Imagine two candidates for public office. Both say the invasion of Country X was completely unjustified and illegal. That's a true statement, therefore, they're both speaking the truth up to this point.

However, they also say that, if elected, they'll do what they can to prevent similar military adventures. The problem is that one, Candidate A, really means it, while the other, Candidate B, has no intention of reforming anything; he's just pretending to be an agent of change in order to get votes.

One could therefore argue that Candidate B is lying, even though everything he says about the invasion of Country X is true.

Is there a term for this kind of lie, other than misrepresentation? I've checked out some synonyms for misrepresentation but haven't found any that really work in this context. I thought there was a specific term for a politico who speaks the truth while lying about his intentions.

  • 1
    I think the term you're looking for is "campaigning". – Hot Licks Mar 27 '16 at 2:26
  • LOL. However, my question is based on the assumption that there might possibly be a candidate who isn't a liar. ;) – David Blomstrom Mar 27 '16 at 3:01
  • Political rhetoric/campaign rhetoric? – Jesse M Mar 27 '16 at 16:56

Words that might have my vote include deflection [where one reduces the attention of a subject by referring to another, sometimes unrelated subject, such as a scandal] or minimization [where one attempts to subvert the gravity of a particular subject via rationalization].

Other types of lies employed by politicos could include:

Equivocation: the use of ambiguous language to conceal the truth or to avoid committing oneself;

Bluff: intimidation by inflation of one's own abilities; and

Dissimulation, which is similar to lying by ommision.

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