Politifact Virginia Lamely Implies Sen. Warner Never Promised 'If You Like Your Health Plan, You Can Keep It'

September 29th, 2014 3:27 PM

In 2013, the allegedly unbiased network of websites calling themselves PolitiFact wrote an article headlined “Lie of the Year: 'If you like your health care plan, you can keep it.'”

Angie Drobnan Halic concluded: “PolitiFact has named "If you like your health care plan, you can keep it," the Lie of the Year for 2013. Readers in a separate online poll overwhelmingly agreed with the choice....The debate about the health care law rages on, but friends and foes of Obamacare have found one slice of common ground: The president’s ‘you can keep it’ claim has been a real hit to his credibility.”

Now, PolitiFact Virginia is accusing Republican Senate candidate Ed Gillespie of airing a claim that is “False.” Why? Because in a new ad, they play video of Sen. Mark Warner also promising in 2009 that “I’m not going to support a health care plan that’s going to take away health care that you’ve got right now, or a health care plan that you like.”

Somehow, GOP challenger Ed Gillespie is judged as wrong to suggest Politifact called this the "Lie of the Year," or suggesting it applies to every Democrat pushing Obamacare, not just Obama.

Warren Fiske – a reporter with the Richmond Times-Dispatch – lamely claimed that only Obama is the subject of the original designation. “PolitiFact National’s article announcing the Lie of the Year, however, only refers to the White House’s repetition of the false claim.” Fiske also claimed that he couldn’t find any quotes of Warner doubling down on this claim after Obamacare went sour.

Fiske also claimed that somehow, when Senator Warner pushed his colleagues to vote for Obamacare, he was somehow victimized and surprised when Obama made a lie out of the original promise:

Warner wound up voting for a bill that contained language shielding existing policies from meeting the minimum ACA coverage standards, but leaving it to the White House to fill in the details. Obama subsequently imposed tough regulations that blocked insurers from adjusting the grandfathered plans to market conditions or selling them to new customers, all but assuring the death of substandard policies. Warner says he was surprised by the president’s actions.

Can you imagine a newspaper reporter trying to claim that if you voted for the Iraq war, you're not really responsible for how the war unfolds when you run for re-election, since the president "surprised" you when it didn't go as planned?

These liberal media "fact checker" websites define "fact" in an incredibly elastic and politicized way -- just the way they report the rest of the news.

Ed Gillespie’s campaign manager Chris Leavitt called out PolitiFact as the falsifier on their website:

PolitiFact didn’t designate President Obama the “liar of the year.” They deemed “lie of the year” the false statement made by President Obama, Mark Warner and many others that if you like your health care plan, you can keep your health plan.

Up to 250,000 Virginians will receive cancellation notices this fall after being assured by Mark Warner and President Obama that wouldn’t happen. Mark Warner broke his promise to Virginians when he made the statement PolitiFact national deemed lie of the year.

We rate PolitiFact Virginia’s false rating “false,” and so will a majority of Virginia voters in November.