Political Ads Put To Truth Test

In person at public events, they're on friendly terms, but you'd never guess by watching their recent TV ads.

First came an attack ad from Democratic incumbent, Max Sandlin: "Max Sandlin says we should put trade sanctions on China now to end unfair trade practices that steal our jobs. It's the law. But Louie Gohmert says no. We can wait. That's a policy for a weaker economy. And that's a policy for a weaker America."

Then came Republican challenger, Louie Gohmert's, response: "Sandlin says he'll protect American jobs, but he voted five times to give China most favored nation trade status. Sandlin even voted against tax relief for families and small businesses."

If you look closely at the text, you can actually see which votes Gohmert's ad is referring to. So we looked up Sandlin's voting record, and in fact, the ad is correct.

But Sandlin says it's misleading: "All of those votes had open markets to China, but they also had sanctions."

"He voted to give China favored nation status when people he didn't think were watching," Gohmert said.

"My opponent has never said that he supports sanctions or protecting those jobs," Sandlin said. "He won't say that because he doesn't."

"To have somebody so unscrupulous, as to run a commercial that puts my name on a Chinese Communist flag, tells you more about the character of my opponent than about anything else," Gohmert said.

Gohmert accuses Sandlin of flip-flopping like fellow Democrat John Kerry: voting for tax cuts, then voting against them, then last week, voting for them again.

Sandlin's response: "Having tax relief to create further deficits and debt in this country at a time when we have record deficits and debt is irresponsible. But every time I've had the opportunity to make those individual votes, I've done it."

"He believes a good time for tax relief is when everybody's watching and when he has a strong opponent," Gohmert said. "A bad time for tax relief is all the rest of the time."

Perhaps the most memorable parts of Gohmert's response ad were the men he compared Sandlin to: "Seen Max Sandlin's negative ads? They've got more holes than a CBS news story by Dan Rather."

According to the Associated Press, Gohmert's political ad is believed to be the first in the country using the beleaguered news anchor. However, comparisons to presidential candidates is not new.

"No wonder he supports John Kerry," Gohmert's ad said.

"No matter who is the President, I'm going to support them when they're right, oppose them when they're wrong," Sandlin said.

Just five weeks until Election Day, you're likely to see more mud-slinging by each candidate, as they dig up more dirt on each other.

Julie Tam, reporting.