November 7, 2016
Inspired by our partners at PolitiFact, who just published a piece fact-checking the top 10 most aired presidential political ads from recent weeks, we’ve dug further back through the Political TV Ad Archive to compile more fact checks of ads that have gotten significant airplay during the final months of the campaign.
In this ad, Hillary Clinton claims, “Donald Trump says he alone can fix the problems we face.” This Trump comment was taken out of context, according FactCheck.org: “Actually, Trump said that, as an outsider, only he can fix a “rigged” political system. Then Trump went on to say he would work with others as president on issues such as crime, terrorism and the economy.”
Examining a different claim in the same ad, PolitiFact rates as “Half True” Clinton’s assertion that the New Start treaty cut Russia’s nuclear arms as “imprecise and overstates the treaty’s impact.” The New START treaty does increase the restrictions on nuclear arms, but Russia has already been below some of the limits and therefore may not decrease nuclear arms to meet the new restrictions.
In this ad sponsored by Donald Trump‘s candidate committee, the audience is led to believe Hillary Clinton will allow immigrants convicted of crimes to stay in the country. PolitiFact rates this claim as “Half True”: “There is some truth to his claim, but Trump’s scary ad omits an important part of the story.” Clinton has said she wants to focus on removing violent criminals, but “has proposed being more lenient than Obama,” wanting to “stop the raids, stop the round-ups.”
Trump’s campaign makes an additional claim in the ad–that “Syrian refugees flood in” to the country under Clinton. “Mostly True,” PolitiFact writes, pointing out that Clinton wants to increase the current number of Syrian refugees by 550 percent.
In Tuesday’s election, Arizona voters will decide whether to legalize marijuana. This ad opposing Prop 205 brandishes information from Colorado, which legalized marijuana in 2012: “In one Colorado hospital, 50 percent of newborns tested had marijuana in their system.” “Half True,” reported PolitiFact: the cited data shows 46% of newborns tested positive at one hospital–but only for a single month. From “January 2015 through September 2016, almost 1 in 3 newborn babies tested for marijuana at St. Mary-Corwin came up positive for marijuana in their systems,” so that’s less than half, but certainly still high.”
In Florida, former presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Marco Rubio is near the end of a heated contest to defend his seat from Democrat challenger Rep. Patrick Murphy. In this ad, fact-checked by PolitiFact, American Future Fund, claims: “Patrick Murphy was named one of America’s least effective congressmen.” “Mostly False,” argues PolitiFact: “This is based on a ranking of one group that narrowly looks at Murphy’s record by only including bills he sponsored that passed out of committee through 2014. Congressional experts have told us that there are multiple ways to influence legislation and be an effective member which aren’t captured by this analysis of only part of his tenure.”
Nevada is center stage in the fight to control the U.S. Senate, where Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid is retiring. Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto is running for the open seat against Rep. Joe Heck, a Republican. A new ad from the National Republican Senatorial Committee claims that crime increased when Cortez Masto was serving as attorney general of Nevada from 2007 through 2015. PolitiFact examines the data and concludes: “The statement contains an element of truth but leaves out important details. We rate the statement Mostly False.”
The race for U.S. Senate between the Republican incumbent Pat Toomey and Democrat Katie McGinty in Pennsylvania is rated a “tossup” by the Cook Political Report, and former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg is trying to tip it. An ad from his super PAC, Independence USA PAC , claims “Toomey crossed party lines… to stop gun sales to suspects on the terror watch list.” PolitiFact rates this claim as “Mostly False:” The “ad is misleading at its core, largely because a measure to stop gun sales to suspects on the terror watch list never passed.” PolitiFact also reports that Toomey’s own bill to close the “terror loophole” never had support from either party.
To see more fact checked political ads, scroll to the bottom of the Political TV Ad Archive homepage: