The latest fact-checking video in our collaboration with CNN’s Jake Tapper is about a popular talking point used by Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and her running mate, Sen. Tim Kaine.
In Florida on Aug. 8, Clinton made a false claim about the partisan leanings of Mark Zandi, a well-respected economist who has favorably compared Clinton’s economic plans with Donald Trump’s plans. Clinton described Zandi, the chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, as “somebody who advised John McCain back in 2008, so you know that, no, he’s not a Democrat.” Actually, Zandi is a Democrat, and he has donated $2,700 to Clinton’s 2016 campaign.
Similarly, Kaine, at the party’s convention in Philadelphia, referred to Zandi as the “chief economic adviser” to Republican Sen. John McCain during McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign. Actually, Douglas Holtz-Eakin was McCain’s chief economic adviser. Holtz-Eakin told us that Zandi was hired to provide economic data to the McCain campaign’s economic advisory team and was not a direct adviser to McCain.
Holtz-Eakin criticized Clinton for perpetuating a false narrative about Zandi’s politics “for political reasons,” telling us “this ends today.” This talking point has been used in various forms by Democrats since 2010, including on other occasions this year by Clinton and Kaine.
For more about Zandi, his work for McCain in 2008 and his assessment of the 2016 economic proposals advanced by Trump and Clinton, please read “Clinton Plays Partisan Game.” All the CNN/FactCheck.org videos can be found on our website.