ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - WFTV is analyzing the accuracy of the campaign ads viewers are seeing on TV every day.
On Wednesday, WFTV political analyst Dr. Rick Foglesong, a political science professor at Rollins College, examined an advertisement being aired by Rep. John Mica, who is locked in a race with fellow Republican Sandy Adams.
Mica is a 10-term incumbent from Winter Park and Adams is a one-term incumbent from Oviedo. Because of redistricting, both are running for the same congressional seat. Of the two, Mica has more campaign cash.
Mica’s ad promotes him as a "real deal" conservative. The ad's fact statements are literally true, Foglesong said. Mica voted against the Obama stimulus and health care plans, against airport funding that Sen. Harry Reid wanted, and most importantly, that he voted 12 times against raising the federal debt limit – all true.
But the ad is also misleading, according to Foglesong, because it depicts Mica as a deficit hawk, which he is not.
Foglesong, citing the Congressional Budget Office and the non-partisan Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, said the federal deficit is so large mainly because of the Bush-era tax cuts and the cost of fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Mica voted for these costly undertakings. He helped create the budget deficit, but hasn’t helped to solve it, Foglesong said.
“So is he really a real deal fiscal conservative? Voters will decide,” Foglesong said.
Mica is positioning himself as the “real’’ conservative in his ads to counter the perception that Adams is the purer conservative, said Foglesong.
Adams is a favorite of tea party loyalists, who are more likely than traditional Republicans to vote in the Aug. 14 primary.