Here’s how the United States has fared since President Joe Biden took office two years ago.
Voters are about to get a respite from the political attack-ad onslaught: Election Day is tomorrow. That means no more messages from Democrats attacking Republicans over abortion rights or the future of Medicare; no more Republicans blaming Democrats for inflation or crime. At least for a little while.
The Congressional Leadership Fund, a Republican super PAC, is running ads on TV and social media that distort Democratic House candidate Josh Riley’s positions on crime. One ad misleadingly claims that the New York Democrat said he “supports help not handcuffs” for criminals, and another misleadingly implies he supports defunding the police.
In the Wisconsin Senate race, an ad from Republican Sen. Ron Johnson selectively pulls comments made by his opponent, Democrat Mandela Barnes, from an interview days after a deadly attack on police in Dallas. The ad claims Barnes “rationalized violence” against police, but it ignores that Barnes said the killings were “not justified in any way” and that he “denounced” the attack.
A sheriff featured in an ad defending U.S. Senate candidate John Fetterman accurately states that Fetterman “voted with law enforcement experts nearly 90% of the time” on the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons, and voted to give “a second chance” to nonviolent offenders. But it’s what the ad doesn’t say that may mislead viewers.
A TV ad from a gun control advocacy group claims Republican Sen. Ron Johnson voted “against funding for the police, preventing local departments from hiring more officers.” But the two votes cited were against trillion-dollar spending bills that included a host of measures, well beyond law enforcement funding.
President Biden and Democrat Charlie Crist have said that they don’t support calls to defund the police. And a law that both men supported provides funding for the IRS to potentially hire tens of thousands of new employees — mostly in customer service, not tax auditing, bureau officials have said. But a Florida GOP ad makes distorted claims about both issues.
A Republican super PAC’s ad labels Democratic U.S. Senate candidate John Fetterman “dangerously liberal on crime,” citing a case in which Fetterman, the lieutenant governor of Pennsylvania, voted to recommend the commutation of a life sentence for a man convicted of murder in 1970. We thought readers may want to know more of the context of the case.