There they go again.
With Georgia’s Republican presidential primary just a few weeks away, the four remaining candidates and their supporters are expected to blanket the airwaves with attack ads in this delegate-rich state.
One that we’ve seen -- scheduled to hit the airwaves Wednesday -- takes aim at former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who represented portions of Atlanta’s western suburbs for 20 years in Congress.
"He co-sponsored a bill with Nancy Pelosi that would have given $60 million a year to a U.N. program supporting China’s brutal one-child policy," says the voice in the ad paid for by Restore Our Future. The super PAC is run by supporters of Republican hopeful Mitt Romney.
There’s nothing that makes conservatives see more red than a reference to Pelosi, the liberal California congresswoman and House minority leader. Or talking about China for that matter.
The ad that will soon be on your TV screens in Georgia is different than what Restore Our Future aired in Florida and South Carolina before their primaries. Our colleagues at PolitiFact Florida looked into this claim and rated it a Pants On Fire.
We wondered: Did the group get its facts right this time?
Gingrich is ahead in the polls in Georgia, a state where he desperately needs to do well to keep his campaign from becoming an episode of "The Walking Dead." His GOP rivals, particularly Romney, are trying to make Gingrich work hard for every vote here. Romney made a campaign stop in Atlanta last week and took a couple of shots at Gingrich. Restore Our Future has another ad on its website that says Gingrich "is no Ronald Reagan."
The Georgia ad contains the same language as the one that aired in Florida and South Carolina. Here’s some more detail about the issue:
Restore Our Future refers to House Resolution 1078, which was introduced on Feb. 22, 1989, before Gingrich became speaker and when Democrats had control of the House of Representatives.
The legislation was called the Global Warming Prevention Act of 1989. It set national goals to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and encouraged international agreements to address global warming, PolitiFact Florida reported. It required the U.S. Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency to monitor global warming and create plans for future action. It supported stricter fuel standards for cars and alternative energy. It also sent money to developing countries to encourage practices that reduce carbon emissions.
The bill had several hearings but received unfavorable reviews from the administration of George H.W. Bush and never became law.
The resolution was introduced by Rep. Claudine Schneider, a Rhode Island Republican who left Congress in 1991. Yes, Gingrich and Pelosi co-sponsored the bill. In all, there were 144 House members who sponsored the legislation. Most were Democrats, but there were a handful of Republicans in the mix, such as Olympia Snowe of Maine and Jim Kolbe of Arizona.
China’s one-child policy generally refers to the government’s efforts to limit population growth to one child per couple. Human rights advocates say the policy has resulted in forced sterilizations and abortions.
The Restore Our Future website says the $60 million went to the United Nations Population Fund and that President Ronald Reagan withheld funds from the program after he determined the program, which supports family planning and contraception, was supporting Chinese actions.
The bill did propose money for the United Nations Population Fund. But Section 1102, Part C, of the bill prohibits using any of the funds for "the performance of involuntary sterilization or abortion or to coerce any person to accept family planning." That is the exact opposite of the language in Restore Our Future’s ad about Gingrich.
As we mentioned, PolitiFact Florida rated this claim Pants On Fire.
The language is the same in this ad. And the facts haven’t changed. Pants On Fire.
There they go again.