An obvious question about Michele Bachmann is why would a presidential candidate make untrue statements that are so easy to disprove? What is that about?
Rep. Michele Bachmann is quickly turning into a one-person, full-employment act for fact-checking reporters.
Just Tuesday during a CNN interview, Bachmann made statements in which she demonstrably misstated or stretched the truth.
The irony was that much of what American Morning anchor Kiran Chetry focused on in the interview was the negative impact Bachmann's penchant for misstatement was having on her run for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.
For instance, in an apparent attempt to make her emergence on the national stage seem even more spectacular than it already is, she said:
"Again, we just got into the race yesterday and according to national polls, they are finding we are second in the race, which we're very excited about..." (It's at about the one minute mark of the video.)
Bachmann, of course, has been in the race for months. On Monday what she did was make a formal announcement in Waterloo, Iowa. But Bachmann has been working the state hard since January in all the ways you'd expect of someone who's running.
Also, two weeks ago she had her strong showing at the Republican presidential debate in St. Anselm College in New Hampshire which spurred a wave of free national media. At that June 13 debate, she said she filed her presidential campaign paperwork that very day.
Her statement also makes it sound like she's in second place in national polls behind Romney. She's actually in second place in Iowa. Big difference. And as Chetry noted, Bachmann is at the back of the pack in New Hampshire, polling at 4 percent, behind former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani who isn't even officially in the race.
At the 3:23 point in the video of the CNN interview, comes another Bachmann statement that is easily disproven:
"President Obama said himself in February 2009 if he can't turn the economy around by the third year of his presidency, that he should be a one-term president. I agree with him."
Unfortunately for Bachmann, that's not what he said. What Obama actually said in his interview with NBC's Matt Lauer was:
"I will be held accountable. I've got four years and a year from now, I think people are going to see that we're starting to make some progress, but there's still going to be some pain out there. If I don't have this done in three years, then there's going to be a one-term proposition. "
Obama didn't say he was or would be making that proposition. He clearly isn't. He's running for re-election, after all.
He was simply acknowledging that it's harder for a president to be re-elected when unemployment is high and other economic indicators are unfavorable.
It was his Republican opposition that would be making that proposition that he should be a one-termer. And so they are.
An obvious question: Why would a presidential candidate make statements so easy to disprove? What is that about?
Adding to her reputation for bending or downright ignoring facts, Glenn Kessler at the Washington Post examined statements Bachmann made over the last few days. He wound up awarding her two Pinocchios, meaning many of the statements he looked at were problematic.
Also on Tuesday, in an interview with George Stephanopoulos on Good Morning America she stood by her statement that the Founding Fathers worked "tirelessly" to end slavery. They didn't, of course.
No one who is a serious student of American history, as one might expect a major party presidential candidate and member of Congress to be, can say that with a straight face. But that didn't appear to matter to her.