LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

BOISE -- A new television ad by Congressman Mike Simpson's campaign team takes direct aim at Republican challenger Bryan Smith.

The ad makes it clear the campaign for the May Republican primary is turning into somewhat of a question of Who's more conservative? in the Second Congressional District.

Smith challenges and questions just how conservative Simpson's record in Congress is, and in the latest ad by Simpson's camp, they fire back.

The following is a transcript of the ad: I'm Mike Simpson and I approve this message. There's no defense for personal injury lawyer Bryan Smith's attempt to smear Mike Simpson's conservative record. The truth? Mike Simpson voted for a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution, voted to cut spending by trillions, voted 49 times to repeal and defund Obamacare, and voted to repeal the Wall Street bailout and repay taxpayers. Personal injury lawyer Bryan Smith's smear? There's no defense.

Below, KTVB examines each of the four main claims by the Simpson for Congress political advertisement.

Mike Simpson voted for a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution

The statement is true. Simpson co-sponsored one of the efforts to amend the Constitution, along with 140 other lawmakers.

In general, the proposal was to prohibit spending from exceeding revenue for a fiscal year unless Congress voted to authorize more. The bill also called for a Congressional vote to increase the debt limit and the president to submit a balanced budget annually. The bill was introduced in January 2013 and did not proceed.

...Voted to cut spending by trillions

That is also true when you look at the issue Simpson's campaign is pointing to in this case: Simpson's 'yes' vote for the Budget Control Act of 2011, which outlined a plan for more than $2 trillion in cuts, over a 10 year period.

The Act effectively ended the debt-ceiling crisis in 2011.

...Voted 49 times to repeal and defund Obamacare

The statement is true in terms of looking at individual votes for pieces that could repeal or defund parts of the Affordable Care Act.

Smith's campaign considers those dozens of votes symbolic, and says those votes failed to produce significant change on the issue. The campaign manager points to Simpson's 'yes' vote last fall on the Continuing Appropriations Act, which ended the government shutdown but allowed the Affordable Care Act to stand.

He was the odd man out in the Idaho Congressional delegation. Senators Risch and Crapo, and Raul Labrador all voted against this measure, Smith's Campaign Manager Carrie Brown said. This was an opportunity for Congressman Simpson to stand up to the Obama administration and defund Obamacare.

The Simpson campaign's senior advisor says Simpson's vote was part of a strategy that should not be lost in considering Simpson's vote. He also says it helped veterans, firefighters and others by ending shutdown.

I think what you saw with the continuing resolution was just a difference in tactics. At the end of the day, the votes were not there, and it really had to do with separate issues. It was not going to work from a tactical standpoint, Todd Cranney, Senior Advisor to the Simpson campaign, said. Strategically though, Republicans want to get rid of Obamacare, and Mike's going to continue to fight every chance he gets to do that.

... Voted to repeal the Wall Street bailout and repay taxpayers.

That statement is also true; Simpson voted to end the bailout or Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). Smith's campaign is quick to point out while Simpson did vote to repeal, he was one of those who voted for the bailout initially.

This just goes against the conservative principals of fiscal responsibility. That's where Congressman Simpson and Bryan Smith would not have the same record on that vote, Brown said.

Simpson's campaign says he doesn't hide from that initial vote and stands by it as the best choice in a very bad economy.

Once the economy improved and it became clear it was time for some adjustments, he voted to repeal and repay TARP and that's what we continue to highlight to the voters is both sides of the story, Cranney said.

Overall: Simpson advertisement claims are true

Looking at the four individual claims made by Simpson in this specific ad, the statements are true.

To watch the ad in full, click here.

Read or Share this story: http://www.ktvb.com/story/news/local/2014/07/02/12106587/