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Truth Test : #10 Charlie Crist Ad 'Protect'

10:51 PM, Oct 28, 2010   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- This is our final Truth Test of the 2010 midterm elections. This week we're vetting an ad paid for by the Charlie Crist Campaign. Crist is an Independent candidate running for the U.S. Senate against Democrat Rep. Kendrick Meek and Republican Marco Rubio. It is called 'protect' and it targets Rubio's stand on Social Security.  Let's take a look.

Statement:
Work longer, get by on less.
That's the Marco Rubio retirement plan.

This is opinion. Crist is referring to Marco Rubio's discussion on the future of Social Security. To say that this is Rubio's retirement plan is a bit broad. Some context may help you make your own decision.

Statement:
Rubio wants to raise the Social Security retirement age. That means you'll work harder and longer for your money.

This is true, but it needs context. Rubio has repeatedly said that raising the age at which one receives Social Security must be considered if the fund is to be there for our children and grandchildren. However, Rubio has also repeatedly said that he wouldn't raise the retirement age for current seniors. He said he wouldn't raise it for those within a decade of retiring. Rubio is talking about raising the age for his generation, people who still have 25 years to go before they retire.  Some statements from Rubio on the subject:

STATEMENT ONE STATEMENT TWO | STATEMENT THREE

Statement:
And Rubio wants to cut benefits, though it's already tough enough to make ends meet.

Again, this is true, and Crist is very careful not to use the word 'seniors' in this portion of the ad. But the same context issues would hold true for the benefits portion. Rubio is talking about reducing benefits for people who still have many years left to plan for retirement - not current seniors or soon-to-be seniors.

Statement:
That's Washington for you - balance the budget on the backs of seniors.

This is opinion. It's a statement about Washington, but there is no evidence that Mr. Rubio wants to balance the budget on the backs of seniors. Only that he, like many others, is worried about the future solvency of the Social Security fund. Trustees say that fund will dry up by 2037 if no action is taken.

2010 report from the Board of Trustees

Statement:
There's a better choice.
Charlie Crist is against raising the retirement age. He'll protect Social Security because our seniors have earned it.

This is opinion. Whether Crist is a better choice is up to you. He is against raising the retirement age, and said he would instead protect Social Security by allowing illegal aliens a pathway to citizenship. Crist claims that in doing so, the additional funds would shore up the Social Security fund.

I've attached a couple of articles discussing Crist's position to the website.  I've also attached a review of the ad which has a great deal of detail from the vetting site politifact.com.  That site rated the entire ad, half true. 

The Rubio campaign sent in a detailed analysis of this ad. We received no response from the Crist Campaign.

Finally, thanks for all of your input and suggestions for the ads we've vetted during this political season. I hope you've found the Truth Tests helpful as you make your ballot decisions. As always if you have a question or comment, please email me at ddeegan@firstcoastnews.com or friend us on Facebook.

Documents from the Rubio campaign

First Coast News

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