Fact Checkers Bust Conservatives For Their False Claim About Hillary Clinton’s Speaking Fees


On Thursday the fact-checkers at PolitiFact busted conservatives like Glenn Beck for their “mostly false” claim that 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton makes more money in speaking fees than the average CEO does in a year. This, they determined, “ignores critical facts.”

Conservative pundits are calling out Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton for reeling in hefty speaking fees when she left the State Department, saying the big checks belie her message of addressing income inequality as she runs for the White House.

“Let’s remember one thing about this woman of the people,” conservative radio host Glenn Beck said on his May 13 show. “She knows a few things about making money. She makes more per hour at a speaking gig than the average CEO does in a year. Let me say that again: She makes more at a speaking gig in an hour than the average CEO does in a year. But let’s have her lecture us about those out of control CEO salaries.”

The set up is an attempt to confuse voters by conflating a candidate’s financial position with their policy position.

This conflation is only helpful to Republicans, whose policies are economically harmful to the 98%. Whereas the Democratic platform is full of policies that fight for the working and middle class.

But you know how Republicans are about surface. If they can just put the right face on ripping you off, they are sure you will buy it. Mitt Romney was not that face. Their bad. They’re going to do it better this time. And that starts by smearing Hillary Clinton with Mitt’s smug privilege by pretending that having money is what made Mitt so egregious. (Hint: It was not. See noblesse oblige. It was probably his contempt for those who were not rich.)

So this whole claim is specious and full of wrong turns. It’s based on a faulty premise. But it is also “mostly false”.

Looking at CEOs of large companies, Beck’s claim completely falls apart.

The data that puts Beck’s claim in the best light, from BLS, is incomplete. It doesn’t include stock options, bonuses and other benefits that typically make up an executive’s compensation package. Nor does it account for CEOs of small and medium-sized business who have ownership stakes. At the same time, it includes people classified as chief executives in the public sector, as well as in Puerto Rico — groups that drag the average salary down.

Beck’s statement contains an element of truth but ignores critical facts that would give a different impression. We rate it Mostly False.

So no, Hillary Clinton does not make more per hour from speaking fees than an average CEO does in a year.

This is a claim that no honest Republican or conservative would make because they are all about making money. They tell the public over and over again not to be jealous of the “success” of the CEOs the public is bailing out with hard-earned, paycheck to paycheck taxpayer money. They tell everyone to aspire to be rich. They pretend they are all about the American Dream of building yourself up from nothing when really, their policies are all about protecting the dynasties of the top 2%.

So it’s odd that Hillary Clinton actually grew up in a middle-class family, with no mommy or daddy in politics, and — like the American Dream — got herself to a great college (Wellesley College) where she worked hard enough to go on to get her law degree from Yale. Along the way, she met a man from Arkansas who was really charming and smart. Eventually, she followed him back to his home state, where they worked hard — like the American dream — until they bought a home and started a family, Ms. Clinton working at a local law firm. And then this man became the Governor of Arkansas, and one day the President of the United States! Which meant that this hard-working girl from middle-class Illinois ended up the First Lady of the United States.

After that, she became a Senator and after that, she was the Secretary of State.

Now she is running for President. In between, she is often paid well to give speeches because as you can see from my brief paraphrasing of her biography, she actually knows things about things. And someone is paying her to talk about it.

In the meantime, this woman has a political platform and policies that are all about the middle and working class. Now, sure, many don’t know this because the media won’t stop talking about a conspiracy artist’s book about her, and now today we are back at Hillary’s hair (do not pass Go). But these are her policies. They are a matter of fact and they are no surprise. She has been championing these policies her entire political career, and in fact during her husband’s political career.

Naturally, since this is the one topic that will actually impact most voters, it is the one topic that is hotly avoided by the media. But Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are both determined to use this election cycle to actually talk about issues. They want to do this for a reason. That reason is why Republicans do not want to do it and why they distract with personal attacks like this one.

MOSTLY FALSE. Try again.

32 Replies to “Fact Checkers Bust Conservatives For Their False Claim About Hillary Clinton’s Speaking Fees”

  1. Ah the sweet Irony.

    By attempting to smear Hillary, they highlight the excessive pay of CEO’s. I imagine no few CEO’s are just a little upset with the GOP now.

    And once again their attempt to denounce demonstrates just how clueless they truly are.

    Go Hillary!

  2. I saw an interview of Hillary on PBS, and it was stunning just how much she knows and understands about the world. And she has met and talked with virtually every world leader. She actually knows where Syria is; where Afghanistan is; where Paducah is, unlike the faux intellects on the right, who can barely tie their own shoes, but just KNOW how to fix America, by God. By God. Somehow I think if God were interested in fixing America, He might have started with zapping the GOP 40 years ago into oblivion.

  3. Hillary was the The First Lady of Arkansas!

    Now Pubs are bashing H> showing clips when she speaks with a slight Southern Drawl!
    Obviously, she picked that up in Arkansas.

    I read when H> was in Elementary School, she was one of the first to sign-up for Crossing-Guard!

    Hillary Clinton wanted to HELP the world right-from-the-get-go!

