This disaster of a “Fact Check” by the Associated Press is almost a testament to the broad accuracy of Bill Clinton’s speech last night.
Not that Clinton didn’t spin facts in Obama’s favor or assert things that deserve real scrutiny — he did. But when you’re forced to fill a content gap with non-sequiturs, beltway bromides about partisanship, or, say, reminding readers that the speaker once lied about extramarital fellatio — yes, really — it suggests you don’t have a lot of material to work with.
CLINTON: “Their campaign pollster said, ‘We’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers.’ Now that is true. I couldn’t have said it better myself — I just hope you remember that every time you see the ad.”
THE FACTS: Clinton, who famously finger-wagged a denial on national television about his sexual relationship with intern Monica Lewinsky and was subsequently impeached in the House on a perjury charge, has had his own uncomfortable moments over telling the truth. “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky,” Clinton told television viewers. Later, after he was forced to testify to a grand jury, Clinton said his statements were “legally accurate” but also allowed that he “misled people, including even my wife.”
Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight, and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at email@example.com.