Tom Cotton: Says "President Obama hijacked the farm bill (and) turned it into a food stamp bill."
Back in January, Rep. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., took some heat for voting against the final version of the farm bill -- particularly being the only lawmaker from Arkansas, a state that depends on farming, to do so. Now, the Republican Senate candidate is out with an ad to defend his vote, arguing that it was the fiscally responsible course. The 30-second spot features Cotton and his father on their family farm. Cotton says his dad taught him financial lessons that he carried into his current role. "(My dad) taught me early: farmers can’t spend more than ...>> More
American Crossroads: Says Tom Steyer is a "California billionaire who stands to profit by blocking Keystone" and "is spending big to help" Bruce Braley. <div> </div>
It’s Republican strategist Karl Rove versus billionaire Democratic donor Tom Steyer in Iowa. Rove’s group, American Crossroads, is up with a new ad that claims the Democratic Senate candidate there, Rep. Bruce Braley, is doing the bidding for Steyer by voting against the Keystone XL oil pipeline. "Now, a California billionaire who stands to profit by blocking Keystone is spending big to help Braley’s campaign," the ad says. "Bruce Braley, he’s on the side of billionaire special interests, not Iowa workers." Steyer is identified in the ad as the California billionaire. He has run ads helping Braley and ...>> More
A reader recently sent us a link to a rather startling claim -- that three of the five Guantanamo detainees released by the United States in late May in exchange for Taliban prisoner Bowe Bergdahl have now taken up arms for the Islamic State. That’s the militant group sometimes known as ISIS or ISIL that has taken control of portions of Iraq and Syria and has beheaded two American journalists and at least one other Westerner. The claim stems from a website, politicalears.com, that ran a post on Sept. 15, 2014, with the headline, "Three of five detainees ...>> More
Facebook posts: "There is no state in the U.S. where a 40-hour minimum wage work week is enough to afford a two-bedroom apartment."
What kind of apartment can you afford on a minimum-wage salary? Your options may be very limited. "There is no state in the U.S. where a 40-hour minimum wage work week is enough to afford a two-bedroom apartment," says a Facebook graphic posted Sept. 11 from OurTime.org, an advocacy group for young Americans. At PolitiFact, we’ve noticed a growing number of Facebook users sharing graphics generated by OurTime.org. Its following on Facebook has grown from 100,000 in February to half a million today, ...>> More
Trent Franks: "It is true that we know that ISIS is present in Ciudad Juarez (Mexico)"
With the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria growing in the Middle East, nearly half of Americans think the country is less safe than it was before Sept. 11, 2001, according to a recent poll. Some Republicans have expressed concern that the southern border is so porous, members of the extremist group could slip into the United States from Mexico. And a few have said such a plot is already in the works -- but federal agencies don’t agree. Rep. Trent Franks, a Republican from Arizona, said his state faces an imminent threat in a recent ...>> More
Amy Klobuchar: Children who witness domestic violence are "twice as likely to commit it themselves." <div> </div>
The release of a video showing NFL running back Ray Rice striking his now-wife in an Atlantic City, N.J., casino elevator revived conversations about domestic violence on the Sunday shows. On the Sept. 14, 2014, edition of CNN’s State of the Union, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., shared an anecdote from her time as a prosecutor to illustrate the ills of domestic violence. "We had a poster outside the door so everyone would see it when they came in. It was a picture of a woman beaten up with a Band-Aid over her nose, holding a little baby boy," Klobuchar ...>> More
Rand Paul: "Income inequality is worse in towns run by Democrat mayors than in towns run by Republican mayors."
During a recent interview with NPR, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., took aim at the belief -- widely held among Democrats -- that Republican policies are encouraging greater income inequality. "I think inequality can be a problem, and interestingly seems to be getting a little bit worse under this administration," Paul said. "Income inequality is worse in towns run by Democrat mayors than in towns run by Republican mayors." (Here’s the full transcript.) A reader asked us to check whether Paul’s claim about cities under Democratic and Republican mayors is correct. So we did. We located a ...>> More
National Republican Congressional Committee: Says "John Barrow voted with Obama 85 percent of the time."
