After last week’s wave of House ads, conservative outside groups focused most of their attention on the Senate this week. Of the 14 ads we fact-checked, eight of them targeted Senate hopefuls (five from Karl Rove’s Crossroads groups and three from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce), compared to only two hitting House candidates (both from the Congressional Leadership Fund). We also answered presidential ads from Restore Our Future, Americans for Job Security, and American Future Fund. Finally, Americans for Prosperity joined the conservative campaign to oust three Florida Supreme Court justices.Read more after the jump.
Donors: Bruce Rastetter
Earlier this week, Crossroads GPS made the unusual decision to pull its support from a competitive Senate race, dropping planned ads attacking Missouri Democrat Claire McCaskill after tasteless comments on “legitimate rape” from her Republican opponent, Todd Akin, made headlines. The group’s multi-million-dollar assault on the airwaves continued across other states, however. Of the 13 ads we fact-checked this week, Crossroads GPS was responsible for five of them, attacking Tammy Baldwin in Wisconsin, Bill Nelson in Florida, Martin Heinrich in New Mexico, Sherrod Brown in Ohio, and Jon Tester in Montana. We also looked at three ads from Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity, three from the American Future Fund, one from the National Federation of Independent Business, and one from pro-Romney super PAC Restore Our Future.Most of the spots mentioned the Affordable Care Act, with many misrepresenting the facts to sell support for the law as support for a budget-busting behemoth. All three American Future Fund ads referred to the “$2 trillion health care law,” a willful distortion that counts the law’s costs but none of the savings to obscure the fact that the law reduces the deficit. Five of the ads (three from Crossroads GPS, one from AFP, and one from Restore Our Future) spread misinformation about the “failed” or “wasteful” stimulus, which actually helped save the economy from an even deeper recession.
Focus On Florida
This week showed particularly heavy interest in the Florida Senate race between Democrat Bill Nelson and Republican Connie Mack. Three separate conservative outside groups targeted the Sunshine State, each ad taking a different tack. Crossroads GPS took advantage of public confusion over the Affordable Care Act’s impact on Medicare, dishonestly suggesting to Florida’s seniors that their benefits will be cut and they’ll lose control of their health care decisions. American Future Fund focused on the national debt, though it also mentioned the health care law and threw in a gratuitous line calling for Nelson to “protect seniors.” NFIB, a business group that received $3.7 million from Crossroads GPS in 2010, took a more personal approach, highlighting a Florida business owner who claimed that a “conglomeration” of regulations were impairing his businesses’ ability to grow.Read more after the jump.