Fact Checks Raining Down On Grimes Ads

September 9, 2014
Contact: Allison Moore 502-618-1372

Grimes, Allies Ads Called ‘False,’ ‘Untrue,’ ‘Bogus,’ ‘Misleading,’ ‘Phony As A Three Dollar Bill’

LOUISVILLE – Team Mitch today released the following background information on fact checkers raining down on Alison Lundergan Grimes’ false attacks on Sen. McConnell.  

Senate Majority PAC: ‘Misleading,’ ‘Debunked,’ ‘Dubious’ 

Glenn Kessler Gave The Senate Majority PAC “Three Pinocchios”. “But looking just at the “lost” side of the ledger is misleading…Two other claims in the ad have been debunked in the past by fact checkers…. Kentucky has both gained and lost jobs because of globalization — and there is no evidence McConnell is trying to “send them away.” Three Pinocchios” (Glenn Kessler, “An attack ad so under the radar the sponsor won’t talk about it,” Washington Post, 9/9/14) 

“Cherry-Picking McConnell’s Pay Raise Votes” (D’Angelo Gore, with Justin Cohen, “Cherry-Picking McConnell’s Pay Raise Votes,” Factcheck.org, 6/21/13)

Grimes Medicare Ad: ‘False,’ ‘Phony As A Three Dollar Bill’ 

Washington Post Fact Checker Gave The Grimes Claim Their Toughest Rating Of Four Pinocchios. “In any case, there is no excuse for Democrats to keep hauling out this $6,000 figure. It is derived from an analysis that has been withdrawn of a plan that no longer exists. Four Pinocchios”  (Glenn Kessler, “A Kentucky shootout over stale Medicare claims,” Washington Post, 7/11/14) 

The Grimes Ad Is As “Phony As A Three Dollar Bill”. “Grimes goes for a folksy approach in her advertising, but that belies a tough message — one that is amplified by having the attack delivered by an ordinary citizen. That gives it an illusion of reality, but it’s as phony as a three-dollar bill.” (Glenn Kessler, “A Kentucky shootout over stale Medicare claims,” Washington Post, 7/11/14) 

Politifact Called Grimes Ad False. “In the Grimes campaign ad, a Kentucky resident claims that McConnell "voted to raise my medicare costs by $6,000." The $6,000 figure cited in multiple studies measures a specific amount: The average out-of-pocket costs a new senior would pay in 2022 if Medicare changed to a more privatized system. People who turned 65 prior to 2022, like the retiree in Grimes’ ad, would remain in the current Medicare system and would not incur those costs… We rate the claim False.” (Steve Contorno, “Did Mitch McConnell vote to raise a senior's Medicare costs by $6,000?,” Politifact, 7/10/14)

Factcheck.org Labeled Grimes Claims “False” And Compared Them To A Ghost Story. “Ghost stories are fanciful, frightening tales told to children. But the claim that Republicans would increase Medicare costs by $6,000 per beneficiary is a story Democrats use to scare senior citizens — and it’s just as false. (Brooks Jackson, Robert Farley and Lori Robertson, “Medicare Ghost Stories,” Factcheck.org, 7/9/14) 

WDRB: Similar Attacks Have Been Labeled “Laughable” By Fact Checkers. “The ad apparently refers to a procedural vote McConnell made in 2011 on an early version of a budget proposed by House Budget chairman Paul Ryan. But the Washington Post Fact Checker has termed similar claims by other Democratic candidates so out of date as to be "laughable" and called on them to "drop the repeated Medicare references.” (Lawrence Smith, “Grimes launches first attack ad in U.S. Senate race,” WDRB, 7/8/14) 

Grimes Coal Ad: ‘Untrue,’ ‘Questionable,’ ‘False Connection’ 

