Politics

Politicians who have fudged their stories

Updated 11:56 AM ET, Wed January 22, 2014
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Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis admitted there were inaccuracies in the biography she is using to promote her campaign. Her biographical sketch is a rags-to-riches story that includes life as a single mother at 19, living in a trailer home to Harvard Law grad and elected official. But the Dallas Morning News found that story isn't entirely accurate. She lived in a trailer with her daughter and husband until she was divorced at age 20. Davis stayed in the trailer for a few weeks after the divorce was final. Davis later got help from her second husband who helped pay for her two years at Texas Christian University and her time at Harvard, when he cashed in his 401(k) and took out a loan for her final year. Here are some other politicians who have been less than truthful about their biography.
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U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren -- The Senator from Massachusetts ran into trouble during her 2012 campaign over controversy that she identified herself as Native American in the Association of American Law Schools Directory of Faculty in 1986 until she became a tenured law professor at Harvard in 1995. Investigations of her Native American heritage turned up little evidence but Warren attributes the claim to family ancestral stories. Warren beat incumbent Scott Brown who made the issue a central focus of his attack. Joshua Roberts/Bloomberg/CNN
U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal -- When Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal was U.S. Attorney of Connecticut; he told a group of veterans and senior citizens a story about what he "learned" during his time Vietnam. But Blumenthal never served in Vietnam. The New York Times reported that he obtained deferment five times between 1965 and 1970, instead attending Harvard and then working for President Richard Nixon's administration. The issue surfaced during his 2010 Senate race. He won. Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/Getty
Vice President Joseph Biden -- The Vice President and former Delaware Senator lied about his scholarly accomplishments. He did in fact attend Syracuse University College of Law on a scholarship, but not on a full-ride, which he claimed. His scholarship covered a portion of his experiences and was obtained because of the need for financial aid. Oh, and he didn't graduate in the top half of his class, which he also said. He finished 9th from the bottom out of a class of 85. The revelation hampered his 1988 presidential campaign. Biden continued his Senate career, ran for President in 2008 and is now Vice President.
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U.S. Senator Mark Kirk --If candidates are going to lie or exaggerate about their backgrounds, fibbing military service is a common one. Republican Mark Kirk did so and it was revealed during his campaign to fill President Barack Obama's Senate seat in Illinois. Kirk said he won U.S. Navy Intelligence Officer of the Year Award during the conflict with Serbia in the 90s. But the award was not given to an individual but to his entire unit. Despite his fib becoming a campaign topic in 2010, he won. White House Photo
U.S. Congressman Gary Miller -- In another instance of exaggerating their military service, the Republican Congressman of California said he "served" in the military in 1967. But he never saw combat or even finished basic training. He was "honorable discharged" after seven weeks of boot camp. He is still a members of Congress but has been called one of the most corrupt according to an independent Congressional watchdog group. Dennis Cook/AP
FEMA Director Michael Brown --The FEMA director who fumbled the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina fumbled his resume, too. He said he falsely claimed he was a political science professor at the University of Central Oklahoma. And he inflated a position he held in Edmond, Oklahoma. He served in an entry-level administrative assistant role and didn't "oversee" city emergency services. Brown is now a radio host. J. Scott Applewhite/AP