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    4 Apr 2016

    Hillary Clinton's absurd claim that she's the only candidate being attacked by Wall Street

    As challenger Bernie Sanders continues to hit Hillary Clinton over her Wall Street ties in Wisconsin, Hillary Clinton noted that she and the financial sector are more enemies than friends.
    On Meet the Press, host Chuck Todd played Clinton a clip of Sanders joking on the campaign trail that her paid speeches to Goldman Sachs must have been written in Shakespearean prose.
    "I'm the only candidate in the Democratic primary, or actually on either side, who Wall Street financiers and hedge fund managers are actually running ads against," she responded.  "So I find this, again, a kind of, you know, circuitous way to raise questions about my record."
    Is it true that Clinton is the sole target of Wall Street this cycle?
    The Clinton campaign referred us to our own fact-check of an attack ad sponsored by the hedge fund-backed conservative super PAC, Future45. While this supports Clinton’s point that the financial sector has spent money against her, it doesn’t back the notion that Wall Street has only attacked her.
    We consulted with Robert Maguire of the Center for Responsive Politics and Nancy Watzman of the Political TV Ad Archive. Their data shows that Clinton’s statement is inaccurate.
    The trouble with her claim is Wall Street financiers and hedge fund managers aren’t a monolithic group. Some have even expressed their support for Clinton andSanders, and their donations are dispersed among Republican and Democratic groups.
    While Clinton has been the target of more attack ads than Sanders, more money from the financial industry has been spent hitting each of the remaining Republicans. In fact, the candidate subject to the most Wall Street-funded hits is actually Donald Trump.
    Ad blitzes against Clinton primarily come from three conservative groups. In addition to the ad we fact-checked, Future45 has run six others against Clinton. Wall Street donations account for half of the group’s funding.
    American Crossroads, founded by Karl Rove, has sponsored eight anti-Clinton adsand the Mitt Romney-affiliated group America Rising has released 10 ads attacking her, two of which also target Sanders. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the financial industry is responsible for roughly half of the Rove’s group total donations and two-thirds of the Romney group’s.
    Future45 has also sponsored one ad against Sanders. ESA Fund, a conservative super PAC, is 56 percent funded by the financial sector and has aired one anti-Sanders ad in Iowa. And last summer, Generation Forward, a pro-Martin O’Malley super PAC, went after Sanders’ record on guns. A fifth of its donations come from Wall Street.  
    Clinton’s own affiliated super PAC, Priorities USA Action, took a third of its donations from the financial sector. It has aired 11 ads against Trump and spent more than $61,000 targeting the Republican frontrunner.
    But that pales in comparison to the amount of money and airtime Trump’s fellow Republicans have devoted to slamming him. Conservative groups have spent more than $28 million opposing Trump.
    Our Principles PAC, launched by a former Romney aide, has spent more than $14 million against Trump and sponsored at least 27 ads attacking him. A third of the group’s funding comes from Wall Street.
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