Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton made an interesting claim Sunday on NBC’s Meet the Press, saying that her Democratic opponent Bernie Sanders has never faced a negative ad despite having run one herself.
“Let me say that I don’t think he’s had a single negative ad ever run against him,” she told host Chuck Todd. “And that’s fine. But we know what we’re going into, and we understand what it’s going to take to win in the fall.”
Politifact reviewed this claim and found it wanting. There were the biting attack ads ran against him during his multiple Senate runs. In the 2016 race, Democrat Martin O’Malley and Republican Mike Huckabee both ran ads explicitly attacking Sanders, while multiple Republican Super PACs have run ads negatively comparing candidates to Sanders’ overt socialism.
Nor are Clinton’s hands 100% clean when it comes to the negative campaign video game. The pro-Clinton Super PAC Correct the Record ran 13 web videos attacking Sanders on its YouTube page. While usually candidates are excluded from colluding with Super PACs, the Clinton campaign has exploited a loophole in the law to coordinate with the David Brock-run group.
More to the point, the Clinton campaign itself ran a negative ad targeted to only her closest supporters. As Buzzfeed reported in February, Clinton texted her supporters an audio ad of Sanders saying President Barack Obama should face a primary challenger in 2012.
“Hillary is the only one in this race who’ll fight for the progress we’ve made under President Obama,” a follow-up text read.
UPDATE (11:01 AM ET): Correct the Record has reached out to Mediaite to point out that they do not make “ads,” they make web videos. This article has been updated with the correct terminology. But suffice it to say, Clinton’s allies have produced and then shared videos on social media intended to attack Sanders.
[Image via screengrab]
>>Follow Alex Griswold (@HashtagGriswold) on Twitter
Have a tip we should know? email@example.com