On CNN, NYT's Friedman: Trump's 'Giant Whoppers' Worse Than Clinton's 'Fibs'

Appearing as a guest on Thursday's New Day on CNN, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman defended his most recent column arguing that the various "fibs" told by Hillary Clinton are not as bad as "giant whoppers" told by Donald Trump as he suggested the Democratic nominee is the preferable choice for President.



At about 7:30 a.m. ET, co-anchor Alisyn Camerota recalled a Quinnipiac poll finding Clinton is viewed as "untrustworthy" by more Americans than Trump, and then moved to Friedman's article which she quoted from:

Hillary's fibs or lack of candor are all about bad judgments she made on issues that will not impact the future of either my family or my country. Private email servers? Cattle futures? Goldman Sachs lectures? All really stupid, but my kids will not be harmed by those poor calls.

Turning to the New York Times columnist, Camerota posed:

Oh, boy. Your, I mean, her critics will say that you're spinning. You call what she says "fibs," "untruths," "prevarications," and you call what her rivals say "lies." Why?

He characterized Clinton's dishonesty as less important as he began:

Well, it's very simple. Again, I'm really caring about what's going to effect me and my family, and her speaking at Goldman Sachs -- even her, I'd say, really bad judgment around emails is not going to, I think, effect me or my country.

Friedman then took aim at some of Trump's more right-leaning campaign promises as he continued:

But when somebody comes out with an economic plan for my country's future that's going to drive up the deficit, according to nonpartisan economists, by $10 trillion over the next 10 years, our entire country will be paying for it, that the only way we could afford it is if we cut the defense budget, the research budget, and education budget. Those are Burger King double whoppers that will effect the entire country.. I'm not trying to diminish what she says, what she's done -- stupid, bad judgment.

After co-host Chris Cuomo pushed back arguing that some of the issues about Clinton's honesty are important issues, Friedman responded:

They can't be dismissed. I think if you are concerned about Iraq, Benghazi, all those issues, Chris, you shouldn't vote for her. All I'm saying is when I weight these things when I look at this news that Donald Trump who Politifact fact-checking organization says three quarters of the time he's not speaking the truth. That's a pretty bad batting average. But I don't even care about that. What I care about is: What is your vision for the country?

He further went after some of Trump's right-leaning positions as he added:

And if your plan is to come in and bust the budget not just a little, not just some extra. If you're out there selling the American people a budget that is utterly unrealistic. By the way, not just that. If you're telling people Mexico is going to build a wall, they're going to pay for it, we're going to evict 11 million undocumented or illegal immigrants, these are giant whoppers. And I'm not saying Hillary is innocent of it. I'm saying if you're saying she's the only one untrustworthy here, let's balance who's telling what. These are giant whoppers that will effect your kids.

Moments later, the New York Times columist placed some of the blame on Republicans obstructing President Barack Obama for causing Americans to be "cynical" about politics:

I think what you're seeing here, though, isn't just people are angry. I think they're bored and they're cynical. They're cynical that Washington can do anything, that government even matters, so, "What the hell, let's have a reality TV character." I think that's as much going on as the other.

I think people are bored and they're cynical, and that's a tragic problem, and it's a product not only of Obama over the last few years -- last eight years -- it's also the product of a party that spent the last eight years trying to make the government in Washington not work so Obama would fail. And after a while, people think the whole thing doesn't matter. By the way, money in politics -- thanks to our Supreme Court -- is out of all control. And so people say, "It doesn't matter. Let's have fun. He's incredibly entertaining."

Below is a transcript of the relevant portions of the Thursday, June 2, New Day on CNN:

ALISYN CAMEROTA: Honesty: It is not something voters think Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump have as their strong suits. But in a new Quinnipiac poll, 55 percent say Trump is more trustworthy than Clinton. She is at 39 percent. Still, our next guest believes Clinton is more honest than her rivals in this race. He is New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman. He is the author of the book Hot, Flat, and Crowded. ... Let me read a little portion of your new column in which you make the case for Hillary Clinton's honesty. You say:

Hillary's fibs or lack of candor are all about bad judgments she made on issues that will not impact the future of either my family or my country. Private email servers? Cattle futures? Goldman Sachs lectures? All really stupid, but my kids will not be harmed by those poor calls.

CAMEROTA: Oh, boy. Your, I mean, her critics will say that you're spinning. You call what she says "fibs," "untruths," "prevarications," and you call what her rivals say "lies." Why?

THOMAS FRIEDMAN, NEW YORK TIMES COLUMNIST: Well, it's very simple. Again, I'm really caring about what's going to effect me and my family, and her speaking at Goldman Sachs -- even her, I'd say, really bad judgment around emails is not going to, I think, effect me or my country.

But when somebody comes out with an economic plan for my country's future that's going to drive up the deficit, according to nonpartisan economists, by $10 trillion over the next 10 years, our entire country will be paying for it, that the only way we could afford it is if we cut the defense budget, the research budget, and education budget. Those are Burger King double whoppers that will effect the entire country.. I'm not trying to diminish what she says, what she's done -- stupid, bad judgment.

(...)

CHRIS CUOMO: But Trump says this: "One, it's just a first offer. It's a suggestion. When I get in there, we'll make it work." So let's talk about what we can look at to trust what will happen once we get in there. Email is not a fib. It's not a small thing, it matters. That IG report is filled with things to discuss. That FBI investigation is ongoing. The Clinton Global Initiative has unspoken questions that she doesn't want to seem to get out there about. Benghazi looms large in terms of: Would Clinton put life on the line in a risky way? None of those are small categories. All go to judgment and are probably a big chunk of her unfavorable. How can they be dismissed?

FRIEDMAN: They can't be dismissed. I think if you are concerned about Iraq, Benghazi, all those issues, Chris, you shouldn't vote for her. All I'm saying is when I weight these things when I look at this news that Donald Trump who Politifact fact-checking organization says three quarters of the time he's not speaking the truth. That's a pretty bad batting average. But I don't even care about that. What I care about is: What is your vision for the country?

And if your plan is to come in and bust the budget not just a little, not just some extra. If you're out there selling the American people a budget that is utterly unrealistic. By the way, not just that. If you're telling people Mexico is going to build a wall, they're going to pay for it, we're going to evict 11 million undocumented or illegal immigrants, these are giant whoppers. And I'm not saying Hillary is innocent of it. I'm saying if you're saying she's the only one untrustworthy here, let's balance who's telling what. These are giant whoppers that will effect your kids.

(...)

FRIEDMAN: I think what you're seeing here, though, isn't just people are angry. I think they're bored and they're cynical. They're cynical that Washington can do anything, that government even matters, so, "What the hell, let's have a reality TV character." I think that's as much going on as the other.

I think people are bored and they're cynical, and that's a tragic problem, and it's a product not only of Obama over the last few years -- last eight years -- it's also the product of a party that spent the last eight years trying to make the government in Washington not work so Obama would fail. And after a while, people think the whole thing doesn't matter. By the way, money in politics -- thanks to our Supreme Court -- is out of all control. And so people say, "It doesn't matter. Let's have fun. He's incredibly entertaining."

NB Daily 2016 Presidential Congress Economy Budget Taxes Mexico Immigration Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats CNN New Day New York Times Video Alisyn Camerota Chris Cuomo Thomas Friedman Donald Trump Hillary Clinton


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