By CHRISTOPER S. RUGABER and BRADLEY KLAPPER | The Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) — In her speech accepting the Democratic nomination, Hillary Clinton wrongly implied Donald Trump has proposed banning Islam in America and sketched out a plan for defeating Islamic State militants that merely mirrors what the U.S. is already trying to do.
Clinton spoke Thursday night to the largest TV audience she is likely to have until the presidential debates, meaning many Americans were probably hearing of her agenda for the first time. Although she brings plenty of policy detail when stacked against the broad-brush ideas of her Republican rival, in some cases there’s less than meets the eye to what she says she will do.
A college education, for example, might not end up as debt-free for everyone as she suggested.
For his part, Trump spun a story about the Iran nuclear deal that was more fiction than fact at an Iowa rally that preceded Clinton’s convention speech.
A look at some of the claims from the political maelstrom:
CLINTON: “I’ve laid out my strategy for defeating ISIS. We will strike their sanctuaries from the air, and support local forces taking them out on the ground. We will surge our intelligence so that we detect and prevent attacks before they happen. We will disrupt their efforts online to reach and radicalize young people in our country. It won’t be easy or quick, but make no mistake – we will prevail.”
THE FACTS: Clinton might as well have said she laid out President Barack Obama’s strategy for defeating Islamic State militants. Everything she mentioned, the Obama administration already is trying to do.
CLINTON: “Bernie Sanders and I will work together to make college tuition-free for the middle class and debt-free for all.”
THE FACTS: Tuition-free for students who go to an in-state public college or university. Debt-free is a harder lift.
Clinton has adopted parts of Sanders’ plans to defray some of the costs of higher education. Under her proposal, the government would pay for tuition at in-state colleges and universities for students from families earning less than $125,000 a year. That would leave students still bearing the cost of room and board, which makes up more than half of the average $18,943 sticker price at a four-year public university, according to the College Board.
Experts worry about other impacts: Will colleges raise tuition once the government starts paying, increasing the cost to taxpayers? Will more students flock to public colleges because of the subsidy, also raising costs?
CLINTON: “In my first 100 days, we will work with both parties to pass the biggest investment in new, good-paying jobs since World War II.”
THE FACTS: It would be the biggest since World War II only if you don’t count Obama’s $814 billion 2009 stimulus. Clinton doesn’t have price tags on all her proposals, but the bulk of the investment appears to be her plan to spend $275 billion over five years on roads, bridges and other infrastructure. Obama’s stimulus included infrastructure as well as tax cuts and aid to state and local governments, all intended to boost the economy and hiring.
CLINTON: “We will not ban a religion.”
THE FACTS: Trump never proposed banning Islam in the U.S., as Clinton seems to suggest. He proposed a freeze on the entry of all foreign Muslims into the U.S., then adapted the idea with several iterations. Recently he said he’d stop immigration from any country compromised by terrorism, or impose “extreme vetting” on people coming from places with a history of terrorism. He’s also spoken in support of surveillance on mosques in the U.S. As contentious as his thinking has been on the subject, it hasn’t extended to outlawing a religion.
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