Clinton's Latest Claim: She's The Most "Fiscally Responsible" Candidate

(CBS)

From CBS News' Fernando Suarez:

HURON, S.D. -- On her last day of campaigning in South Dakota, Hillary Clinton told a group of supporters huddled inside a ballroom that South Dakotans should pick her on Tuesday because of her economic experience. "If you will vote for me next Tuesday, you are voting for the most fiscally responsible candidate in this race on either side of the aisle," Clinton said, a blatant jab at both Barack Obama and John McCain. Clinton was referring to her practice of offering explanations on how she will pay for all of the programs she has laid out, including her very expensive universal health care plan.

"We need a president who will put us back on the path to fiscal responsibility," she said. "I am the only candidate running who has told you specifically how I will pay for everything I propose because I want you to hold me accountable."

There are a couple of problems with this claim, though. First, her campaign is approximately $20 million in debt, even after she loaned over $11 million of her own money to the cause. Several vendors and suppliers have come forward to say they are owed money by the campaign, and her former chief strategist, Mark Penn, is owed $5 million for his services before he parted ways with Clinton.

Second, Clinton received more than five times the number of earmarks than any other senator, according Taxpayers for Common Sense. Their report also found that Clinton is responsible for receiving over $2 billion in earmarks from 2002 to 2006, which is more than either Barack Obama or John McCain.

The report set off controversy when it was revealed that Clinton, and the senior senator from New York, Charles Schumer, supported a $1 million earmark for a Woodstock museum. McCain knocked the project during a Republican debate last year, calling Woodstock a "cultural and pharmaceutical event." He added that he didn't attend Woodstock because he was "tied up at the time," a reference to his day as a prisoner of war in Vietnam.