Sen. Mark Pryor’s campaign says a new ad from the Tom Cotton campaign presents a misleading picture of Pryor’s record on immigration legislation. Of course it does.
The nub of the Cotton ad is this snippet of a quote from a recent TV interview by Pryor:
“We have a much more secure border than we did 10 years ago.”
The Pryor campaign produces the full quote after he was asked on KARK’s Capitol View about border security, with emphasis on the snip and a sentence immediately after:
“Yeah. Well, you know what? We do need to worry about our border. Now, we’ve spent more on border security, starting in 2004 we’ve ramped up border security. We have a much more secure border today than we did 10 years ago. It’s not perfect and we all know that we need some work there. The other thing about this issue is we can focus on the border and that’s obviously very important. But we also need to focus on the humanitarian crisis and why this is going on. And the truth is that these countries in, uh, what I would call Latin America, Central America, um, Honduras, Guatemala, Costa Rica, some of these countries, I think those 3 countries, if I remember my statistics right, they have, those 3 countries have like 5, 3 of the top 5 murder rates in the entire world in those countries. Children, parents feel like their children aren’t safe. There’s a ton of lawlessness, rape, all, drugs, lots of problems there. And the reason they’re coming here is partly because they’re being snookered by some organized crime people who say hey, if you get your children into the United States they can’t kick them out. They’ll stay. That’s not true. We will kick them out and we will return them. And I do support this effort to speed up the process and get them back.
There’s more in the Pryor news release of Pryor distancing himself from the Obama administration and pointing to his votes for stronger border measures. It helps you understand why Cotton is so careful about avoiding giving quotes to reporters himself on unscripted topics.
I think Politifact would likely agree with the Pryor assertion that the Cotton ad is “astonishingly misleading.”