AP Fact-Checks Clinton By Pointing Out That He Lied Once

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Sept. 6 2012 10:23 AM

AP Fact-Checks Clinton By Pointing Out That He Lied Once

CHARLOTTE -- Pulitzer prize winners wrote this.

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."
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This is a complete non sequitur, isn't it? Sure, yes, it says something about Clinton's restoration, or the media's enabling of said restoration, that a man who once lied into a camera about "sexual relations" is now confident that audiences will consider him a truth-teller. But that has nothing to do with his quote here. He's referring to a statement Romney pollster Neil Newhouse made during a panel at the Republican convention. And that quote is accurate.

But the rest of the story is rather helpful to Romney. After the panel, Ben Smith asked Newhouse to explain those remarks, and the pollster suggested that the self-appointed "fact-checkers" had "jumped the shark." Hard to deny that when you read this latest submission to the genre.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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