Fact checkers fact check Brat on fact-checking

U.S. Rep. Dave Brat, R-7th, official congressional photo.

Washington Post fact-checking columnist Glenn Kessler is calling out U.S. Rep. Dave Brat for misrepresenting his work in a campaign attack ad.

“We don’t normally comment on how people quote our fact checks but this, from @DaveBratVA7th, is TOTALLY False,” Kessler tweeted.

What’s going on?

Kessler checked out an attack ad against Pennsylvania Republican Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, which used a procedural vote to back a claim that he supported eliminating health coverage requirements for people with preexisting conditions.

The Post gave the ad four Pinocchios — their worst rating, noting that Fitzpatrick actually bucked his party, voting against the repeal of Obamacare “specifically because he was concerned about the impact on people with preexisting conditions.”

In the process of checking it out, Kessler noted Virginia’s Abigail Spanberger made similar claims in ads attacking Brat.

But Kessler points out Brat is “much more vulnerable on the issue” because he “voted to repeal the ACA without any replacement — when Barack Obama was president and the repeal votes had no consequences. In theory, those votes were to eliminate the protections.”

Enter Brat, whose campaign saw things differently, issuing a press release and tweeting about Spanberger’s alleged dishonesty: “Today, the Washington Post Fact Checker rated the vote cited in the Spanberger ad on pre-existing conditions 4 Pinocchios — the most dishonest rating they give. They describe statements like these ‘Whoppers.'”

Which brings us back to the beginning, with Kessler fact-checking the way Brat presented his fact check.

“If the Spanberger ad had deserved a rating, it would have received one,” Kessler wrote. “@DaveBratVA7th should delete his tweet and withdraw his misleading news release.”