WAVE3: Grimes Ad “Needs Clarification” Because Neither Side Of The Coal Debate Blames Sen. McConnell For Coal Job Losses. “The claim needs clarification, Reality Check has found. Stanley, who the Grimes campaign says is from Putney, Ky., is correct that Eastern Kentucky has lost nearly have of its coal jobs since the start of 2012. During that time, the region has lost about 6,000 jobs, or about 45 percent, according to data from the state Energy and Environment Cabinet. But neither side of the coal debate mentions McConnell as a culprit.” (Theo Keith, “REALITY CHECK: Grimes, pro-McConnell ads need more explanation,” WAVE3, 7/22/14) 

WHAS: Like In Grimes’ First Ad, The Question In Her Attack Ad Is “Questionable”. “Like the Medicare question in Grimes' first ad, a long silence follows the coal jobs question. And, like Grimes first ad, the question itself is questionable.” (Joe Arnold, “Analysis: Question in Grimes coal jobs ad is questionable,” WHAS, 7/22/14) 

Grimes Attack Ad “Untrue.” “KCA president Bill Bissett said Tuesday morning that Grimes' new ad, which combines coal job losses with McConnell's remark to a newspaper about jobs, makes a false connection between what McConnell told The Beattyville Enterprise and the loss of coal jobs. "It is unfair and untrue to blame U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell for the loss of coal jobs in Eastern Kentucky," Bissett said. "I can say with great confidence that Sen. McConnell and his staff have done everything they can to support Kentucky's coal miners and coal production, but these efforts have been stopped at every turn in the United States Senate by Sen. Harry Reid, who currently sets the Senate's agenda." (Sam Youngman, “Coal association: Grimes' new ad incorrectly blames McConnell for mining job losses,” Herald-Leader, 7/22/14) 

Grimes VAWA Ad: ‘Doesn’t Tell The Whole Story’ 

Grimes’ Ad “Doesn’t Tell The Whole Story”. “Grimes has repeatedly brought up McConnell's comments on the campaign trail and his votes in Congress, seeking to portray him as anti-women. In an ad last week, the Grimes campaign said McConnell twice voted against the Violence Against Women Act. While the claim is true, it doesn't tell the whole story.” (Theo Keith, “REALITY CHECK: Elaine Chao defends McConnell in new ad,” Wave3, 8/5/14)

Grimes Profit Ad: ‘Bogus,’ ‘False, Misleading’ 

The “Central Charge” Of Alison Grimes Ad Is “Bogus”. “The central charge–that McConnell somehow profited from his office–is bogus, as we have documented before.” (Glenn Kessler, “Grimes’ attack on McConnell’s wealth and votes falls short,” Washington Post, 9/5/14) 

“In other words, it’s false for Grimes to keep suggesting that McConnell’s wealth stems from his “public office.” (Glenn Kessler, “Grimes’ attack on McConnell’s wealth and votes falls short,” Washington Post, 9/5/14)  

Most Of The Grimes Ad Claims Are “False, Misleading Or Lacking Important Context”. “This ad, on balance, just narrowly avoids getting Four Pinocchios. While it is correct that McConnell has often voted against boosting the minimum wage, for philosophical reasons, most of the other claims is the ad are false, misleading or lacking important context. Three Pinocchios”. (Glenn Kessler, “Grimes’ attack on McConnell’s wealth and votes falls short,” Washington Post, 9/5/14) 

Grimes’ Ad Claim On Sen. McConnell’s Wealth Is Rated Mostly False. “Grimes’ ad said, "What can happen in 30 years? A senator can become a multi-millionaire in public office." What's problematic here is the ad’s strong suggestion that McConnell somehow managed to leverage his public office into personal riches. In truth, most of the growth in his wealth stems from his marriage and money his wife received after her mother died. The statement contains some element of truth but ignores critical facts that would give a different impression, so we rate this claim Mostly False.”  (Lauren Carroll, “Alison Lundergan Grimes ad says Mitch McConnell made millions in public office,” Politifact, 8/25/14)

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