PolitiFact Rates McSally 'Mostly False' That 'No War' Protester Sinema Denigrated Troops

Our News Analysis Division has given this fact checker a rating of:
Deeply Distorted Deeply Distorted

It's the fall campaign season, so it's not surprising that PolitiFact is going to start providing the liberal spin to evaluate Republican campaign ads. On Monday, they threw a "Mostly False" rating at Rep. Martha McSally in the U.S. Senate race.

McSally said in the ad: "Everyone remembers where they were on 9/11. I was deployed to the Middle East. Led airstrikes against the Taliban and was the first woman to fly a fighter jet in combat. I know the price of freedom. While we were in harm's way in uniform, Kyrsten Sinema was protesting us in a pink tutu and denigrating our service. The world is a dangerous place. We need strong leaders who understand the threat and respect our troops. Kyrsten Sinema fails the test."

PolitiFact's Miriam Valverde pulled out the classic "ignores critical facts" argument: "McSally’s statement contains an element of truth but ignores critical facts that would give a different impression. We rate it Mostly False."

It's true that McSally served in the Air Force, and it's true that Sinema protested the Iraq War in a pink tutu. But....PolitiFact "found no evidence" of "disparaging troops."

McSally retired from the Air Force in 2010 after 26 years of military service. After 9/11, Sinema led protests against the war in Iraq. At a 2003 rally called "No War! A Celebration of Life and Creativity," Sinema wore a pink tutu. Media reports of the rallies in 2002 and 2003 quote Sinema as opposing the war and the Bush administration’s policy, but we found no evidence of her disparaging troops.

That's a classic liberal spin: we protested the war, not the people fighting it. This is about spin, not facts. It's like arguing you went to a "Meat Is Murder" protest outside a Perdue chicken plant, but you weren't "denigrating the labor" of people inside the slaughterhouse. The protester is suggesting that the people engaged in the activity (war, meat production) are engaged in something immoral. 

Sinema's campaign pointed PolitiFact to an Arizona Republic article from March 2003 about vigils in opposition to the Iraq war. Sinema told the newspaper that they wanted "to respect and honor those who would be killed. We want those lives to not be sacrificed." Leftists show their "respect" for soldiers by saying they should never be sent into combat. They should be prevented from foolishly sacrificing themselves. 

As they did in defending leftist Sen. Tammy Baldwin, PolitiFact insisted Sinema is more moderate on military matters now that she's a Member of Congress. That's true, but irrelevant to the factual point being evaluated. 

KNXV, the ABC affiliate in Phoenix, properly rated the commercial as true. 

We have rated this "fact-check" by PolitiFact as Deeply Distorted. For similar analyses, please visit our Fact-Checking the Fact-Checkers page. 


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Campaigns & Elections 2018 Congressional Politifact Fact-checking fact-checkers Martha McSally Kyrsten Sinema
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