The arm of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania called the Idaho Democrat's new TV ad "pretty cheeky," but swiftly issued a correction Wednesday.
FactCheck.org posted a story Wednesday saying Minnick was among nine Democrats falsely claiming to have voted against the Wall Street bailout.
But after speaking with Minnick's campaign, a correction was issued:
"We originally reported that Minnick’s ad said he 'voted' against the bailout. His campaign manager John Foster objected, pointing out that what Minnick says in the ad is: 'I’ve said no' to Wall Street bailouts.
"It’s true that, as a candidate in 2008, he did denounce passage of the bill. He would have been more accurate to say in his ad that he 'spoke out against' the bailouts."
In an e-mail to the Statesman, FactCheck Director Brooks Jackson wrote, "We posted a correction. We still think it's pretty cheeky to say you 'said no' to something you had no say in at the time. But as Minnick's campaign manager says, language matters."
Jackson is a prominent journalist who worked at the Wall Street Journal and CNN.
Foster had preemptively defended the ad, the first of the campaign, telling the Statesman on Tuesday, "We were very careful with the language."
Foster acknowledged Minnick was not in Congress until 2009, after the Troubled Asset Relief Program became law in 2008. "He doesn't say he voted against TARP, he says he 'said no' to bailouts."
In the ad, Minnick says, "I've had to say 'no' far more often than I've said 'yes.' I've said 'no' to more government spending; 'no' to President Obama's big health-care plan; 'no' to Wall Street bailouts."
Foster said Minnick said in 2008 that he opposed TARP. After his election, Minnick voted for a resolution to block the Treasury Department from getting the second half of the $700 billion for the bailout, Foster said. But FactCheck.org called that vote "purely symbolic" because the Senate had already defeated the resolution.
Foster said that Minnick, during a 2009 hearing with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, strongly objected to the then-proposed bailout of AIG and opposed bailouts for other industries.
Foster said he provided the following statement to FactCheck.org: "Walt has a consistent and clear record against Wall Street bailouts, even going so far as to publicly denounce them in a statement to the Treasury Secretary during a hearing of the Financial Services Committee. For Walt this is about more than just a vote. It is about making it clear to the people of Idaho that he has always stood against these kinds of bailouts. His record has always been clear on the issue, and the ad properly reflects that."
The corrected story did not include the statement.
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