Ted Cruz: "Obama, instead of nominating a health professional, he nominated someone who is an anti-gun activist (for surgeon general)."
The lack of a surgeon general -- the federal government’s top public health spokesperson -- has become a point of contention as the public panics about Ebola. Sen. Ted Cruz said President Barack Obama is to blame for the fact that the position hasn’t been filled. "Look, of course we should have a surgeon general in place," Cruz, R-Texas, said on CNN’s State of the Union Oct. 19. "And we don’t have one because President Obama, instead of nominating a health professional, he nominated someone who is an anti-gun activist." Obama nominated Dr. Vivek Murthy in November 2013, ...>> More
Tom Cotton says Mark Pryor votes in lockstep with President Barack Obama, but Pryor says he’s one of the most independent senators. Republican U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton of Arkansas is challenging incumbent Democrat Sen. Mark Pryor, in a tight race that could decide which party controls the Senate. Like many other Republicans facing against incumbent Democrats, Cotton often attacks Pryor for voting in line with Obama’s policies more often than not. In the candidates’ first debate Oct. 13, Cotton said, "Sen. Pryor has said that President Obama doesn’t have a lot to offer rural America and states like Arkansas. ...>> More
Chain email: The Affordable Care Act says that "at age 76 when you most need it most, you are not eligible for cancer treatment. … Cancer hospital will ration care according to the patient's age."
A reader recently sent us a years-old chain email that has morphed into something more timely. It now has the heading, "IMPORTANT ACTION INFORMATION FOR NOVEMBER, 2014 VOTE." For years before that, though, the chain email has floated around the Internet, making the scary claim that "at age 76 when you most need it most, you are not eligible for cancer treatment. Cancer hospital will ration care according to the patient's age." PolitiFact Oregon gave this a rating of Pants on Fire when they looked at it in 2013. The email -- which has changed somewhat as it has zigzagged around social media ...>> More
Tim Murphy: Blocking travel from countries with Ebola should be possible<strong> </strong>because President Barack Obama "has sealed off Israel in the past."
Ebola was once again Topic A on the Sunday news shows. On Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace had an exchange with Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Pa., over one of the most contentious Ebola-related issues -- whether to enact a travel ban from countries where Ebola is spreading, such as the west African nations of Liberia and Sierra Leone. Here’s the exchange: Wallace: "I want to talk about the threats from those countries -- the ‘hot zone’ -- to this country, because one of the big issues, of course, is this idea of a travel ban. … Congressman Murphy, this is ...>> More
Cory Gardner: The CDC is "spending money on things like jazzercise, urban gardening and massage therapy" that could be redirected to Ebola.
As fears over Ebola reached a crescendo, Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., took a shot at the federal government’s handling of the disease during a debate with Democratic Sen. Mark Udall. Gardner has been gaining ground in the closely watched Colorado Senate race, and that contest is just one of many around the country in which Ebola has become an issue. Gardner, referring to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said, "Perhaps the CDC should quit spending money on things like jazzercise, urban gardening and massage therapy and direct that money to where it's appropriate in protecting the health of the ...>> More
Larry Pressler: "All four on Mount Rushmore, they were all independents at one critical point in their career."
Early in the election cycle, South Dakota was viewed as safely Republican in the 2014 midterms. But the emergence of a familiar face has left the outcome up in the air just weeks before Election Day. Larry Pressler was a Republican in the Senate for 18 years before losing to Democrat Tim Johnson in 1996. Now, as Johnson retires, Pressler’s back running as an independent, undercutting what was supposed to be a cakewalk for Republican Mike Rounds and giving hope to Democrat Rick Weiland. At a recent candidate forum, Pressler made the case for his campaign. He said South ...>> More
Readers recently forwarded us a claim they had begun seeing in their inbox -- and which their friends were believing. It was a link to a story headlined, "2014 Federal Tax Refunds To Be Delayed Until October 2015." This would be a pretty big deal if true. Is it? The short answer is: No. It turns out that the article was published in September 2014 on a website called the National Report. Here’s a portion of the article: "Normally when you file your taxes, whatever money is owed back to you is quickly repaid. The process of ...>> More
Tom Cotton: Under my platform, "I will make no changes to the current (Medicare) system for current retirees and anyone approaching retirement."
During a debate in the hotly contested Arkansas Senate race, Republican Tom Cotton and Democratic incumbent Mark Pryor squared off over the question of Medicare and how it would be affected by the Affordable Care Act, the health care law sometimes called Obamacare. A moderator kicked off the exchange by noting that TV ads in the race had made several claims about possible changes to Medicare and where the candidates stood on those changes. Pryor was asked, "What specifically would you change about the current system, if anything?" Pryor answered by parrying a charge that he had voted to cut ...>> More
Joni Ernst: "Iowa has the fourth fastest-growing personal income in the United States, while nationally, the real wage has decreased over the past eight years that Congressman (Bruce) Braley has been there by 2.7 percent."
During an Oct. 11, 2014, debate, Republican Joni Ernst and Democrat Bruce Braley -- who are facing off in one of the nation’s most pivotal Senate races -- sparred over the economy. At one point in the debate, Ernst compared "Washington, D.C., ways" with "Iowa values." She pointed to "records of failure coming from this administration, and followers like Congressman Braley, versus our Iowa values and the way we have conducted business in the last four years. With my good supporter, (Republican Gov.) Terry Branstad, we have implemented strong economic policy here in Iowa -- lower taxes, reduced ...>> More
Alison Lundergan Grimes: Raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, "would help lift over a million Americans out of poverty."
The minimum wage is one area where Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes has gone on the offensive against Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell in Kentucky’s race for U.S. Senate. Grimes, now the Kentucky secretary of state, backs a Democratic effort to raise it to $10.10 an hour. In the Oct. 13 Kentucky Senate debate, McConnell, running for a sixth term in office, explained his opposition to raising the minimum wage by claiming that a Congressional Budget Office report says "you will destroy between half a million and 1 million jobs (by raising the federal minimum wage)." "That’s not the way to ...>> More
Mitch McConnell: Raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour "will destroy between half a million and one million jobs."
In the first and only debate of Kentucky’s U.S. Senate race, Sen. Mitch McConnell was peppered with questions about his opposition to a proposed minimum wage hike. In response, McConnell, the Republican minority leader in the Senate, said raising the minimum wage in already difficult economic times would hurt employment. He cited a Congressional Budget Office study that he claimed said raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour would "destroy half a million to 1 million jobs." "That’s not the way to grow our economy," he added. His Democratic challenger, Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, countered that ...>> More
John McCain: <div style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: arial, sans-serif; line-height: normal;">"We were told there would never be a case of Ebola in the United States."</div>
Early Sunday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced a second person had contracted Ebola in the United States. The patient is a female nurse in Dallas, who had treated the first patient diagnosed in the United States -- Thomas Eric Duncan, who came into contact with Ebola in Liberia, fell ill in Dallas and died there Oct. 8. The CDC believes the nurse, who had been taking CDC-mandated precautions, was exposed to Ebola because of a "breach in protocol." The new case is fanning the fears of those who think the government is ...>> More
In an unexpectedly tight race, Republican Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas is doing everything he can to paint his opponent -- independent Greg Orman -- as a liberal henchman. One of Roberts’ favorite points is Orman’s stance on the Affordable Care Act. Orman says he does not support the health care law, but he also says pushing legislation to repeal it is impractical, because President Barack Obama would simply veto it. In a recent Web video, Roberts treats that view as support for Obamacare. The ad starts out with video of Orman shaking hands with constituents, ...>> More
Barack Obama: "The states that have raised the minimum wage (this year) have had faster job growth than the states that haven’t raised the minimum wage."
