BOSTON (CBS) — As Tuesday’s much-anticipated midterm elections draw near, both parties are rolling out their big guns.
In Bellwether Florida, where polls suggest a Democrat could win the governorship for the first time in 28 years, former President Barack Obama brought a message of contrast with the Republicans.
“Look up anything I say today because I promise you, I believe in a fact-based campaign,” said the former president.
But while Mr. Obama went on to accurately describe the 2017 GOP tax cuts as disproportionately benefitting the wealthy, at times he took liberties with the facts, repeating a false claim that Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell is planning cuts in key social benefit programs. “‘We’re gonna have to cut programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security,'” Mr. Obama misquoted McConnell as saying. “Don’t take my word for it, look it up, that’s what he said.”
While McConnell can certainly be accused of duplicity for ignoring the role the recent tax cuts have played in ballooning the deficit, he actually called for a bi-partisan focus on how social spending contributes to our debt issues.
Meanwhile, in West Virginia, where the Republicans hope to take a Senate seat held by the Democrats, President Trump was accurately touting yet another round of robust job-growth numbers before he ventured onto shakier ground with the false claim that “Democrats want to totally open the borders,” a statement which ignores multiple Democratic efforts in Congress to beef up border security.
“All I’m doing is just telling the truth, what can I say?” says Mr. Trump.
“When truth doesn’t matter, when people can just lie with abandon, democracy can’t work,” says Mr. Obama.
Bottom line: voters need to want the truth, and seek it out. For those who don’t, all the truth-testing in the world won’t do much to overcome disingenuous rhetoric.