Truth Check: Mitchell goes after Stapleton in biggest attack ad of campaign

Truth Check
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DENVER — The Truth Check team has looked at every political television advertisement this cycle from gubernatorial candidates. Now the the Truth Check team is looking at GOP candidate Victor Mitchell's attack ad on Walker Stapleton. 

See some of our previous “Truth Check” segments here.

You can also Read our criteria and standards.

Claim No. 1

Stapleton lied about his record and about Victor Mitchell

Exact quote in ad: “Political insider Walker Stapleton got caught lying about his own record and then he was caught lying about Victor Mitchell"


Reason: While it is true that Stapleton was called out by the Truth Check and other fact checking organizations over claims in his latest commercial about his record, claims about Stapleton attacking Mitchell aren't exactly true. What Mitchell is referring to are attacks by PACs and PACs cannot coordinate with candidates.

Claim No. 2

Stapleton is a Bush family cousin and is receiving money from them 

Exact quote in ad: “Stapleton is a Bush cousin taking big money from the Bush Never-Trump Network"

Verdict: True

Reason: It is true of Stapleton's family ties and the Truth Check has previously documented the Bush donations.

The Truth Check however believes it is important to document that Mitchell did not vote for Donald Trump. We also believe it is important to document Mitchell has hired  a firm connected to the Bush family to produce advertisements. 

Claim No. 3

Stapleton doesn't show up to his job as State Treasurer half the time

Exact quote in ad: "He doesn't show up for half his state job"

Verdict: Misleading

Reason:  It is true the Stapleton has missed more than a fair share of PERA meetings. But the Truth Check believes there is more to the job of State Treasurer than just going to PERA meetings -- and sources confirm he sent deputies in his place on most occasions.

Claim No. 4

Stapleton has committed to giving more tax payer money to CDOT 

Exact quote in ad: "He wants to give CDOT billions more; Victor Mitchell says no; and Vic supports the Trump tax cut agenda while Stapleton wants to spin that money"

Verdict: Misleading

Reason:  This section of the ad is full of several claims and graphics the Truth Check had no choice but to label it misleading. The implication is made that Stapleton supports more tax payer dollars going to CDOT. It is true Stapleton wants to give CDOT more resources; but he is opposed to a tax increase to accomplish that goal. Stapleton has also supported the Trump tax cuts as well. Stapleton has committed to more bonding in the past. Mitchell, for his part, has consistently opposed bonding and new taxes for CDOT. 

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