Friday, October 31st, 2014

Fact-checking super PAC attacks on Rick Santorum

An ad from the super PAC Restore Our Future.

Have you seen this ad airing on television in Florida?

"Barack Obama knows four facts about Rick Santorum that you don’t," the ad states. "Santorum pushed for billions in wasteful pork, voting for the ‘Bridge to Nowhere,’ a teapot museum, even an indoor rain forest. Santorum voted to raise the debt limit five times, increasing spending and debt by $3 trillion. He even voted to let convicted felons vote. So, how will Rick Santorum beat Obama? Obama knows, he can't."

The ad comes from Restore our Future, a super PAC that supports former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

Here at PolitiFact, we’ve fact-checked several of the ad’s claims.

We rated the claim that he voted for a teapot museum Half True. Santorum voted for a large appropriations bill that included an earmark for the project, but there’s no evidence he specifically supported the museum. The indoor rain forest was another earmark included in a major spending bill; the project was part of an educational facility in Coralville, Iowa.

We rated the claim that he voted for the Bridge to Nowhere as Mostly True. In this case, Santorum had the chance to strip funding for the project, but he voted to leave it in. He defended that vote by saying the people of Alaska knew best how to spend their transportation dollars.

We also looked into whether Santorum supported letting convicted felons vote. Santorum supported a measure to let felons vote after they had served their time and completed probation. He did not support letting felons vote while they were still incarcerated. The ad’s visuals blur that distinction, so we rated its claims Half True.