Reality Check: Bevin, pro-McConnell ads need clarification - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Reality Check: Bevin, pro-McConnell ads need clarification

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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Kentucky U.S. Senate candidates and their allies have started their attacks as Tuesday's primary nears, but some of their claims need a closer look.

Republican challenger Matt Bevin and a third-party group supporting U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell are spending thousands of dollars on TV ads in the Louisville market.

Pro-McConnell group's ad

Kentuckians for Strong Leadership, a political action committee with mostly out-of-state donors, created an ad that ties Democratic candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes with President Barack Obama. It's a link that Grimes has resisted.

"After all the damage he did, Grimes embraced Obama's platform and his reelection," the ad says. "Now his lieutenants are financing her campaign."

The claim earned the rating of "True, but" from Reality Check.

Indeed, Grimes has accepted money from many people who supported the president's campaigns in 2008 and 2012.

But some Kentuckians for Strong Leadership donors gave to Obama's campaign, too.

Philip Geier of New York, Kenneth Griffin of Chicago and Michael Keiser of Chicago gave to the super PAC in the most recent election cycle and then-U.S. Sen. Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign, according to the nonpartisan website OpenSecrets.org.

Geier, who gave $100,000 to Kentuckians for Strong Leadership, provided Obama with $2,300 in 2007. Griffin gave $50,000 to the super PAC and previously donated $4,600 to Obama, while Keiser gave $2,500 to Kentuckians for Strong Leadership and $2,300 to Obama, according to the site.

Bevin's ad

Bevin's ad employs a popular tactic, using a converted voter to make the campaign's point.

In the ad, Tina Gilmour of Louisville says she's voted for McConnell in the past, but the Senate minority leader "has changed" and no longer earns her support.

"He just caved to President Obama on the debt ceiling without a single spending cut," Gilmour says.

The claim needs clarification, according to Reality Check.

Bevin's campaign said Gilmour was referring to a Feb. 12 vote in which Congress raised the U.S. debt limit.

McConnell voted to end a Republican-led filibuster on the issue, but he wasn't the only member of his party to do so.

When it came time to vote on the actual bill, which allowed for the debt ceiling increase with no automatic spending cuts, McConnell didn't vote in favor -- not one Republican senator did. But Democrats had the votes to pass it, 55-43.

Then, there's the issue of the spending cuts themselves. U.S. House Republicans couldn't agree on what to specifically cut, and McConnell has said the inaction forced him to avoid a potential economic catastrophe and allow the debt ceiling vote.

If you have an idea for a future Reality Check, email realitycheck@wave3.com.

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