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Facts get pummeled in Nelson v. Mack debate

Democratic incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson held his own against challenger Republican U.S. Rep. Connie Mack IV and Mack showed he can spar like a contender in a vigorous debate between the two candidates in Davie Wednesday night.

While it was the most drama we'll see in the race for months, there were casualties. Facts.

The good news is, PolitiFact Florida had covered much of this territory before, since the candidates relied on most of the same attacks they have lobbed in television ads for the past two months. Here's a run-down:

Mack: "Bill Nelson voted for higher taxes 150 times." PolitiFact ruling: False.

Nelson: Mack takes two homestead exemptions "directly contrary to Florida's Constitution." PolitiFact ruling: Mostly false.

Mack:  Nelson voted to cut $700 billion out of Medicare to pay for Obamacare. PolitiFact ruling: Mostly false.

Nelson: In 2012, Mack missed 178 votes, "one of the worst voting records" in Congress. PolitiFact ruling: mostly true.

After the debate, the slings kept flying. Nelson called Mack an extremist who is unlike his father, the former U.S. Sen. Connie Mack III, who "worked across the partisan divide with Sen. Bob Graham for bi-partisan solutions.

"What your’e seeing tonight is anything but that. It’s extremistm in the raw and, fortunately, that’s not where Florida is,'' Nelson said.

Mack countered,  “If anyone’s extreme in this race, it’s Sen. Nelson.’’

“This is an example of a desparate candidate who is willing to say and do anything to keep his job,’’ he said. “He’s a typical career politician.”

As for dismissing the rulings by PolitiFact and other organizations that have checked his claims throughout the campaign.

“You know that’s not true,’’ he said. “Just because a group calls themselves fact-checkers doesn’t mean its’ not right.’’


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Harriet Mathis

The quality of this debate was subprime. The format prevented time for any substance or clarification of questions or remarks. However it did make it easy to see why the congress in washington is gridlocked.

Representatives like Mr Mack are parrots who are automatically repeating the party line and incapable of thinking or explaining themselves. To think that people of this level of intelligence are running our country is nauseating.

I am grateful to Senator Nelson for his patience and dedication to a struggling democracy.

Leroy Bennet

To say "facts get pummeled" in the debate then using Politifacts as your source is just being redundant.

Politifact is owned and operated by the very liberal Tampa Bay Times, formerly The St. Petersburg Times, they are renown for their politically biased reports.

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