A member of CBS contributor Frank Luntz's focus group called Hillary Clinton the “worst liar I think I've ever seen” after seeing a clip of her tell Scott Pelley that she had “always tried” to tell the truth.
In the uncomfortable clip last month, Clinton added to Pelley that she did not “believe I ever have” lied to the American people:
Pelley cited former president Jimmy Carter’s 1976 promise to voters when he said, “I will not lie to you,” asking Clinton if she would also make such a statement.
“Well, I have to tell you, I have tried in every way I know how, literally from my years as a young lawyer all the way through my time as secretary of state, to level with the American people,” Clinton said in response.
“You talk about leveling with the American people. Have you always told the truth?” Pelley then asked.
“I’ve always tried to,” Clinton responded. “Always, always.”
Appearing a bit puzzled, Pelley pushed Clinton on the question, saying, “Some people are going to call that wiggle room that you just gave yourself. ‘Always tried to.’ Jimmy Carter said, ‘I will never lie to you.’”
“No, I’ve always tried to,” Clinton said again, appearing flustered. “You know, you’re asking me to say have I ever. I don’t believe I ever have. I don’t believe I ever have. I don’t believe I ever will. I’m going to do the best I can to level with the American people.”
In the clip played on Face The Nation, Luntz asked his focus group what they found wrong with Clinton's statement.
“You could turn off the sound and still see on her face that she was lying,” a Republican woman said. “She was the worst liar I think I've ever seen in my life.”
“She lied about lying,” another woman said, as the group laughed.
The focus group, conducted earlier this week, consisted of Florida voters opposed to both Clinton and Republican Donald Trump. Both candidates are the frontrunners for their party's respective nominations.
Clinton's low marks with honesty and trustworthiness have plagued her throughout the election, particularly with regard to the private email server she used as secretary of state.