Michele Bachmann's CPAC Obama blast rated "Four Pinocchios" by the Washington Post
Bachmann, Four Pinocchios-style.
Image by Tatiana Craine
Last month, Michele Bachmann praised herself for being unable to say anything that's untrue.
We told you that was a bunch of B.S at the time. But if you don't want to take it from us, take it from the Washington Post's "Pinocchio Test." It rated Bachmann's blast of President Obama during her recent CPAC speech as "Four Pinocchios," meaning she couldn't have lied any harder if she tried.
Here's what Bachmann said:
"A new book is out talking about the perks and the excess of the $1.4-billion-a-year presidency that we're paying for. And this is a lifestyle that is one of excess. Now we find out that there are five chefs on Air Force One. There are two projectionists who operate the White House movie theater. They regularly sleep at the White House in order to be readily available in case the first family wants a really, really late show. And I don't mean to be petty here, but can't they just push the play button? We are also the ones who are paying for someone to walk the president's dog, paying for someone to walk the president's dog? Now, why are we doing that when we can't even get a disabled veteran into the White House for a White House tour? That isn't caring!"
-- Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference, March 16, 2013
And here's an excerpt from the Post's dissection of that statement's truthiness (it should be noted that the book Bachmann mentions was self-published and didn't cite any specific sources for its claims):
[Former White House aide and author Bradley H. Patterson Jr.] estimated that the cost of running the White House for fiscal year 2008 -- when George W. Bush was president -- was nearly $1.6 billion. About half -- more than $800 million -- related to the Secret Service budget. An additional $271 million was spent on the president's helicopter squadron.
If Bush is a $1.6 billion man, does that make Obama a relative bargain at $1.4 billion?
Seriously, it really depends on what one wants to count, but there appears to be no appreciable difference between Obama's expenses and Bush's expenses.
Patterson, in his sober account of his tally, noted: "This is the office of the chief executive of a $3 trillion government -- a government currently at war, with its security forces on duty, under the chief executive's command, in virtually every corner of the planet."
One by one, the Post then debunks each of Bachmann's claims about the Air Force One chefs, the White House "projectionists," and Obama's dog walker, before concluding:
The modern-day White House is certainly an expensive enterprise, and perhaps Bachmann would be on more solid ground if she had framed her concern about presidential perks in a less partisan manner -- or if a Republican were president.
But there is big difference between "perks and excess" and security necessary to protect the president. So using the broad $1.4 billion figure is fairly misleading in that context.
Moreover, the money spent on the presidency and the so-called perks she describes appear to be no different for Obama than for Bush or other presidents. It's absurd to suggest otherwise.
Since it isn't news to us that Michele likes to make shit up, this latest pack of fibs doesn't come as a surprise. But between Obamacare and the federal budget, we do find it curious that Bachmann couldn't find something more substantial to blast Obama about.
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