JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- This is the fifth in a series of tests of political ads running on First Coast News.
We decided when we started the Truth Tests to label statements as True, False, or Opinion, avoiding labels like mostly true, half true, barely true, mostly false.
Our feeling was and is, if something isn't true then it's false. That simple.
This week we are vetting an ad paid for by the Rick Scott for Governor Campaign that attempts to tie Alex Sink, his opponent, to President Obama.
While Sink's positions on some of the issues may be accurately portrayed, the descriptions of the issues themselves are not. The ad is entitled "Wrong Solutions."
Statement: "President Obama tricked us, saying he's in the mainstream before becoming our most liberal president ever."
This is opinion.
Food for thought though, FDR and the New Deal, Lyndon Johnson and Medicare? Anyway, this is supposed to be an ad about Alex Sink, so let's continue.
Statement: "And Alex Sink helped him do it."
Barack Obama has the right message and the right solutions for turning our economy around right here in Florida.
The right solutions? Sink backed the government healthcare takeover cutting 500 billion from Medicare."
This is false.
While Sink favored health care reform, she was against the public option, which would have added the choice of a government-run insurance plan. And since the Scott campaign uses the term "government health care takeover." I just can't give this a true.
The claim here is that said takeover cuts $500 billion dollars from Medicare. That's not strictly true either.
It doesn't take $500 billion out of the current Medicare budget, rather it curtails future spending over 10 years and the fact is the Medicare budget will continue to rise. This claim just plays too fast and loose with the facts so it is labeled false.
I've attached a report here, which details Medicare spending, from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office.
Statement: "She backed the failed stimulus bill which created debt not jobs."
Again, overall this is false, because the bottom line claim here is about jobs.
While it's true that Sink backed the stimulus plan, you can decide whether it's a failed plan as Scott suggests, but it's flatly false to say that the stimulus did not create jobs. In fact on the respected political investigation site politifact.com, Scott gets a "Pants on Fire" rating for this claim.
Politifact has a very thorough analysis (click here) of the jobs picture under the stimulus plan. I've attached it to this story on the website for your review.
Statement: "Barack Obama has the right message and the right solutions. Wrong solutions, Alex."
This is opinion - entirely up to you to decide what solutions are right or wrong.
As we do with every ad, we asked each candidate to send us information to support or refute the claims made. We post everything they send in its entirety here -unedited.
This is a link to the substantial amount of information sent to us by the Sink Campaign that accompanies this story on our website.
The Scott Campaign has repeatedly failed to respond to my requests for information.
First Coast News