Factcheck Corrects Giuliani’s Incorrect Statements on Clinton and Lawsuits

Factcheck.org found that, once again, Rudy Giuliani doesn’t have his facts right. From their summary:

Former Sen. Fred Thompson got the facts straight for his GOP debate debut Oct. 9. But former Mayor Rudy Giuliani added to a lengthening string of exaggerations and misstatements:

  • Giuliani claimed Sen. Hillary Clinton once called the free-market economy “the most destructive force in modern America.” She didn’t say that. She quoted another author who said free markets were “disruptive.” She also said free markets bring prosperity.
  • The mayor falsely claimed Clinton proposes to give $1,000 to “everybody.” Her proposed subsidies to workers’ retirement accounts would be for couples making up to $60,000 a year and would be $500 for those making up to $100,000.
  • Giuliani falsely claimed that more than 2 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product is spent on “frivolous” lawsuits. The figure is from a study about the cost of all lawsuits.

The article provides more detail on these issues. Regarding Giuliani’s misquotation of Clinton on the free market economy they wrote:

Misquoting Hillary: Giuliani wrongly attributed a quote to Democratic hopeful Hillary Clinton, and he got the quote wrong as well:
Giuliani: And the leading Democratic candidate once said that the unfettered free market is the most destructive force in modern America.

Sen. Clinton, the “leading” candidate in public opinion polls, never said that. The quote is by Alan Ehrenhalt, author and executive editor of Governing magazine. Furthermore, Ehrenhalt didn’t call the free market “destructive” but used the somewhat softer term “radically disruptive.” As Clinton quoted him in her book, “It Takes a Village”:
Ehrenhalt: The unfettered free market has been the most radically disruptive force in American life in the last generation, busting up neighborhoods….

To be sure, Sen. Clinton agreed with that sentiment. But she also said in the same book, on the next page, that “the economy is also creating millions of new jobs, with small businesses starting at a record pace.” And later she said the free market is “the driving force behind our prosperity.” She was asked about the Ehrenhalt quote in a C-SPAN interview in 1996, and gave this response:

Clinton: I believe that. That’s why I put it in the book…. I just believe that there’s got to be a healthy tension among all of our institutions in society, and that the market is the driving force behind our prosperity, our freedom in so many respects to make our lives our own but that it cannot be permitted just to run roughshod over people’s lives as well.

Giuliani misleads when he says Clinton called the free market “destructive,” when what she has really said is that it is both disruptive to neighborhoods and people’s lives, and a driving force behind prosperity.

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