2014 campaign rhetoric is off and running
Elections aren't until November, right? Well, actually, we've already found plenty of things to fact-check, and it's only February.
• A special election in Florida for a congressional seat means both parties are trying out attack lines. The Republican Party of Florida recently accused Alex Sink of supporting higher sales taxes. PolitiFact Florida found that Sink was more interested in curtailing specific exemptions; we rated the claim Mostly False. Meanwhile, the Florida Democratic Party said her Republican opponent David Jolly supported privatizing Social Security. Actually, Jolly has been much more cautious about supporting personal accounts for the program. So that too was rated Mostly False.
• Republicans in Alaska have their sights set on incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Begich. "Instead of standing up to President Obama’s reckless economic policies, Mark Begich has supported them 97 percent of the time," said former state Attorney General Dan Sullivan in an attack email. (Sullivan is one of several hoping to get the GOP primary nod.) We found that Begich has gone against Obama on several high-profile economic issues, and the 97 percent number comes from a single vote study that looked at many issues, not just economic ones. We rated the claim Mostly False.
• In Texas, U.S. Rep. Steve Stockman is challenging incumbent Sen. John Cornyn in a Republican primary fight. Stockman said Cornyn "voted twice in 2013 to back Obama’s amnesty plan" on immigration. That was inaccurate on several levels: There was no Obama plan, and Cornyn voted against the major proposal that the Senate considered. PolitiFact Texas rated the claim Pants on Fire.