CBS 6 fact checks Brat-Spanberger debate

Posted at 10:24 AM, Oct 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-17 10:59:03-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- We are taking a closer look at statements made by both Rep. Dave Brat (R - 7th District) and his Democratic challenger Abigail Spanberger during their recent, and likely only, debate before the November election.

At one point during the October 15 debate,  Rep. Brat talked about Spanberger’s support of the Affordable Care Act. He said the act, also known as Obamacare, health care prices went up 150 percent in the last five years. Then he commented about one of Spanberger's campaign ads.

"Along with her ads, which are running today, she got four Pinnochios for the lies on my votes on preexisting conditions,"  he stated during the debate.

That line was a reference to the Washington Post fact checker, who gives out “Pinnochios” when politicians lie or stretch the truth. But the Post fact checker said Brat’s claim was actually the one that is false.

"In reality, it was a very different democrat that they gave the four Pinnochios to, it wasn’t Abigail Spanberger," CBS 6 political analyst Dr. Bob Holsworth explained.

As for Spanberger, during a discussion on unemployment and wages in the 7th District, she acknowledged that recently workers have seen increases in their paychecks, but questioned how much local workers were actually benefiting from the Republican tax cut bill.

"There are businesses in this country who had billions of dollars in tax savings and that did not go to employees as promised," she said.

While it remained unclear to which businesses Spanberger referred, we did find a local example that contradicted her statement.

Back in February, the Richmond Times Dispatch and USA Today reported Henrico-based Altria used its tax savings to give 7,900 non-executive employees a $3,000 bonus. In general, Holsworth said the current state of the economy favors Republicans.

"Certainly I think Dave Brat and Donald Trump can take credit for some of the things that are happening in the economy right now," he said.

Watch the entire 7th District debate below.