Home>Feature>Politifact Rates Cortez Masto’s Attack Ad As ‘Mostly False’

Politifact Truth-O-Meter rates Catherine Cortez Masto's Facebook Ad as 'Mostly False' (Photo: Politifact)

Politifact Rates Cortez Masto’s Attack Ad As ‘Mostly False’

Politifact echoes The Washington Post’s conclusion of Cortez Masto’s false advertising claims

By Megan Barth, September 26, 2022 12:28 pm

As reported by The Globe, The Washington Post (WaPo) published a lengthy and scathing fact check rebuking Sen. Cortez Masto’s campaign ads attacking GOP challenger Adam Laxalt’s record of fighting opioid manufacturers as Nevada’s Attorney General. WaPo concludes that Cortez Masto’s ads “weaselly” claim that “Laxalt was beholden to pharmaceutical companies because of campaign contributions” and “falsely” claim that “Laxalt refused to sue a particular company.”

Politifact labels Cortez Masto’s Facebook Ad as “Mostly False.” (Photo: Politifact)

Now Politifact has echoed their conclusions finding Cortez Masto’s Facebook Ad, which recycles the weaselly and false claims, as “Mostly False.”

Cortez Masto claimed Laxalt took “campaign cash” from drug companies “and used his office to block local attempts at holding one of the worst offenders accountable,” while other states sued “multiple drug companies to court over the opioid epidemic.”

The ad contains an element of truth: Laxalt received more than $20,000 from drug companies between 2014 and 2018. Laxalt in late 2018 discouraged Reno’s mayor from suing drug manufacturers.

But the ad leaves a misleading impression; Laxalt did not “block” the effort.

Laxalt said he worried the city’s action could undermine an ongoing investigation by a multistate coalition that included Nevada. Separately, Nevada sued Purdue Pharma, alleging deceptive practices.

Reno ultimately sued the opioid companies, and Laxalt supported the move.

We rate the claim Mostly False.

Although Cortez Masto has outspent Laxalt by millions of dollars in campaign ads, four latest polls show Laxalt in the lead in the fight for control of the U.S. Senate.

Data Journalist Richard Baris, Director of Big Data Poll, shows Laxalt with a two-point lead and outperforms “the first Latina Senator” Cortez Masto with Hispanic voters. The math says Cortez Masto needs the Hispanic vote 2:1 in order to win. Although Cortez Masto has made abortion the centerpiece of her campaign, the economy and inflation are the top concerns of Independents, Hispanics, and a majority of polled respondents–across all polls.

Big Pharma has also found its way into the pockets of Cortez Masto as she has received tens of thousands of dollars in contributions from pharmaceutical companies — including Mallinckrodt.

Roll Call has named Cortez Masto as the incumbent “most at risk of defeat”, the Cook Political Report ranks her as “the #1 endangered incumbent” and even CNN admits she is “vulnerable.”

As P0litifact joins the concerned chorus, Cortez Masto’s campaign might be without apology, but they are certainly not without concern in the final stretch of a midterm election predicted to be a “red tsunami”–not only by Republicans, but by her Democratic colleagues in Nevada.

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Megan Barth
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