In this edition of "Lies Presidential Candidates Told This Week" we look at the fibs, flubs and outright untruths the Republican and Democratic White House strivers told us over the past seven days.
Some were minor, and stretched the truth a bit too much. But some were real whoppers that made us say, "Really? Really?"
Here's what three potential residents of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. said accompanied by our ranking of their truth-bending on a 1-5 ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ scale.
Bobby Jindal: The problem is absent dads, video games and music -- not guns.
The Lie: The Louisiana Gov. floated one of the GOP go-to tropes when it comes to what's to blame for gun violence: pop culture. In a rambling rant on his website, the long-shot candidate lamented that we "glorify sick and senseless acts of violence in virtually every element of our pop culture," singling out "movies and TV shows [that] feature a continuous stream of grotesque killing of every kind imaginable."
Popular music didn't get a pass, with Jindal claiming we "promote evil ... and we flood our young people with it," nor did video games, in which "[young boys] compete with other young boys around the country and the world to see who can kill the most humans."
Jindal also said of the fact that the UCC shooter's father didn't know how his son got a hold of any guns, "You know why he doesn’t know? Because he is not, and has never been in his son’s life. He’s a complete failure as a father, he should be embarrassed to even show his face in public. He’s the problem here."
So, absent dads are the problem?
The Truth: The UCC shooter had access to 13 firearms (or "pieces of hardware" in Jindal's terminology) and lived with his mother, who posted frequently about her love of firearms in online forums. At one point she criticized "lame states" that put limits on keeping loaded firearms in the home and shared that she had two semi-automatic rifles and a handgun, all loaded. The U.S. Congress has passed just one new major gun measure since 1999 in a nation where firearms outnumber people.
A 2014 study found no conclusive truth that violent media can directly be linked to real-world violence. "Contrary to the notion that trends in violent films are linked to violent behavior, no evidence was found to suggest this medium was a major (or minor) contributing cause of violence in the United States," wrote Villanova psychologist Patrick Markey.
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Hillary Clinton was for the Trans-Pacific Partnership before she was against it.
The Lie: This one is kind of retroactive. "As of today, I am not in favor of what I have learned about it," Clinton said of the recently signed 12-nation trade deal that would link 40% of the world economy. "I don’t believe it’s going to meet the high bar I have set."
The Truth: Back when she was part of President Obama's cabinet, then Secretary of State Clinton said of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal between the U.S. and 11 other nations, "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."
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John Kasich: Guns don't shoot people, lonely people do.
The Lie: Among the many mistruths and myths floated by several GOP candidates this week about the causes of the horrific mass shooting at Oregon's Umpqua Community College, Ohio Gov. Kasich served up a doozy. He suggested that more laws would not solve the issue of gun violence in year when nearly 300 mass shootings have killed close to 400 Americans. "I don’t think gun control would solve this problem," Kasich told the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
"The deeper issue is alienation. The deeper issue is loneliness. The deeper issue is we’re paying no attention to an individual who is really struggling," he added. Later on the same day he suggested on CNN that the root cause of gun violence is that the shooters are "estranged ... they're outcasts."
The Truth: President Obama dismissed this false notion that mental illness or isolation caused by mental illness is primarily to blame for gun violence in the powerful address he gave in the wake of the shooting that took 9 lives.
"We are not the only country on Earth that has people with mental illnesses who want to do harm to other people," he said. "We are the only advanced country on Earth that sees these kinds of mass shootings every few months."
American Psychiatric Association President Dr. Renee Binder previously told MTV News, "Most people who suffer from mental illness are not violent, and most violent acts are committed by people who are not mentally ill. If you look at that large pool of people, only a tiny proportion of them will eventually commit violence. How are you going to identify them? It's like a needle in a haystack."
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Kasich Bonus Round: The gender pay gap is based on 'skill' — not, um, gender.
The Lie: While also speaking to the USHCC on inequality between men and women, Kasich was asked why women in Ohio who are working full time get paid 78% of what men make and how he explains that disparity to his daughters. "Well, a lot of it is based on experience," he said. "A lot of different factors go into it. It’s all tied up in skills. Do you not have the skills to be able to compete?"
That drew a sharp response from USHCC President Javier Palomarez, who replied, "Are you saying women workers are less skilled than men?" Kasich stumbled and said "of course not," noting that the woman who runs his campaign is doing "a fantastic job" and that "if you exclude women, you're not as effective."
The Truth: According to the Associated Press, female staffers in Kasich's office earn almost $10 less an hour than their male counterparts, a nearly three-fold increase to the gap that existed under his predecessor, Democrat Ted Strickland. In other words, it seems it's important to Kasich include women, but just not to pay them equally.
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