One of the tales Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton relies on to demonstrate her ability to work with Republicans for the sake of the children is almost entirely inaccurate. And that’s not according to some right-wing conspiracy theorist but, rather, an investigation by the liberal outlet Mother Jones.
The story turns on how Clinton as first lady reached across the aisle to work with Republican Tom DeLay — a famously partisan political opponent of her husband — on an adoption bill that became law in 1997. DeLay was House majority whip at the time and later joined in the effort to impeach Bill Clinton.
Hillary uses the story as evidence of her bipartisan chops, and it plays nicely into her campaign emphasis on her past work on behalf of children.
“I worked with Tom Delay, one of the most partisan Republicans in the congress, to reform the adoption and foster care system,” Clinton said in a February town hall cited by Mother Jones — one of many times she’s told the story. “We never became friends, but we did something good for a lot of young kids who had better lives because of it.”
The only problem with the story is that DeLay denies it — and independent checking reveals that the story is just another one of Clinton’s many tall tales.
But DeLay told Mother Jones he doesn’t remember working with Clinton on that bill, or having any meaningful interaction with her during his time in Congress. “I don’t remember ever working with her,” he said in reference to the adoption bill.
“I never talked to her, other than us being at that television interview that both of us thought was kind of weird,” he added, referencing an interview after they hosted a screening of a movie regarding the plight of foster kids when Clinton was in the Senate in 2003. “And I would remember. I have no knowledge of working with her other than that.”
Mother Jones found DeLay’s story holds up when checked against legislative records, White House records, video archives and people who worked on the bill. The Clinton campaign didn’t respond to requests for comment from Mother Jones.
Similarly, Clinton has been dealing with negative blowback on an anecdote in her upcoming book asserting she had a conversation at a dinner party with former Secretary of State Colin Powell in which he advised her to use a personal email account. Powell and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice have both publicly said they don’t remember the exchange.
This report, by Rachel Stoltzfoos, was cross-posted by arrangement with the Daily Caller News Foundation.