#CERCAtheVote: Who Makes a Stronger Accusation on Aiding Terrorism – Trump or Clinton?

Last week, both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump accused each other of aiding the rise of terrorism. These are serious claims for two presidential candidates to make against each other. So how do their arguments stack up? We take a look at the candidates' statements through the CERCA lens (Claim, Evidence, Reasoning, Counterargument and Audience) below.

 

Hillary Clinton:

Donald Trump:

The Claim

Donald Trump is a “recruiting sergeant for the terrorists.” "Hillary Clinton's weakness while she was Secretary of State has emboldened terrorists all over the world to attack the U.S., even on our own soil."
[Reference]
[Reference]

The Evidence

“We know that Donald Trump’s comments have been used online for the recruitment of terrorists.” Trump's campaign released this statement: "The decision to remove all American troops from Iraq in 2011, which was vigorously supported by Clinton, created the vacuum that led to the founding of ISIS."

Is this evidence credible? 

According to Politifact, yes. Back in May, the fact-checker site marked this claim as "True," confirming that ISIS and an al-Qaida affiliate had used audio of Donald Trump to recruit terrorists by painting the U.S. as racist and anti-Muslim.

 

Is this evidence credible? 

According to Politifact, no. In July, the fact-checker site marked this claim as "False," stating that ISIS's roots can be traced to 2004, prior to Obama's first term, and that while the Libyan intervention from Obama's term gave ISIS an opportunity to grow, Trump pins too much responsibility for ISIS's rise on Clinton.

[Reference]
[Reference]

The Reasoning

“[Terrorists] are looking to make this into a war against Islam, rather than a war against jihadists, violent terrorists...The kinds of rhetoric and language Mr. Trump has used is giving aid and comfort to our adversaries.” “Her weakness, her ineffectiveness, caused the problem, and now she wants to be president."
[Reference]
[Reference]

The Counterargument

 Clinton did not address a counterargument

What counterargument do you think she should address?

Trump did not address a counterargument

What counterargument do you think he should address?

The Audience

American voters, especially those who fear Donald Trump emboldens terrorists. American voters, especially those who fear Hillary Clinton emboldens terrorists.

 

Enjoy this post? We've got more ways to teach the election:

Mallory Busch

Mallory Busch

Mallory Busch is ThinkCERCA's Audience Engagement Manager. A graduate of Northwestern University, Mallory came to ThinkCERCA from stops in audience strategy at TIME magazine and news applications development at Chicago Tribune and The Texas Tribune. She holds degrees in Journalism and International Studies, and was a student fellow at Knight Lab in college.

Mallory codes, writes, and works on marketing strategy. She built ThinkCERCA's classroom planning tool and lends her journalism experience to writing each #CERCAtheNews. She believes that web development and audience development go hand-in-hand, and her most cumbersome challenge is learning to reuse the Oxford Comma.