KNOXVILLE (WATE) – East Tennessee voters face an onslaught of political ads with claims and counter claims as we head toward election day.
The Republican primary in the 3rd District Congressional race incumbent Congressman Chuck Fleischmann against Weston Wamp and Scottie Mayfield.
Mayfield was the first to target a rival with a TV spot, something his opponents say breaks a campaign pledge not to go negative.
6 News but the ads to a truth test on Thursday.
Mayfield's campaign tries to align Fleischmann with President Barack Obama's agenda in his latest ad. It says, "Fleischmann voted one out of four times with Obama, the highest out of any Tennessee Republican in the House."
The article cited a Congressional Quarterly study that examined the 95 House votes President Obama took a clear position on in 2011. Fleischmann sided with the president 24 percent of time, close to one in four times.
Technically, the ad's claim is true, but key Republicans like Paul Ryan and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor voted with the president 26 percent of the time, a higher percentage than Fleischmann.
So while the claim is true, it needs to be put in context.
Another claim in the Mayfield TV spot talks about how Fleischmann ranked dead last in cutting wasteful spending. The claim cited a Knoxville News Sentinel article from June 22.
The article cited a report by Club for Growth, a Washington-based conservative organization that tallied votes from all U.S. House members on amendments that would cut spending.
The report cited in the ad shows Fleischmann voted for 11 out of 25, or 44 percent of bills with spending cuts, at the time the lowest amount of any Republican in Tennessee's Congressional delegation.
This statement is true.
The Citizens for a Working America PAC, a Virginia-based conservative group, attacks Mayfield in an ad that's now airing. It uses video from a forum that took place in April.
The ad claims Mayfield "got caught admitting he doesn't know what he wants to do when he gets to Washington."
An audible question in the ad asked Mayfield, "Can you name two or three specifics of what you'll do when you get to Washington?" Mayfield replied, "I don't have any specifics at this point."
It appears the ad is a slight distortion of what actually happened.
In a video of the forum, Mayfield responded to the question by answering, "Other than the tax code thing, I don't have any specifics at this point because it depends on what you do up there, depends on what committees you've been placed on."
Apparently, Mayfield justified why he didn't have any ideas so it appears he was taken out of context in this ad.