Clinton Has Trouble, But Trump Backers Go Too Far

Clinton Has Problems, But Let’s Not Make Some

I saw a Facebook comment from a friend and Trump supporter asking why the media isn’t outraged over Hillary Clinton calling Patricia Smith a liar. For those whose memory needs a gentle nudge, Smith is the mother of Benghazi victim Sean Smith.

She has been as outspoken against Clinton’s truthfulness as Khizr Kahn has been against Donald Trump. And I should note that I have special respect and empathy for this Facebook friend (no, I’m going to tell you the name). This person’s brother died in the 9/11 attacks.

Anyway, when I saw that post I thought I must have fallen asleep at the wheel. I never heard Hillary Clinton call Patricia Smith a liar. This was serious. So I looked it up and found a video on the National Review with the headline “Watch Hillary Clinton Accuse Patricia Smith Of Lying.”

I watched.

Clinton never said that.

Accusing someone of lying carries quite a punch. Clinton said, during one of the Democratic debates with Bernie Sanders, that Smith’s account “was wrong.”
Calling someone a liar and saying their account of events is wrong is not the same thing.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton checks her PDA upon her departure in a military C-17 plane from Malta bound for Tripoli, Libya

She said it in an empathetic way, too. Or, put in another context, in the opposite way than Donald Trump would have used.

Of course, it’s not like Hillary Clinton hasn’t had trouble with the truth on many occasions. Politifact, a great fact-checking group, just noted 27 separate examples of truth-challenged statements from Clinton. This is one of her great campaign liabilities.

Just Sunday on Fox News, Clinton earned a “pants on fire” rating from Politifact for maintaining that FBI Director James Comey said her statements regarding her email foibles were “truthful, and what I have said is consistent with what I have told the American people.”


If she were running against basically any Republican other than Trump, she would be at least 10 points down by now. But one reason I think the latest poll released Tuesday showed her eight points ahead of Trump is because her most ardent opponents can’t keep from piling on with accusations that aren’t true.


It is a pattern for these Republicans, and especially for Trump. He just called Clinton “the devil” and, well, are you kidding me?

Of course, Trump was one of the main stokers of the “birther” fire around President Barack Obama.

“He doesn’t have a birth certificate. He may have one, but there’s something on that, maybe religion, maybe it says he is a Muslim,” Trump told Fox in 2011. “I don’t know. Maybe he doesn’t want that.”

Well, Trump hasn’t released his income taxes. Maybe there’s something there that he doesn’t want people to know.

You see, everyone can play these games.

The trouble is, this isn’t a game and we are not electing someone to spin the wheel for cash and prizes. We are electing someone to fill the most powerful office in the world.
As Republicans continue their hyperbolic attack on Clinton, all they are really doing is reinforcing the beliefs of those who loathe her. To a lot of other people, though, they seem out of control and more than a little scary.

She’s the devil? Seriously?

The more Trump opens his mouth, the more I swear it seems like he is trying deliberately to lose. I doubt that is the truth, but these days who can tell?

After nearly 42 years as both a sports and news columnist, along with a variety of other roles, at the Tampa Tribune, Joe Henderson brings his slant on politics and sports to and Originally from the small town of Lebanon, Ohio, Joe resides outside of Tampa with Elaine, his wife of more than 35 years. Their two grown sons stop by when there is time, and their faithful Watch Cat, Sassy is always on guard.