Release: Washington Post Asks Media To Shine a Light on One of Paulsen’s Favorite Lies

Richard Carlbom: 651-261-1306

Washington Post Asks Media To Shine a Light on One of Paulsen’s Favorite Lies
Erik Paulsen again caught lying, this time on pre-existing conditions; refuses to redact false statement

Today, The Washington Post took issue with how Erik Paulsen and six other Republican politicians that are misportraying their fact checks, and asked local media to shine a light on Paulsen’s refusal to withdraw his misleading statement.

Erik Paulsen has repeatedly — and falsely — claimed that the Washington Post had given “four Pinocchios” to anyone saying that he and other Republicans voted to gut protections for pre-existing conditions, including in a recent debate on KSTP. As the article makes clear, that was not the focus of the fact check in question, and Paulsen’s claim is not accurate.

“Facing the most competitive race of his career, Congressman Paulsen has shown his true colors,” said Zach Rodvold, campaign manager for Phillips for Congress. “His blatant disregard for the truth is beneath what we expect from a sitting member of Congress. In lying to try and save his job, he is showing Minnesotans exactly why he should be voted out. It may be the preferred approach for DC consultants and the special interest groups bankrolling his campaign, but voters have had enough.”

The Washington Post calls Paulsen’s behavior “dismaying,” asking local media to shine a light on this “brazen misappropriation” of facts while awarding Congressman Paulsen himself with “four Pinocchios” for his claim.

They Write:

These Republicans are misleading voters about our Obamacare fact checks

Somewhere, somehow, a memo must have gone out to Republican lawmakers who voted for the American Health Care Act (AHCA), the Republican bill to repeal and replace Obamacare: If you are attacked for undermining protections for people with existing health problems, jab back by saying the claim got Four Pinocchios from The Washington Post.

That’s not true. Republicans are twisting an unrelated fact check and are misleading voters. We have found at least seven politicians who have done this…

Rep. Erik Paulsen (Minnesota’s 3rd District): In a debate on Oct. 22, he said: “We guaranteed in language — it was given Four Pinocchios to anyone who claims that preexisting conditions was not covered by the nonpartisan fact check in The Washington Post — it covers preexisting conditions. There is a specific sentence in the legislation to make sure no insurance would be able to deny that”…

The Facts

Health care is a complicated topic. We find that the more complex an issue is, the more susceptible it is to misleading claims by politicians. Fact checks are intended to expose misleading rhetoric, but now these politicians are using fact checks to mislead voters even more…

The Pinocchio Test

We asked these lawmakers whether they would be willing to withdraw the citation of the Pinocchios. None agreed to do so.

That’s dismaying. These lawmakers have been put on notice that they are peddling a falsehood — and politicians who care about their reputation should acknowledge they made a mistake and offer an apology.

Instead, they apparently believe it is politically advantageous to continue to deceive the voters in their districts. It is especially galling because many accuse their opponents of spreading lies — and then cry Four Pinocchios.

We urge news organizations in the districts to highlight the brazen misappropriation of our fact checks. Sunlight is sometimes the best disinfectant.

Four Pinocchios

4 Pinocchios

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