Spanberger campaign releases list of false statements by Brat ahead of debate

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By Brandon Jarvis

Abigail Spanberger (D) and Dave Brat (R) will be facing off tonight in the only debate ahead of their November 6th contest for the VA-07 House of Representatives seat.

Ever since the release of the CLF SuperPac ad accusing Spanberger of working at “Terror High”, this election has become more focused on negatives about each candidate, than on policy issues.

The Spanberger campaign has released more than 10 ads highlighting policy positions while Brat has also released a few. But it is the negative ads that can been seen every commercial break. These hit pieces are being produced by groups that support each candidate, and not necessarily the candidates themselves. The CLF SuperPac that I mentioned earlier has been running ads trying to use Spanberger’s teaching history and service to the country to link her to terrorism. The CLF, (Conservative Leadership Fund) is associated with the Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan.

On the other side, End Citizens United has been releasing negative information about Brat. Last week they announced that they have filed a lawsuit against Brat for using his website to promote his book. The complaint states Brat violated the Federal Election Campaign Act, the Ethics in Government Act, and the rules of the United States House of Representatives by failing to disclose any information about his book, American Underdog, on his personal financial disclosures and using his website to promote the sale of his book.”

Regardless of all of this, the debate is tonight and each candidate will have to opportunity for the first time to address their opponent directly.

The Spanberger campaign sent out the following press release in regards to statements made by the Brat campaign about Spanberger’s stance on different issues.

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HENRICO, VA — Today, the Spanberger for Congress Campaign released a comprehensive list of false claims Congressman Brat has made over the past year regarding Spanberger’s positions. The list draws from Rep. Brat’s many interviews, emails, social media posts, and ads where he continues to make misleading claims about Spanberger’s policy positions and background. Released in advance of the VA07 debate in Culpeper, this list includes Spanberger’s actual positions along with citations.  

The campaign provides this for easy fact check during the debate, and the campaign encourages members of the press to follow the debate this evening on social media, using the hashtag #VA07Debate.

CONGRESSMAN BRAT CLAIMS: She supports a $32 trillion single-payer healthcare proposal.


As Abigail has stated publicly numerous times, she does not support the current single-payer plan before Congress. She has spoken on multiple occasions about her support for a public option called Medicare X, which would provide Virginians with more choices and more affordable care, while still covering pre-existing conditions. In fact, a public option is assessed to create cost savings for the federal government. A 2013 Congressional Budget Office report estimated that a public option insurance plan would save the federal government $158 billion.

“Congressman Brat is not listening on that. Healthcare is the number one concern that people raise. The single-payer bill that is currently before Congress is not one that I currently support, (Brat) says that I do, he clearly is not listening to what I talk about.”

Richmond2Day, 8/22/18

“In her campaign office in Henrico County, Spanberger rattled off to USA TODAY the list of Democratic policies she’s against: a government-run single-payer health care system…”

USA TODAY, 8/23/18

“I don’t support Bernie Sanders’ plan.”

The John Fredericks’ Radio Show, 10/4/18

“she says she is opposed to sanctuary cities and supports a health-care plan that differs from the one Brat describes. Spanberger says she wants “Medicare X,” a plan proposed by Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) that would offer Medicare as an option on the health-insurance exchanges for non-elderly Americans. People could buy into a publicly provided insurance plan using the network of Medicare providers, at similar rates.”

Washington Post, 10/8/18

CONGRESSMAN BRAT CLAIMS: She switched from supporting single-payer to Medicare X after single-payer was judged to cost $32 trillion by the Richmond Times-Dispatch in August 2018.

Abigail has been supportive of Medicare X since nearly the beginning of her campaign. In January 2018, she stated, “I am a big supporter of a proposal called Medicare X and that’s a public option proposal which is different than a single-payer option.”

I am a big supporter of a proposal called Medicare X and that’s a public option proposal which is different than a single-payer option. Studies related in this proposal do show that there would be significant cost savings because there is already the infrastructure built behind implementing it.”

Powhatan County Democratic Committee Meeting, 1/31/18

“We need to look at how we can expand additional access to other Americans and other Virginians. I agree with Dan on this point in Sen. Kaine’s Medicare X”

Nottoway Forum, 3/11/18

“If elected, she said she would support automatic enrollment in the program in addition to a public option for Medicare, called Medicare X, as has been proposed by U.S. Senator Tim Kaine.”

Fredericksburg.com, 5/14/18

CONGRESSMAN BRAT CLAIMS: She will vote to repeal the GOP tax cuts.

