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FACT CHECK: Dem Super PAC quotes Allen out of context


A Super PAC supporting Democrats, Majority PAC, went up with an ad in Virginia hitting Republican Senate candidate George Allen.

“He called programs like Medicare and Social Security a waste,” an announcer says, before almost goading fact checkers. “It’s true. George Allen said: ‘Whatever the government program is -- no matter how essential it is -- it’s a waste.’”

The ad, which a Majority PAC press release says began running Tuesday night, shows Allen making those exact comments and adds, “And that’s exactly the plan George Allen will take to Washington. Slashing Medicare. Cutting Social Security. Eliminating 700,000 jobs. All to pay for more tax breaks for millionaires. Why would we send George Allen back to Washington?

But Majority PAC takes Allen out of context.

The clip is taken from a five-minute segment from FOX in 2009. The segment is about waste at the Postal Service and health care. Medicare and Social Security never come up in the conversation.

Allen does make what seems to be a sweeping statement that applies to all federal programs, but the ad draws a direct line to Medicare and Social Security when no discussion in the referenced clip was to either program.

Here’s the video, which is on Allen’s YouTube channel, and a transcript of the first two-and-a-half minutes from the Dec. 22, 2009 show with guest host Charles Payne:

PAYNE: “Well, it’s billions in the red, but still spending your green. US Postal Service caught springing for parties, movies, even booze on taxpayer money. Government watchdog identifying nearly $800,000 in “imprudent spending.” My next guest is concerned that this is just a preview of coming attractions if the government takes over health care. George Allen, former Republican governor of Virginia, joins us now. Wow! This is a—I mean, listen, the post office is losing a lot of money to begin with and yet they can spring for stuff like this?

ALLEN: Yeah, Charles, you know, most Americans recognize that whatever the government program is, no matter how essential it is, it’s a waste. There’s constant waste in it and you know, here they are eating all sort of things – expensive meals and all the rest and here, folks that are working for a living and their money is confiscated in taxes to pay for these sort of things, it’s just galling. In fact, they found they’re having crab cakes and beef wellington, meanwhile we’re all eating cupcakes and beef jerky.

PAYNE: Gollee, I can tell you, I’ve never--, George, I can tell you, I’ve never even had beef wellington before! But tell us, though, now how do you make the connection? Do you think they’re going to do the same thing with this health care?--

ALLEN: Sure—

PAYNE: --it’ll be just one giant pot of money for parties.

ALLEN: Well, I’m not saying they’re going to have parties—

PAYNE: I know—

ALLEN: --they’ll have waste in it. But what are we getting, Charles? Those of us in it. What we’re getting hit with is higher taxes; we’re getting higher premium costs; you’re seeing for the states they have unfunded mandates to it; you’re going to have generally speaking a lower standard of health care while the social engineers and these elites in Washington are imposing this on the American people. It’s something that’s going to be harmful to small business, job growth, and on top of it all of it’s an experiment, health care experiment that’s going to cost $1 trillion that we don’t have and the last thing we need is more debt for these sort of experiments. The people of America need personal responsibility and freedom, not dependency on the government.