In an ad deceptively likening health care reform in the U.S. to the Canadian single-payer system, Americans for Prosperity deploys a Canadian woman who sought care for a brain condition in the U.S., claiming that she would have died before she was able to get in to see the necessary specialists in Canada. The comparison is false, however, since health care in the U.S. continues to be based in the private sector.Read more after the jump.
Organizations: Americans for Prosperity
This week, conservative power players descended on Tampa for the Republican National Convention. According to reports, leaders of conservative outside groups spent the week wooing GOP mega-donors, seeking even more cash for their final push to defeat President Obama.
Consequently, it was a slow week for the release of new ads. We fact-checked five conservative ads – four of them targeting separate Senate candidates, along with one unusual spot warning about “mass immigration.” Notably, none of them came from Karl Rove’s Crossroads groups, which sat the week out but made their presence felt in Tampa.Read more after the jump.
An from Americans for Prosperity accuses Rep. Joe Donnelly (D-IN) of spending future generations into debt, citing his votes in favor of the Recovery Act and the “$2 trillion health care law.” But the stimulus helped drag the economy back from the brink of an even greater recession, while the Affordable Care Act actually reduces the deficit.Read more after the jump.
Americans for Prosperity hits Rep. Joe Donnelly (D-IN) for supporting the Affordable Care Act, repeating multiple falsehoods in the process. The ad claims that the health care law ‘costs too much,’ but it actually reduces the deficit. AFP complains that the ACA “took over $700 billion from Medicare, which was already going bankrupt,” but without those savings Medicare would become insolvent sooner. Furthermore, the ad misleads on the ACA’s taxes and falsely claims that “bureaucrats” will “make health care decisions for you” under the law.Read more after the jump.
Americans for Prosperity has released another ad featuring people who say they voted for President Obama but don’t think he deserves a second term. However, the only substantive claim in the ad – that the economy “is still the same as it was four years ago” – is simply untrue. The economy was losing hundreds of thousands of jobs per month when Obama took office. Now, the private sector is steadily growing, as evidenced by 4.5 million jobs added over 29 consecutive months of growth.Read more after the jump.
Using familiar distortions of Senate candidate Tim Kaine’s tenure as governor of Virginia, Americans for Prosperity falsely claims that Kaine left Virginia with a $4.2 billion deficit. In reality, Kaine cut billions to balance every budget during his term, despite revenue shortfalls caused by the recession. AFP’s accusations about tax hikes are also out of context; Kaine’s proposals sought to fund much-needed transportation upgrades, which the GOP wanted to pay for with more long-term borrowing. And although Kaine never voted on the Affordable Care Act, AFP’s claim that the law is a “huge tax” leaves out the fact that most Americans won’t see a tax increase from the health care law, which also provides tax credits for millions.Read more after the jump.
Americans for Prosperity targets Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-NV) for supporting clean energy legislation and voting against a proposed balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. However, the American Clean Energy and Security Act would have had a minimal impact on most consumers, and actually would have decreased energy costs for low-income households. In addition, the constitutional amendment that Berkley opposed would make cyclical economic downturns more severe, while AFP’s use of “family budgets” to justify the ban on deficits fails to consider that most Americans rely on things like mortgages and student loans.Read more after the jump.
On Monday we learned that just two conservative nonprofits have spent more on television ads in the presidential race than every super PAC combined. ProPublica’s tally of advertising data shows that Americans for Prosperity and Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS have aired a combined $59.9 million in “ads mentioning a candidate for president.”
There is plenty of action further down the ticket as well. Of the 14 ads Bridge Project fact checked in the last week, just two targeted President Obama. Eight came from Crossroads GPS, three from the 60 Plus Association (on which more below), two from AFP, and one from the Romney super PAC Restore Our Future. AFP’s ads (one in the Wisconsin Senate race, the other an explicit recommendation against voting for Obama) focused on debt and the health care law. The debt – and dishonest claims about its sources – were the focus of three of Crossroads GPS’ ads, while multiple ads disingenuously accused senators of voting to tax small businesses. A pair of Crossroads GPS ads in the Virginia Senate contest misrepresented Tim Kaine’s record as governor and his stance on defense spending.Read more after the jump.
An ad from Americans for Prosperity declares that Washington could “learn a lot from Wisconsin” about “how to tighten their belts,” presumably a reference to Gov. Scott Walker’s anti-union “budget repair” bill. The ad criticizes Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) over the national debt, citing her support for the Affordable Care Act – which, in fact, reduces deficits. In reality, the main drivers of the debt are Bush policies, including tax breaks for the wealthy that Baldwin opposed, and revenue losses from the Great Recession.Read more after the jump.
Americans for Prosperity softens its usually harsh tone with an ad that features former Obama supporters explaining why they are disappointed with the president’s performance. However, the ad still features several misleading statements that echo common attacks on President Obama’s record from AFP and other conservative groups.Read more after the jump.