One of the biggest obstacles to a strong Democratic showing in the 2014 midterm elections is that approval ratings for President Barack Obama are mired in the 40 percent range -- and even lower in many red states. Because of this, it’s no surprise that the National Republican Congressional Committee -- the House Republicans’ campaign arm -- is creating ads that emphasize the degree to which vulnerable Democratic incumbents have voted with Obama. We recently found two NRCC ads using virtually identical language on this point. Here, we’ll fact-check an ad attacking Democratic Rep. John Barrow of Georgia. ...>> More
National Republican Congressional Committee: Says "Nick Rahall voted with Obama 94 percent of the time."
One of the biggest obstacles to a strong Democratic showing in the 2014 midterm elections is that approval ratings for President Barack Obama are mired in the 40 percent range -- and even lower in many red states. Because of this, it’s no surprise that the National Republican Congressional Committee -- the House Republicans’ campaign arm -- is creating ads that emphasize the degree to which vulnerable Democratic incumbents have voted with Obama. We recently found two NRCC ads using virtually identical language on this point. Here, we’ll fact-check an ad that targets Democratic Rep. Nick Rahall of ...>> More
Alison Lundergan Grimes: Says Mitch McConnell voted "three times for corporate tax breaks that send Kentucky jobs overseas."
Alison Lundergan Grimes, the Democratic Senate candidate from Kentucky, says that as Mitch McConnell’s wealth has grown, he has hindered Kentucky’s prosperity. Recently, we looked at an ad in which Grimes said McConnell, the incumbent Senate minority leader, made millions while in public office. We rated that claim Mostly False. But that was only one of several claims in the ad that attacked McConnell for being out-of-touch with average Kentuckians and biased toward the wealthy. Another claim caught our attention: McConnell voted "three times for corporate tax breaks that send Kentucky jobs overseas." We’ve noticed that ...>> More
John McCain: Says President Obama "has never made a statement ... that he wanted a residual force left (in Iraq)."
Questions about what President Barack Obama should do in Iraq now have lately been overshadowed by another question: Should Obama have left troops in Iraq after the war ended? Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., has advocated for keeping residual forces in the country since he visited its capital, Baghdad, in late 2008 -- right after losing the presidential election to Obama. And he continues to argue that Obama made the wrong decision to remove all American troops from Iraq by the end of 2011. McCain repeated this point on Sept. 10, appearing on several news shows after Obama announced ...>> More
John McCain: "(Obama's) entire national security team, including his secretary of state, said we want to arm and train and equip (Syrian rebel forces), and he made the unilateral decision to turn them down." <div> </div>
President Barack Obama spoke from the White House on Sept. 10 to announce his overall strategy for dealing with the growing regional threat presented by the terrorist group the Islamic State. Part of that includes asking Congress to authorize funds to arm Syrian rebels. After, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., had a terse exchange with former White House Press Secretary-turned-CNN contributor Jay Carney. McCain has supported arming Syrian opposition forces for years. "I'm astounded that Mr. Carney should say that the Free Syrian Army is now stronger," McCain said, referring to moderate rebel fighters revolting against Syrian ...>> More
In a recent op-ed for Time, Republican Kentucky senator Rand Paul pushed back against hawks in Washington who write off his foreign-policy strategy as "isolationist" at a time of mounting international crises. "Some pundits are surprised that I support destroying the Islamic State in Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) militarily. They shouldn’t be," Paul wrote. "I’ve said since I began public life that I am not an isolationist, nor am I an interventionist. I look at the world, and consider war, realistically and constitutionally." Paul goes on to describe the state of world affairs during President Barack Obama’s ...>> More
Ted Cruz: Saturday Night Live executive producer "Lorne Michaels could be put in jail under this amendment for making fun of any politician."
