When Hillary Clinton Lies to Herself: What Does She Stand For?
The list of Hillary Clinton lies is long, but most of those were told to protect her career or to burnish her image.
During the Election 2016 campaign, we’ve heard more of those, but we’ve also heard Hillary Clinton lies of a different sort.
I’m talking about her flip-flopping on issues. A lot of issues.
But in other cases, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal, it’s hard not to view her flip-flop as political opportunism.
Not that this is rare among politicians. But as rival Bernie Sanders, the socialist senator from Vermont, has gained on her in the polls, Hillary has flip-flopped much more than the average candidate. She’s elevated it to an art.
For voters, that makes it hard to know what Hillary really believes. Which position is sincere and which taken for political expediency? Which are the Hillary Clinton lies, and which are her true opinions? And if she wins the White House, which positions will she take as president?
It’s almost impossible to tell what she believes. And all the flip-flopping is a major reason that in a Quinnipiac poll taken last week, 61% of voters said Hillary Clinton is not honest and trustworthy.
Even her liberal supporters are getting snarky about it.
A headline last week on Slate read, “Hillary Clinton Comes Out Against TPP, at Least Until the Democratic Convention.”
So what was the Hillary Clinton flip-flop on the TPP?
The Latest Hillary Clinton Flip-Flop
First, a little background.
This trade deal has been in mostly secret negotiations for about 10 years. The TPP breaks down trade barriers much as the North American Free Trade Agreement did. The 12 member nations all sit on the Pacific Rim and include Peru, Australia, Japan, and Vietnam.
As secretary of state, Hillary Clinton worked with the U.S. Trade Representative in the crafting of the deal. And back then, she thought it was a good move. According to CNN, she has praised the TPP on no less than 45 separate occasions.
And often she was effusive. In November 2012, Hillary Clinton said this in her official remarks during a visit to Australia:
“This TPP sets the gold standard in trade agreements to open free, transparent, fair trade, the kind of environment that has the rule of law and a level playing field. And when negotiated, this agreement will cover 40% of the world’s total trade and build in strong protections for workers and the environment.”
But in the spring and summer, Bernie Sanders made the TPP a campaign issue. He strongly opposes the deal, as do many in the Democratic Party.
In June, Hillary wavered, saying she would “probably not” vote to fast-track the TPP if she were still a senator.
By last week, the flip-flop was complete: “As of today, I am not in favor of what I have learned about it,” she told PBS, saying it would “kill American jobs.”
Odd how Hillary is just now learning about a deal that she helped create.
But the TPP flip-flop is just the one of many Hillary Clinton lies to herself.
Just look at this list…
The Hillary Clinton Lies Even Her Supporters Don’t Believe
In the course of the Election 2016 campaign, we’ve seen Hillary Clinton flip-flop on these issues:
- The Keystone XL pipeline: While she never said so publicly, Washington insiders believed Hillary supported Keystone as secretary of state because of her ties to its builder, TransCanada Corp. (NYSE: TRP). But Democrats are divided on the Keystone pipeline. Unions support it because it will bring jobs; environmentalists oppose it. So when the campaign began, Hillary tried to take no position, saying that since she oversaw part of the approval process as secretary of state, she couldn’t. Until last month, when she suddenly could. Now Hillary opposes the Keystone XL pipeline.
- Crime: When Bill Clinton was president, first lady Hillary Clinton had a strict “tough-on-crime” stance. “We need more and tougher prison sentences for repeat offenders,” she said in 1994. “We need more prisons to keep violent offenders for as long as it takes to keep them off the streets.” Following the Freddie Gray riots in Baltimore in April, Hillary called for an end to the “era of mass incarceration.”
- Undocumented immigrants: During her last presidential campaign in 2008, Hillary Clinton came out strongly against giving driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants. Then-Sen. Barack Obama supported it, and it helped him beat Hillary for the nomination. Hillary learned her lesson, and for the 2016 election campaign, has reversed her position.
- Guns: Back in 2008, Hillary spoke fondly of the Second Amendment to win over working class Democrats in states like Indiana. She even reminisced about how her father “taught me how to shoot when I was a little girl.” This time around, Hillary is pushing hard for tighter gun control.
And it’s still early in the Election 2016 campaign. Hillary Clinton may flip flop on more issues as the political winds shift.
“This latest astonishing reversal is fresh confirmation that Hillary Clinton makes decisions solely to serve her immediate political interests,” the New York Post editorialized in the wake of the TPP flip flop last week. “She has no core beliefs – other than her own naked ambition.”
Follow me on Twitter @DavidGZeiler.
More on Hillary: Last week, Hillary Clinton announced that she planned to crack down on Wall Street if elected president. While not a flip-flop, this position strains credibility. Plenty of incidents in Hillary’s past indicate that she’s no foe of Wall Street – but a friend and ally…
- S. Department of State: Remarks at Techport Australia
- PBS NewsHour: Complete Transcript of Hillary Clinton Interview
- New York Post: Hillary Clinton’s ‘Trust’ Deficit Deepens After Latest Flip-Flop
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