It is becoming standard in politics now — the “not intended to be a factual statement” statement. If you don’t like something, just lie about it, because the media will not call you on it.
Here’s just the latest example. Today, Michele Bachmann appeared on Fox News Sunday. Chris Wallace asked her about the accusations that she and her husband received government handouts for the family farm and for her husband’s counseling clinic. Bachmann responded that the farm was owned by her father-in-law “And my husband and I have never gotten a penny of money from the farm.”
Well, except that Bachmann’s own financial disclosure forms show that she has received tens of thousands of dollars — and probably hundreds of thousands — from the farm (disclosure forms do not show exact amounts). I guess she isn’t technically lying because that isn’t “a penny”, it’s more like ten million pennies.
She also claimed that the $30,000 to her husband’s clinic was for employee training, and that she or her husband had not benefited from the money. So, the clinic’s employees receiving free training from the government doesn’t benefit them? Seriously?
At the end of the softball interview, Wallace asked whether she was a “flake” because of a “history of questionable statements” and “gaffes”. A clearly irritated Bachmann responded “I think that would be insulting, to say something like that, because I’m a serious person.” I guess if you can’t respond with a good lie, the next best thing is to act insulted.
Or if you can’t do that, then deflect. On Face the Nation, Bachmann was asked about the farm subsidies, and she responded that the public should be more outraged about the increase in limousine usage under Obama.
It is going to be an interesting election.
UPDATE: The Washington Post declares that Bachmann is the Republican candidate to watch … for inaccuracies. My favorite one is her claiming that John Wayne was from her hometown, saying “that’s the kind of spirit that I have, too.” Unfortunately, she got the name wrong — it was serial killer John Wayne Gacy Jr. who lived in her hometown. No word yet on that kind of spirit.