In his brief time in Congress, first-term Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, has attracted national attention for his rhetoric. On Sept. 9, 2014, Cruz gave a stemwinder of a floor speech, criticizing a proposed constitutional amendment backed by Democrats. The backers of the proposed amendment, S.J.Res.19, say it’s intended to overturn Citizens United, the Supreme Court decision that loosened campaign-finance laws for corporations. They argue that the court’s ruling has opened a floodgate of campaign spending that threatens the democratic process. Cruz, however, argues that the proposed amendment severely threatens First Amendment protections that date back more than two ...>> More
National Republican Senatorial Committee: Says cuts to Medicare affect people who have already "paid in. We paid for it."
The National Republican Senatorial Committee recently aired an ad in the hotly contested Iowa Senate race between Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley and Republican state Sen. Joni Ernst. It features a woman named Darlene Blake of Des Moines, Iowa, talking about the importance of Medicare. "Bruce Braley voted to cut $700 billion from Medicare to support Obamacare," Blake says. "That’s just not fair. We paid in. We paid for it. That should be there for us." In a separate fact-check, we looked at the claim that Braley "voted to cut $700 billion from Medicare to support Obamacare." Here, we’ll ...>> More
National Republican Senatorial Committee: Says Democratic Senate candidate "Bruce Braley voted to cut $700 billion from Medicare to support Obamacare."
Some political talking points just never die. Like this one, used in a recent ad aired by the National Republican Senatorial Committee in the hotly contested Iowa Senate race between Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley and Republican state Sen. Joni Ernst. "Bruce Braley voted to cut $700 billion from Medicare to support Obamacare," the ad says. "That’s just not fair. We paid in. We paid for it. That should be there for us." Here, we’re going to look at the claim that Braley "voted to cut $700 billion from Medicare to support Obamacare." (In a separate item, we’ll look at the ...>> More
Cory Gardner: Says on contraception, his plan is "cheaper and easier for you" than Sen. Mark Udall’s
Democratic Sen. Mark Udall has consistently attacked his Republican challenger, Rep. Cory Gardner, for supporting anti-abortion measures like personhood legislation. But Gardner is on the offensive with a new ad airing in the Colorado Senate race about women’s health issues. "What’s the difference between me and Mark Udall on contraception?" Gardner says. "I believe the pill ought to be available over the counter, around the clock, without a prescription. Cheaper and easier for you. Mark Udall’s plan is different. He wants to keep government bureaucrats between you and your health care plan. That means more politics and more profits for ...>> More
Barack Obama: Says his comment about extremists being a JV team "wasn’t specifically referring to" Islamic State.
President Barack Obama granted an exclusive sit down to Meet the Press for new host Chuck Todd’s inaugural show. As expected, Todd and Obama had a long discussion about the administration’s strategy for dealing with Islamic State, the terrorist group responsible for the beheading of two American journalists, with Obama stating "we’re going to defeat them." Todd then remarked that Obama’s response was a "long way from when you described them as a JV team." "Was that bad intelligence or your misjudgment?" Todd asked. "Keep in mind I wasn’t specifically referring to (Islamic State)," Obama replied. "I've said that, regionally, ...>> More
National Republican Senatorial Committee: Says Mark Pryor voted "to give Social Security benefits to illegal immigrants."
The National Republican Senatorial Committee -- the GOP’s Senate campaign arm -- is attacking Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., for becoming a creature of Washington after 12 years in the Capitol. But the ad now airing relies on an eight-year-old charge that we and other fact checkers have debunked multiple times over the years. Pryor is one of the Senate’s endangered Democratic incumbents and a top target for Republicans. Here’s the narration of the NRSC’s ad: Narrator: "When Mark Pryor went to Washington 12 years ago, he promised to put Arkansas first." ...>> More
Mark Begich: Says Dan Sullivan approved a "light sentence" for a sex offender who got out of prison and is now charged with a gruesome murder and sexual assault.
Sen. Mark Begich, the incumbent Democrat from Alaska, has been forced to pull a television ad that said his Republican opponent’s actions as the state attorney general led to a gruesome murder -- a serious charge based on paper-thin evidence. Begich released an attack ad the Friday before Labor Day that said Dan Sullivan was soft on sex crime during his 18-month tenure as attorney general. Begich and Sullivan are locked in a toss-up race, one of several that could decide which party controls the Senate come November. "(Sullivan) let a lot of sex offenders get ...>> More