U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-9) Campaign Manager Justin Myers today demanded that U.S. Rep. Steve Rothman (D-9) yank a TV ad that Politifact gave the ignominious Pants on Fire rating.
The Rothman Campaign refused, standing by the ad that Politifact said was hogwash.
Rothman's ad attempts to blunt Pascrell's repeated charge that Rothman failed to stand up for the Democratic Party when he retreated from general election fisticuffs with U.S. Rep. Scott Garrett (R-5) and opted instead for a safer district showdown with Pascrell. But now he's going to absurd extremes, said Politifact, a call-out the Pascrell campaign happily noted in ordering Rothman to strip the ad.
“While some Democrats are scared to fight the Tea Party, Bill Pascrell is always ready to stand up and fight for the middle class,” said Myers. “When Steve Rothman had a chance to support President Obama by fighting against a Tea Party Conservative, he ran instead, and no amount of false advertising will change that fact. Steve Rothman’s most recent claim is simply the latest in a series of false, negative attacks and reflects the desperate nature of his campaign as we get closer to election day, June 5. Steve Rothman should abandon his negative, dishonest attacks and immediately stop running his latest false ad.”
Paul Swibinski, senior campaign adviser for Rothman, stood by the ad.
“Politifact has been wrong before and they are wrong again now," Swibinski said. "In 2011, they said that the Democratic Party’s charge that the House Republican budget would end Medicare was the 'Lie of the Year.' As a result, Paul Krugman of the New York Times wrote on December 30, 2011, in his piece entitled 'Politifact R.I.P.' that Politifact was wrong and had become 'useless and irrelevant.' Politifact criticized Steve Rothman earlier this year for saying the same thing about the House Republican budget that would end Medicare. Politifact was wrong then too. Later, Politifact criticized Steve for saying that Bill Pascrell voted to eliminate estate taxes for billionaires. They were wrong again.
"Pascrell voted for the Death Tax Elimination Act (HR 8) on June 9, 2000. It eliminated all estate taxes for everyone, including billionaires," Swibinski added. "Steve voted no. Today, Politifact is criticizing our television commercial that says Pascrell wants lower taxes for the rich. The truth is that Pascrell did join Republicans in calling for lower taxes for the rich. In addition to the estate tax vote, in a 2010 Project Vote Smart questionnaire, he called for lowering Corporate Taxes and Capital Gains Taxes, which disproportionately benefit the richest 1%. That’s lowering taxes for the rich, just as our campaign has repeatedly stated. We stand by our campaign and we will not be deterred in proving that on a whole host of issues, including protecting a woman’s right to choose, fighting for marriage equality, drilling for oil off the N.J. shore, bailing out Wall Street Bankers, building a Mexican border fence and many others, Bill Pascrell does not share the ideals and values of Progressive Democrats.”
This wasn't the first time during this cycle that Politifact gonged Rothman.
Previously, Politifact told Rothman his claim that Pascrell “voted to remove the public option from the Affordable Health Care Act” was false. Rothman continued to run a web ad with the claim. Politifact also told Rothman that his claim Pascrell “voted to eliminate all estate taxes for billionaires” was false. Rothman continues to make the claim.
“Steve Rothman is running a dishonest, negative campaign against Bill Pascrell because the only thing that matters to him is winning an election,” said Myers. “While Steve Rothman continues to be reprimanded by newspapers throughout the state for making false claims, Democratic voters across north Jersey are coming to the same conclusion, Bill Pascrell will always stand up to the Tea Party and fight for middle class taxpayers. Bill Clinton said it best when he endorsed Bill Pascrell is the fighter we need to support President Obama.”
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