Michele Bachmann: A Fact Checker’s dream
Posted by Glenn Kessler
The announcement that Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) is not seeking reelection will leave the Capitol a much less interesting place to fact check. As one of our colleagues put it, “The entire fact checking industry may have to hold a national day of mourning.”
Bachmann is not just fast and loose with the facts; she is consistently and unapologetically so. No other lawmaker earned as high a percentage of Four-Pinocchio ratings as Bachmann — and she earned an average of more than Three Pinocchios as a presidential candidate. Thus she provided a window into the no-holds-barred politics that has come to characterize modern-day Washington.
Just this year, she has earned four Four-Pinocchio ratings. Below are links to those columns — as well as a round-up of her worst campaign-related comments. Click on the headline to read the full column.
‘Barack Obama has a $1.4 billion-a-year presidency of perks and excess’
Bachmann claimed that President Obama spent $1.4 billion on perks in the White House. But most of this money was for Secret Service protection and helicopters — and Obama’s spending appeared to be lower than that for George W. Bush.
[This garnered four Pinnocchios]
‘70 percent of food stamps go to bureaucrats’
Bachmann claimed that 70 percent of the food stamp budget went to Washington bureaucrats. This turned out to be an extreme misinterpretation of the data. The actual amount of the food stamp budget that goes to the “bureaucrats” who manage the program is less than one-third of 1 percent. Even counting all administrative expenses only adds up to 6 percent.
‘I voted against the sequester bill because of cuts to the poor’
This was an odd bit of revisionist history. She did vote against the law that established the sequester, but because she said it did not cut spending enough. She began to express concerns about the impact on the poor only after the sequester kicked in.
‘The most personal, sensitive, intimate, private health-care information is in the hands of the IRS’
Bachmann leaped onto the bash-the-IRS bandwagon with this false claim that the tax agency would have control of personal health-care information as a result of President Obama’s health-care law. But no data would be stored in any sort of database, as she claimed.
‘I don’t think I said anything inaccurate in the debates’
After Bachmann patted herself on the back for her debate performance, we produced this round-up of her major-league errors.
The recent release of internal governmental e-mail show that there was no cover-up intended by the edits.
To review the news article discussing this development, go to: http://theweek.com/article/index/244161/new-white-house-email-proof-there-was-no-benghazi-cover-up
Thanks for the clarification.
Video of Stephen Colbert on a Tennessee misunderstanding: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2013/04/01/stephen-colbert-on-a-tennessee-misunderstanding-video/?wpisrc=nl_politics
It is very significant that Mitt Romney only garnered 27% of the Hispanic vote. Given that they are one of the fastest growing segments of voters, that does not bode well for Republicans vying for the Presidency in the future.
Poll shows widespread support for raising taxes on the wealthy: http://www.businessweek.com/ap/2012-12-06/poll-shows-support-for-raising-taxes-on-the-rich
It will be interesting to see if Clay draws a cartoon relating to the DREAM Act - lite proposed legislation prepared by Republican Senators Kyl and Hutchinson. That move undoubtedly represents some self-reflection among Republicans about the dismal percentage of Hispanics who voted for Romney.
If you'd like to read about the bill, go to: http://abcnews.go.com/ABC_Univision/Politics/republican-senators-introduce-alternative-dream-act-bill/story?id=17820394#.ULVNUeTEZJE
The professional political progrnosticators give President Obama between a 75 and 80 percent chance of being re-elected. Nate Silver, who writes the influential five-thiry-eight blog put it this way. The odds of President Obama winning a bigger victory in the electoral college in 2012 than he did in 2008 are essentially the same as the odds of Romney winning the Presidency.
That makes sense. Thanks.
I'm sorry to be so dense, but I can't fathom the cryptic message embedded in today's cartoon. Could somebody please clarify it for me?