Reality Check: Deceptive 8th District Attack Ads

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A television ad airing in Minnesota is making claims that Democratic candidate Rick Nolan wants to raise health care taxes and cut Medicare.

The ad, from the national Republican Congressional Campaign Committee, is one of several ads running against Nolan, who is challenging incumbent Republican Congressman Chip Cravaack.

In general, the congressional campaign race in Minnesota’s 8th District is turning into one of the nastiest in the state. The ads, on both sides, are stretching the truth. The following quote is an example.

“Nolan once actually said that being in Washington made him “more liberal and radical,” said one ad attacking Nolan. “And even after thirty years it hasn’t worn off. Because, believe it or not, now he’s saying the government takeover of healthcare, $716 billion in Medicare cuts, and $525 billion in new taxes and fees doesn’t go far enough.”

The ad is technically true, but it’s misleading. Nolan supports the Affordable Care Act, which includes tax hikes on business, but not individuals. And it’s not true there are Medicare cuts, only lower payments to doctors and hospitals.

Nolan says the best long-term solution is a single payer health insurance program.

But this kind of deceptive, negative attack is something we’re seeing a lot of in the 8th District.

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