President Barack Obama is renewing his call -- stalled by Republican opposition in Congress -- to raise the minimum wage to $10.10. "We should be raising the minimum wage to make sure that more workers who have been working full-time shouldn’t be living in poverty," Obama said in an Oct. 3 speech at a manufacturing plant in Princeton, Ind. He noted that "about 13 states and a bunch of cities around the country have gone ahead and done it without Congress." "When you hear folks saying, well, if you raise the minimum wage that's going to be fewer ...>> More
Thom Tillis: In North Carolina, "now we're near the national average" for unemployment.
Thom Tillis, the North Carolina Republican seeking to unseat Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan, said during a recent debate that the Tar Heel State has come a long way since the onset of the great recession. "We came from far behind," Tillis said. "Fourth-highest unemployment rate when I came in, now we're near the national average." We wondered: Is North Carolina now "near the national average" for unemployment? As it turns out, things have improved in the state, but they haven’t improved as much as Tillis suggested. We looked at data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the government’s official source ...>> More
Alison Lundergan Grimes: "The only candidate pocketing big money from people who want to destroy coal is Mitch McConnell."
Not everyone agrees there’s a war on coal, as Republicans often charge, but there’s no question there’s a war over the war on coal in Kentucky’s high-profile Senate race. For months, Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell have lobbed accusations at each other, saying their opponent is too weak in supporting the state’s abundant fossil fuel. The latest salvo comes from Grimes, who has sustained accusations by McConnell that she wouldn’t fight back against the Environmental Protection Agency’s new proposal for regulating carbon emissions. In a recent ad — which begins with her "approving" the ad ...>> More
Barack Obama: The cost of "health care is now the single-biggest factor driving down" the federal budget deficit.
Since the Affordable Care Act was first proposed, policymakers have been debating its potential effect not just on health care but on the economy as a whole. The bill effectively increases some types of spending, reduces other types and increases some taxes. President Barack Obama considers the health care legislation one of his economic success stories. "Partly because health care prices have been growing at the slowest rate in nearly 50 years, the growth in what health care costs the government is down," Obama said in a speech about the economy last week at Northwestern University. "Health care has long ...>> More
Kay Hagan: "The Common Core was not put together by the Department of Education in Washington. It was put together by governors and by states."
The Common Core education standards have not been popular with many Republicans, who say the guidelines will hamstring state school officials. At the debate for the U.S. Senate candidates from North Carolina on Oct. 7, Republican Thom Tillis described Common Core as regulatory overreach. Although he did not explicitly call it a federal mandate, his comments strongly implied that was the case: "What I oppose," he said, "is a bureaucracy, the Department of Education, that was not even created until 1980, after I graduated from high school, with 5,000 bureaucrats making on average $102,000 a year, stifling what teachers want ...>> More
Thom Tillis: By voting for Obamacare, Sen. Kay Hagan "voted to kill the equivalent of 2.5 million jobs."
In the second North Carolina Senate debate between Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan and Republican Thom Tillis, the challenger reached deep into the GOP playbook for an attack line about President Barack Obama’s health care law and its potential impact on jobs. "Sen. Hagan’s solution is spending more money," Tillis said. "It’s very simple. Government needs to get out of the way. We need to get our spending under control, and we need to reduce regulations. Sen. Hagan, when she cast the deciding vote for Obamacare, voted to kill the equivalent of 2.5 million jobs." Critics of the health care law ...>> More
Education spending was a point of contention in the North Carolina Senate debate on October 7, when Sen. Kay Hagan repeated a popular Democratic talking point that Thom Tillis and state House Republicans are responsible for cuts to school funding. Sen. Hagan said Tillis "has cut $500 million from public education and, you know what that means folks? That means fewer teachers in the classroom. That means larger classroom sizes and that means outdated textbooks if there’s any textbooks at all." Back in June we checked the same claim from a television ad sponsored by Women ...>> More