out of 64 comments: 32%
- Pants on Fire with 3 out of 64 comments: 5%
*Sidenote: The numbers don’t add up to 100% because “Half True” was left out of the calculations for each person.
Before going forward, I would like to address those who are certainly going to claim that Politifact is “liberally biased” even though the facts here don’t support that. Looking at these numbers, the most “honest” of all six individuals is actually John Kasich, a Republican, while Joe Biden was actually one of the most “dishonest” of the group. Not only that, but Jeb Bush’s numbers are fairly similar to President Obama’s — though being the president, Obama has been invested far more than anyone else.
Nonetheless, none of these numbers are that great.
Now, let’s compare Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
- Honest with 146 out 0f 290 comments: 50%
- Dishonest with 76 out of 290 comments: 26%
- Pants on Fire with 7 out of 290 comments: 2%
- Honest with 59 out of 322: 15%
- Dishonest with 226 out of 322: 70%
- Pants on Fire with 56 out of 322: 17%
Not only are Clinton’s numbers better than President Obama’s, but they’re basically on par with Bernie Sanders’ numbers, debunking this whole “she does nothing but lie” nonsense. In fact, based on these numbers from a Pulitzer Prize winning fact checking organization, she’s one of the more “honest” politicians. (As I said earlier, none of the numbers from any of these people are all that great.)
Sorry folks, but politicians lie fairly often — all of them.
Then there’s Trump.
He has more than twice as many Pants on Fire lies as all seven of the other politicians on this list!
Fifteen percent of what he says is true. He lies at a rate I’ve never seen from any other politician. Even Sen. Ted Cruz who once held my record for being the most “dishonest” politician in the country seems “honest” when compared to Trump.
And it’s not just Politifact that’s determined this, either.
Politico analyzed speeches, interviews and Twitter posts made by Clinton and Trump over a five-day period. After looking at all the data, they called it “ludicrous” to compare the two considering Trump lied so much more often than Clinton did. By their analysis, Trump spoke for 4 hours and 43 minutes during that five-day period, lying at a rate of around one lie every 3.25 minutes — more than four times that of Clinton.
Furthermore, facts prove that Clinton is not nearly as “untrustworthy and dishonest” as her critics claim she is. As the numbers from Politifact show, she’s slightly more “honest” than President Obama and just about as “honest” as Bernie Sanders — despite the commonly held belief that both are much more honest than she is.
What the facts tell us is that this idea that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are equally flawed and dishonest is completely and totally baseless. It’s based on perception rather than reality.
When you get right down to it, not only does Donald Trump lie much more than Hillary Clinton, but he might very well be the most dishonest person to ever run for president.