Las Vegas Sun

November 26, 2015

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Line of Attack: Do Danny Tarkanian’s positions square up with Democratic ad?

Editor’s note: Line of Attack is a weekly feature in which we parse a political attack, looking at the strategy behind it, how the campaign is delivering it and what facts support or refute it. We’ll assign it a rating on the fairness meter: Legit, Eye Roll, Guffaw, Laughable or Outrageous.

Attack: Republican Danny Tarkanian wants to cut taxes, privatize Social Security, charge women more for health care and block access to birth control.

Method of delivery: The House Majority PAC and AFSCME, the nationwide union of state, county and municipal employees, have stepped into the race for Nevada’s 4th Congressional District on behalf of Democrat Steven Horsford with a fairly cookie cutter television ad of Democratic attacks waged against Republican candidates across the country

Strategy: This ad hits almost every major voting bloc targeted by Democrats in this election: the middle class, senior citizens and, of course, women. Perhaps the next one will hit Hispanics and students.

Fairness meter: Again, this ad borrows from the national Democrats’ narrative of campaign attacks, and relies on some of the statements Tarkanian made when he was running in the 2010 Republican primary for the U.S. Senate — a much different campaign than the one he’s now running in a mostly Democrat district. Still, it’s fair to hold Tarkanian to those issue positions.

Let’s take a look at what the ad says:

Tarkanian does favor extending the Bush tax cuts. But the ad goes a step farther citing news stories claiming that extending those tax cuts would add $800 billion to the national deficit over 10 years. That assumes no offsetting spending cuts were implemented, of which Tarkanian supports many.

Next, the ad says Tarkanian supports privatizing Social Security. In 2010, he said exactly that.

And then there’s the ubiquitous line that Republicans want to allow insurance companies to charge women more for their health care and prevent access to birth control. Tarkanian does support repealing the Affordable Care Act, which ends the practice of insurance companies charging women more and requires employers to offer insurance that cover contraception.

While the ad stretches the implication of some of Tarkanian’s stand on the issues, it has his general stances correct. The ad is Legit.

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