Bachmann’s CPAC speech gets fact-checking blowback

WASHINGTON – After shunning the media spotlight for months, Michele Bachmann’s speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference has gotten plenty of media attention. The problem is, it’s the not the kind of attention the 6th District Congresswoman was probably hoping for.

Proving once again that Bachmann’s words are a full-employment act for professional fact checkers, Glenn Kessler of the Washington Post did a rare back-to-back fact check of two of Bachmann’s statements from the speech, giving both his worst “four Pinocchio” rating.

One claim centered around accusations that President Barack Obama was living an excessively lavish lifestyle in the White House on the government’s dime claiming, for example, that the White House has a staffer dedicated to walking Obama’s dog, Bo. Not true, found Kessler, whose work suggests that the majority of the $1.4 billion spent annually on the White House goes to Secret Service protection and the presidential helicopter squadron.

“Moreover,” Kessler continued, “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.”

Bachmann’s second claim was that 70 cents of every dollar spent on the food stamp program, “goes to benefit the bureaucrats in Washington, D.C.”

Again, Kessler found the claim false, with budget documents showing that less than 6 percent of the program’s spending goes to bureaucratic overhead.

“[T]here really aren’t enough Pinocchios for such misleading use of statistics in a major speech,” concluded Kessler.

Then, CNN found Bachmann in a Capitol hallway and tried to engage her on the claim’s about Obama’s lifestyle. Bachmann refused, instead insisting that correspondent Dana Bash was focusing on trivialities rather than Bachmann’s criticism of Obama’s response to the Benghazi, Libya terror attacks.