WASHINGTON — Rejecting criticism of its latest TV ad, Republican Senate hopeful Tom Cotton plans to keep running the "Farm Bill" message beyond its current ad buy.

WASHINGTON — Rejecting criticism of its latest TV ad, Republican Senate hopeful Tom Cotton plans to keep running the "Farm Bill" message beyond its current ad buy.


"We’ve gotten such great feedback from farmers, taxpayers, and supporters that we’re actually going to increase the size of the ad buy," said David Ray, a spokesman for the Cotton campaign.


The 30-second spot unveiled last week has been slammed by fact checkers for falsely claiming that President Barack Obama had "hijacked" the farm bill and turned it into a food-stamp bill. Cotton did support a farm bill that was stripped of nutrition issues but ultimately voted against the final version that merged farm and food policies.


Factcheck.org wrote that food-stamp funding has been part of the farm bill since 1973.


PolitiFact said that stripping the food-stamp provision from the farm bill was the "more radical step."


And, The Washington Post said the Cotton ad created "a fantasy version of history."


Democrat Mark Pryor’s campaign has hammered Cotton for opposing the farm bill, claiming Cotton voted against the best interest of Arkansas where agriculture accounts for one in six jobs. The state’s major farm associations as well as the rest of the Arkansas delegation in Congress supported the farm bill.


The Pryor campaign hosted a conference call Thursday with several Arkansas farmers who voiced their disappointment with Cotton’s vote and his ad.


Dow Brantley, a farmer from England, Ark., and chairman of the USA Rice Federation, said he was "shocked" that Cotton opposed the farm bill.


"Congressman Cotton was opposed to it from day one. His most recent ad about his reasons to vote ‘no’ were false. It was nothing to do, in my mind, with the president hijacking the food-stamp program," Brantley said.


Jeffrey Hall, a cattleman in Grant County, said Cotton should "pull the ad down" because of its false claims.


"He was listening to the outside groups, like he’s done on many issues," Hall said. "He did that again on this very important issue to Arkansas agriculture."


Cotton defended the ad during a television appearance Thursday in Little Rock on KARK, saying he is "proud" of it and has no plans to take if off the air.


"I don’t think liberal reporters who call themselves fact checkers spent much time growing up on a farm in Yell County growing up with Len Cotton, so I think I know a little bill more about farming than they do," he said.


Cotton said he had voted in favor of a "true farm bill" as well as a bill to reform food stamps, which cleared the House only to face a hostile reception from Senate Democrats and a veto threat from Obama.


"So we don’t have a farm bill, we have a food-stamp bill," Cotton said. "And, it is 80 percent food-stamp spending and nearly $1 trillion of new food stamp spending. That’s how we got a $17 trillion debt, and that’s the kind of thing I went to Washington to try to stop."


Cotton said he would not pull the ad and that he had heard from "farmers all across the state" who are excited about the ad.


"They want the truth to be known that the farm bill really should be called the food-stamp bill," he said.