Crossroads GPS: “Hole”

Accusing Berkley of “voting for tax hikes” that will worsen Nevada’s high unemployment rate and struggling housing market, Crossroads GPS offers no evidence stronger than a pre-recession vote from 2007 on a never-enacted budget that proposed to let the Bush-era tax cuts expire. The ad also hits Berkley on a vote for a clean energy bill — the American Clean Energy and Security Act, also never enacted – which it claims would cost American families $1,600 a year. But that figure (as the very article Crossroads cites kindly explains) isn’t an estimate of ACES; it’s for a generic cap-and-trade program. CBO’s estimate for the actual legislation Berkley voted on was closer to $175 per household per year, and it found that the bill could actually save low-income households money. Finally, the ad blames Berkley for supporting a 2009 budget that supposedly “pushed deficits sky high,” a nonsensical accusation given that the deficit was already projected to skyrocket before President Obama took office thanks to a variety of Bush-era policies.

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Crossroads GPS: “Similarities”

An ad from Crossroads GPS attacks former Virginia Governor Tim Kaine (D), now a Senate candidate, over his gubernatorial record. Accusing him of a “billion-dollar spending spree,” the ad fails to explain that Kaine’s proposal was for how to spend a pre-recession budget surplus, nor does it mention that Virginia’s Republican-controlled House wanted to borrow money to spend even more on transportation projects. Crossroads also blames Kaine for turning that surplus into a “$3.7 billion shortfall,” but never mentions that Kaine successfully cut billions out of the state budget to avoid running a deficit. As for the “tax hike” Kaine supposedly “pushed,” it was a proposal supported by the state Senate to pay for that transportation spending Virginia’s House Republicans wanted to finance through long-term borrowing.

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Crossroads GPS: “Remember”

Crossroads GPS links Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) to President Obama, alleging that Democratic policies that both supported are responsible for “trillion-dollar deficits.” However, the projected deficit was already over $1 trillion at Obama’s inauguration as a result of Bush administration policies, including expensive tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans. The only example of a “budget-busting” policy cited in the ad is the Affordable Care Act, which actually reduces deficits over time.

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Crossroads GPS: “Quote Leadership”

Crossroads GPS’ attacks Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) for supporting the “failed stimulus,” citing “19,000 jobs lost in Missouri since 2009.” However, a previous 2010 ad decrying “almost 100,000 Missouri jobs lost” undermines Crossroads’ case that Democratic policies are destroying jobs. In fact, the Recovery Act is responsible for millions of jobs nationwide, and Missouri’s unemployment rate has fallen by over 2 percentage points since the recession officially ended in June 2009. The ad’s other claims about “costly Obamacare,” prescription drug expenses, and federal deficits are similarly misleading.

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Crossroads GPS: “Amazing”

An ad from Crossroads GPS attacks Rep. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) over her support for the Affordable Care Act, but gets nearly everything wrong in the process. Rather than costing money, as Crossroads claims, the health care reform law will reduce deficits over time, and it doesn’t cut Medicare benefits. Those “unelected bureaucrats” – the Independent Payment Advisor Board – must be confirmed by the Senate, and they can’t ration care.

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Let Freedom Ring: “Bad Start”

Let Freedom Ring’s minute-long ad attacking the New START nuclear weapons treaty President Obama negotiated with Russia places that group firmly in the small club of ideologues that opposed the treaty when it was ratified by the Senate in 2010. Support for the treaty encompassed nearly the entirety of the American national security establishment – including every living former Secretary of State – and the handful of specific claims about the treaty’s provisions in the ad range from disingenuous to blatantly false.

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Let Freedom Ring: “European Prices”

Let Freedom Ring would have you believe President Obama is intentionally raising gas prices, and even implies that if it weren’t for him we’d be seeing pump prices under $2 per gallon. To do so they spin several fictions: that gas prices are determined by presidents and not a global market; that the recession that brought pump prices so low in late 2008 never happened; and that the administration is seeking European price levels for gasoline, when they are not.

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Crossroads GPS: “Too Much”

Crossroads GPS suggests that President Obama is responsible for high gas prices. In fact, domestic energy policy has little influence on the global markets that actually cause gas prices to rise and fall, but that’s not the only thing Crossroads gets wrong. The ad also deliberately misleads viewers about oil production in America, citing a one-year decrease in production on federal land as evidence of Obama’s alleged failure, despite an even greater percentage increase during the previous year.

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American Energy Alliance: “Nine Dollar Gas”

An ad from the American Energy Alliance (AEA) lambasts President Obama for gas prices that have “nearly doubled” since the start of his administration, but the ad’s claims rest on a series of distortions obscuring the fact that the president has little control over globally determined oil costs. Obama didn’t, as the ad claims, categorically write off Alaskan energy. A loan to a clean energy company has nothing to do with gas prices. Approving the Keystone pipeline wouldn’t bring energy prices down to pre-recession levels. Finally, Energy Secretary Steven Chu has recanted his 2008 statement about driving up gas costs, citing the recession and saying that “there are many, many reasons why we do not want the price of gasoline to go up.”

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Crossroads GPS: “Deflect”

Eager to capitalize on high gas prices, Crossroads GPS put out an ad that blames President Obama’s policies for rising energy costs. Yet it’s Crossroads that’s ‘deflecting’ the truth about gas prices, which are determined by global market forces beyond the control of the president. Moreover, domestic oil production is at its highest in nearly a decade and American oil exports are at their highest ever, belying Crossroads’ accusation that Obama’s “bad energy policies” are to blame.

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