You could say freshman Rep. Cotton is the Romney in this cycle. A Senate Majority PAC ad launched in March says, “Corporate special interests are spending millions to smear Mark Pryor and elect Tom Cotton. Why? Before Congress, Cotton got paid handsomely working for insurance companies,” says the narrator. The Washington Post fact-checker awarded the ad four Pinocchios for stretching the truth, noting that Cotton did not work directly for an insurance company. He was employed by the global consulting firm, McKinsey & Company, and lists insurance among the industries he assisted on his Facebook page.
A spokesman for Senate Majority PAC says all their ads are fact-checked and screened by lawyers, who must have found enough of what Stephen Colbert once dubbed “truthiness” to green-light the ad. Besides, getting facts right is an outdated notion; nobody is handing out medals for accuracy. “They’re putting up things that don’t pass the smell test but are effective, and there’s no penalty,” says Jennifer Duffy with the nonpartisan Cook Political Report. “There’s a line you can’t cross, but no one knows where the heck that line is.” Americans for Prosperity (AFP), funded by the Koch Brothers, has multiple Pinocchios for its ads, mainly for distorting Obamacare.