A week after Republican senate candidate Tom Cotton launched a six-figure ad buy explaining his farm bill vote three major fact-checking organizations have rejected the ad’s premises. In the commercial Cotton said President Barack Obama “hijacked” the farm bill by funding the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – commonly referred to as food stamps.
Factcheck.org, the Washington Post, and Politifact note food stamps have been part of the farm bill since 1973.
In a conference call organized by Democratic incumbent Mark Pryor’s campaign Thursday, Lincoln County farmer Abraham Carpenter expressed disappointment with Cotton’s vote against the farm bill.
“It was a slap in the face for farmers. Here we are on the ropes, had to have a farm bill, and he uses the lame excuse that the President hijacked the farm bill, it was loaded with special projects. All of that’s a lie. That’s a lie. It bothers myself and so many other farmers that I’ve talked to because every time he wants to cover for the wrong things that he’s done he brings up the President’s name. Well we don’t want to hear that we want to hear what you’re going to do for the farmers,” said Carpenter.
JeffreyHall, a member of the Arkansas Farm Bureau, said knowingly making a false statement is unacceptable.
“He tried to use the Obama administration and make false accusations on why he voted against the farm bill. I think that elected officials or people that are trying to become an elected official in a higher office should be held accountable to their false claims,” said Hall.
The Grant County cattleman continued, saying the timing of Cotton’s “no” vote was especially harmful.
“We've just come out of two years of extremely dry summers, really put some guys at a disadvantage in the number of cattle that they can run. This Farm Bill had a livestock disaster program that paid for the '11 and '12 losses that was extremely beneficial to not only Arkansas cattlemen but cattlemen across the country that experienced some major droughts,” said Hall.
Cotton is the only member of Arkansas’s congressional delegation - which only includes one Democrat - to vote against the farm bill.
Cotton and Pryor also face Green Party nominee Mark Swaney and Libertarian Nathan LaFrance.