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Truth Test: Obama misrepresents NBC journalist in political ad

6:06 PM, Oct 10, 2012   |    comments
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They're taking short sound bites from journalists and putting them in their commercials.

9News Reporter Matt Flener examines the practice in one of President Obama's most recent ads.

CLAIM:
Romney: I'm not in favor of a $5 trillion tax cut. That's not my plan.
Andrea Mitchell, NBC News: The non-partisan Tax Policy Center concluded that Mitt Romney's tax plan would cost $4.8 trillion over ten years.

FINDINGS:
President Obama's campaign uses Andrea Mitchell's statements out of context. She's only reporting the findings from a study. Mitchell does not take any position on that plan.

The Tax Policy Center does say Mitt Romney's tax plan could cost $4.8 trillion. But at this point, we don't know enough about Romney's tax plan to know whether this prediction will come true.

CLAIM:
Romney is not providing specifics on his tax plan because it gives the wealthy tax breaks and raises taxes on the middle class or increases the deficit to pay for it.

FINDINGS:
We're labeling these claims about raising taxes on the middle class as half true. This claim, again, comes from the non-partisan Tax Policy Center.

Romney's camp points to studies saying he can cut tax rates and not raise taxes on the middle class.

The Tax Policy Center still says otherwise. They say the Governor should explain how he would get his tax cuts without raising the burden on the middle class and raising the deficit.

THE BOTTOM LINE:
Campaigns are starting to use journalists' words out of context. We do these Truth Test segments to give you non-partisan information, without endorsing any candidate.

Steve Capus, President of NBC News has also reacted to the use of Andrea Mitchell's words in President Obama's ad. Capus has taken issue with both presidential campaigns on how they use the words of journalists in their political ads.

"Reporters are in a different line of work. They are not there to endorse a candidate or a position," Capus said. "And it seems to me that it's just absolutely unfair to take a reporters piece of work and then turn it around and use it as the bulk of a campaign ad."

This practice happened recently in Colorado. An ad from Congressman Mike Coffman uses a 9NEWS Truth Test and a similar segment from another station.

His campaign uses our words for their political advantage. 9NEWS does not endorse or oppose candidates or political causes.

We do oppose the practice of using the words of journalists in campaign advertising when taken out of context.

(KUSA-TV © 2012 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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