Abigail believes the tax bill was fiscally irresponsible because it added $1.9 trillion to the deficit and benefited only the wealthiest corporations, not middle-income Virginians. The tax bill was a mistake but she is not advocating for a full repeal or one set path forward because both sides of the aisle need to come to the table to discuss common-sense tax reform. She believes we will grow the economy when we invest in education, job training, and support small businesses.

I’m not advocating for one a full repeal or one set path forward because honestly I think it needs to be a discussion where people come to the table but I do think this tax cut was a mistake… we had promises that the growth in the economy would offset the deficit that we’ve that we’ve had it and in fact those projections are not holding true.”

The John Fredericks’s Radio Show, 6/28/18

CONGRESSMAN BRAT CLAIMS: She wants open borders.

As a former federal law enforcement and CIA officer who worked to keep our country safe, Abigail is not for open borders and will advocate for border security policies that use cutting edge technology, together with trained officers and physical infrastructure to ensure our nation’s security at our borders and points of entry.

I am not for open borders. I am a former CIA officer, I am a former federal agent, I used to work drug cases and most of the drugs on cases I worked entered this country along the southern border. When I was with the CIA, I worked terrorism and counter-narcotic cases and we put a strong focus on how people entered the country and what risks might be posed by people entering this country. I am certainly not for open borders, but I am for smart legislation and being truthful about what threats we actually are facing. That means what are the issues that we are trying to address and how can we address them completely. That means ensuring our border is secure, but how do we do that – and what are we effectively trying to stop? When we talk about the border are we talking about just the southern border or other points of entry across the country where people are arriving on airplanes. I think the conversation has become oversimplified to this place where it’s open borders or no open borders. I think it is lost, not even nuanced, but lost as far as any actual intelligent thought on how it is we can address border safety and ensure that we are keeping this country safe without making something as fundamental as the security of our country a political punching bag.”

Richmond2Day, 8/22/18

Spanberger, a former CIA officer and considered a moderate, said she opposes open borders and abolishing ICE.

The Hill, 9/4/18

I am not in favor of open borders, remember I worked drug-trafficking and terrorism with C.I.A. and terrorism. Conflating border security with immigration issues is an oversimplification, and it’s a way to foment fear. We can have strong borders, and well-monitored borders and they are things we should prioritize. But that doesn’t mean that anyone who wants to come to this country has ill-intent.”

North of the James, 10/11/18

I will advocate for border security policies that use cutting edge technology, together with trained officers and physical infrastructure to ensure our nation’s security at our borders and points of entry.”

Abigail Spanberger Campaign Site

CONGRESSMAN BRAT CLAIMS: She supports sanctuary cities.

As a former federal agent, Abigail Spanberger opposes any efforts to create safe havens for violent criminals. America’s immigration system is broken, and both parties continue to play politics instead of working together to fix the problem.

As a former federal agent, I oppose any efforts to create safe havens for violent criminals.”

Abigail Spanberger Campaign Site

“she says she is opposed to sanctuary cities”

Washington Post, 10/08/18

CONGRESSMAN BRAT CLAIMS: She wants to abolish I.C.E.

Abigail Spanberger does not support eliminating I.C.E. as the problem lies with bad policy and worse politicians. She will work with anyone to create a proposal for immigration reform that ensures border security and creates an earned pathway to legal status for undocumented immigrants living here as long as they abide by the law, work hard, and pay taxes.

“I do not support abolishing I.C.E. It seems like a natural reaction to get rid of the entity that is taking these horrific actions – it is actually a problem of policy. Under ICE, the Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), they do really good work on child exploitation, human trafficking, drug trafficking, and I think that is a component that people don’t talk about. But overall, the egregious offenses that we are seeing on the television – those are policy decisions. We need people who are committed to changing the policy. There might be issues with who is working there as well, but overall, addressing what we have seen in child separation, is a policy questions I think abolishing an entire agency is reactive and won’t allow us to protective our southern border.”

Richmond2Day, 8/22/18

Spanberger, a former CIA officer and considered a moderate, said she opposes open borders and abolishing ICE.

The Hill, 9/4/18

CONGRESSMAN BRAT CLAIMS: She will vote to support Nancy Pelosi.

Abigail would not support Nancy Pelosi for Speaker, under any circumstances.

“Under no circumstances, would I vote for Nancy Pelosi to again be Speaker of the House.”

NBC News, 7/31/18

“I would not support Nancy Pelosi for Speaker, under any circumstances.

Richmond2Day, 8/11/18

“We need new leadership in Washington, on both sides of the aisle … under no circumstances would I vote for Nancy Pelosi to again be speaker of the House.”

NY Times, 9/16/18

“Spanberger said she has to counter Brat’s accusations “time and time again,” reiterating she doesn’t back Pelosi for Speaker or the far-left policies she’s tied to.”

USA Today, 9/23/18

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