Republican senate candidate Rep. Tom Cotton’s (R., Ark.) campaign is pushing back on Sen. Mark Pryor’s (D., Ark.) claim that Cotton once worked for insurance companies, asking Pryor to remove the allegation from his website.
Pryor’s website states that Cotton "was a Washington insider working for insurance companies and corporate special interests."
This claim was repeated in an ad by the Democratic Senate Majority PAC, which earned the PAC "four Pinocchios" by Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler.
"This attack ad attempts to connect the dots: Rep. Tom Cotton made a fortune working for insurance companies, the story goes, and so he would happily do their bidding as Republicans dismantle Medicare," wrote Kessler on Tuesday. "The problem is that these dots are as phony as a three-dollar bill."
The Senate Majority PAC said it based its claim on Cotton’s career as a management consultant for McKinsey and Company. However, Kessler noted that Cotton was part of a team of advisers that worked across multiple industries.
Cotton’s former boss at the firm also told Kessler that Cotton did not work with any insurance company clients.
"None of the allegations made about Cotton or his policies are factually correct," Kessler said. "In straining to somehow tie Cotton to insurance companies, Senate Majority PAC has managed to turn a job that Democrats might celebrate (developing a better functioning government program!) into a negative."
Despite the pushback from fact-checkers, the Senate Majority PAC said it will continue to run the ad.
Cotton’s campaign said on Thursday that the line of attack "originated on Pryor’s campaign website."
"If Senator Pryor has a shred of integrity, he'll take down this discredited lie from his website and apologize to the voters he has misled with these false accusations," Cotton campaign manager Justin Brasell said in a statement.
The claim remained on Pryor’s website as of Thursday. The Pryor campaign did not immediately return request for comment.