  4. Sweet Jesus, the GOP never stops! they just keep replaying the same old crap, over and over and OVER AGAIN!! the republican strategy for over 40 yrs has been, label your opponent with accusation that YOUR doing!! Who gives a damn what Hilary accepts for speaking fee’s?? I couldn’t care less! BTW I couldn’t give less than a damn about BUSH JR- DICK CHENEY- ANNE COULTER- NEWT GINGRICH- MARK SANFORD etc. etc making millions from their speaking engagements. Anyone willing to pay money to listen to ANY of these people TALK, is ok by me. BTW GOP, since you’re so judgemental about speaking fee’s? tell us how many MILLIONS of dollars republicans have fleeced other republican out of? HELL! JEB BUSH is the ONLY GOP CLOWN BUS rider who is somewhat serious about being president! the rest are running for more name recognition! thus bigger BOOK DEALS and what???? BIGGER SPEAKING FEE’s!

  5. Oh, this carly fiorina deal?? it’s just another CHEAP- IDIOTIC- CHILDLIKE GAME! see the GOP is nothing but BULL$HIT! see carly fiorina is suppose to be the GOP’s FEMALE ANTI democratic counterpart! just like michael steele was the GOP’s BLACK ANTI OBAMA! it’s so damn pathetic and STUPID!! the GOP can’t stand women, they can’t stand black people either but whenever the democratic party finds a top notch candidate, the GOP scrambles around looking for a CHEAP knock off brand! Remember sarah palin? she’s another TRASHY CHEAP KNOCK OFF! remember in 2008, when the GOP was turning over every rock looking for ANYONE with a little COLOR in their grill?? then they pull out PIYUSH JINDAL!! OMG!! remember his republican response to OBAMA’s first ”State Of The Union” he was scared $HITLESS! what a JOKE! that’s why the GOP doesn’t like him speak anymore!

  6. So…..if Hillary was a Republican and organizations were paying her thousands of $$ to speak to them, Beck would praise her to the skies! But no…she’s just a Dem, and one who frightens every single member of the GOTP.

    Besides, I thought making money was the surest sign of a successful American…….oh wait, only if you’re a Repub, I guess.

  7. So your point is that Hillary makes slightly less than a CEO simply for making canned speeches? You really think this is some huge coup d’état? Yea….smart take bro. Do you know who came from even more humble beginnings and also worked hard and got into a good school and became very successful?-Fred Koch

  8. Sssshhhhh!

    We’re not supposed to ask THOSE kind of Questions Dj!

    The best answer you’ll get is a that when a company is doing well, then the ‘Captain’ who made such happen should be at the forefront of such ‘success’ financially.

    But when things go bad, it’s usually chalked up to: Beyond Their Control, thus absolving them of anything resembling responsibility- just like Republicans.

  9. Hi, Erica! Remember me?

    I thought all you right-wing Repubicans were rabid capitalists – “Let the market decide!”

    So why would you even care HOW much money the Clintons earned? It’s just the market valuing their worth.

    And you bring up Joseph Stalin’s BFF, Fred Koch – co-founder of that vile pit of hate-mongering vipers known as the John Birch Society – as your example of a “Horatio Alger” story?!?

    Then again, there’s that FACT that you are WRONG in trying to claim that Fred was of “humble beginnings”. Fred’s father, Harry, was a rich railroad baron & newspaper publisher.




    Facts … they have such a LIBERAL bias!

  10. The smears have just started. After the gopers choose a clown to run against her, the shit will really be kicked into the air. Gopers have NOTHING else to offer but smear tactics. The so-called potential candidates couldn’t talk policy for two minutes without self-destructing.

    Get ready for more of the same – only deeper.

  11. The one I saw said that she claimed she & Bill were broke & received over $700 K in speaking fees in the next 2 days. Address that!

  12. why do you care how much she makes?

    she’s been first lady of arkansas, the US and senator so she can talk about many issues, if people want her to speak they pay her going rate.

    Palin gets paid for speaking word salads and is a nothing compaired to Hillary.

  13. Hillary beats everybody.


    Beats Bush by 11 in PA by 21 in Cali

    Hill 60% of dems (with 6 others rest)

    They only run Clinton vs each R stats

    Hillary gets 53% Cali

  14. PA loves her, I worked on her campaign and people got choked up and showed us pictures of her when we knocked on doors.

    Bush and Rubio are tied for the top. Walker is for show.

    The rest are toast.

  15. Shes, by far, the most qualified candidate ever with relationships with virtually every leader in the world. Thats why so many would be willing to pay large speaking compensation. I bet she does hundreds for free.

  16. A LOT of free for all kinds of good things.

    And she has been gracious in attending hundreds of awards ceremonies in her honor. She needs a museum or Presidential library… to house them all.

    We often say it should be in Seneca Falls.

    What a life!

  17. On polls. This week in 2007 to compare:

    June 1–3, 2007: Hillary Clinton 37%, Barack Obama 36%, John Edwards 13%,

    They were even at this point. They ended tied a year later.

    Facts. History. Polling. Stats. Reality.

  18. I say Hillary make as much money as you can. I was watching morning Joe and Mika who has started to really get on my nerves was critizing Hillary about all the money she earns in speaking fees and i’m like SO WHAT!!!!, So I guess Hillary can’t make any money because she has to be poor to run for President, give me a break. If someone offered these haters that kinda of money just to talk then they would jump at the chance.

  19. She stopped giving speeches months ago.

    They want ratings. In 07 Scarborough wanted to stir up trouble in the Dem contest so he kept calling Hillary his girlfriend as a joke and often praised her.

    All manipulation of the pubic and lies.

    They attack the front runner, everytime.

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