Thursday, October 30th, 2014

A PolitiFact farewell to Michele Bachmann

Michele Bachmann's report card (this one is from our iPhone/iPad app) shows 59 percent of her ratings have been False or Pants on Fire.
Michele Bachmann's report card (this one is from our iPhone/iPad app) shows 59 percent of her ratings have been False or Pants on Fire.

When rumors began circulating this morning that Michele Bachmann was dropping out of the presidential race after placing sixth in the Iowa caucuses, someone named @LOLGOP posted this on Twitter:

"Michele Bachmann to drop out; in response, @Politifact to lay off a dozen staffers."

We rate that False -- we don't have any plans for layoffs! -- but it's fair to say Bachmann has kept the Truth-O-Meter busy.

As we noted in our report card on the Republican candidates last week, Bachmann has the most ratings on the false end of the scale, with 72 percent Mostly False or lower. She also ranks first for the largest share of Pants on Fire ratings (23 percent).

Consider her record another way: Nearly 60 percent of Bachmann's ratings have been either False or Pants on Fire.

As far as we know, Bachmann never complained about her PolitiFact record. When she was asked about it on CNN, CBS’ Face the Nation and ABC’s Good Morning America, she would usually just change the subject and attack President Barack Obama.

She even cited her PolitiFact ratings when Newt Gingrich challenged her facts at a Dec. 15, 2011, debate. She said that at a previous debate, "PolitiFact came out and said that everything I said was true."

Alas, that claim was not true.

At a news conference this morning in which she repeated her criticisms of "Obamacare" and noted that Obama's policies were "based on socialism,"  Bachmann said she "has decided to stand aside" from the presidential race.

She emphasized: "I didn't tell you what I knew to be false."

She pledged, however, that "I will continue to be a strong voice."

We don't know what Bachmann will do next, but she will be a member of Congress through the end of the year, and we expect we'll continue to hear from her -- and put her claims to the Truth-O-Meter.