Watch GOP Gov. Rick Scott try and fail to defend his misleading ads

Florida's governor can't explain to reporters why his ads aren't as misleading as they appear

Published April 11, 2014 3:35PM (EDT)

Clearly trailing his predecessor and now-Democratic challenger Charlie Crist in the polls, Florida's Republican governor, Rick Scott, is now taking heat for running a reelection ad that significantly overstates the number of Floridians who have lost their health insurance because of Obamacare's new standards.

The ads cite an estimate Florida Blue released last fall that found as many as 300,000 could possibly receive notice of their health insurance plan being canceled and/or replaced due to Obamacare. In the time since, however, a spokesman for the health insurer has said that the actual number to get such a letter is closer to 40,000. That's a difference of 260,000. That's a lot.

Speaking with reporters outside a senior center on Wednesday, Scott tried to defend the ad — as well as another campaign theme of his, the claim that Obamacare cuts Medicare (the truth is that it cuts Medicare Advantage; and the White House has abandoned the cuts, anyway) — but had trouble putting forward a convincing case. Asked to explain why his campaign is still running with the 300,000 number, Scott could only reply, "Clearly, the ad's accurate."

"But it's not, governor!" the reporter said in response. Scott then repeated his talking points, incorrectly saying, "3,000 [sic] individuals were told that they're losing — they're going to lose their insurance." Pressed by yet another reporter to defend the 300,000 number, Scott (again) repeated the talking point.

Watch Scott squirm below, via the American Bridge 21st Century PAC:

By Elias Isquith

Elias Isquith is a former Salon staff writer.

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