…and the re-election lies start fresh!

You don’t have to take our word for it — PolitiFact has fact-checked yet another ridiculous claim by Michele Bachmann. The claim: President Obama’s trip to India is going to cost taxpayers $200 million a day. Think about that number! Then think about how the public would even know about that number.

PolitiFact did, and rated the claim “False.”

Actually it’s a figure that came from just one source, a news agency in India, relying on an anonymous source. It was then repeated thousands more times in the blogosphere and over conservative airwaves.

The claim that the U.S. would be spending “a whopping $200 million per day” on Obama’s visit to Mumbai, India, originated in a report from the news agency Press Trust of India. It was an estimate attributed anonymously to “a top official of the Maharashtra Government privy to the arrangements for the high-profile visit.” Maharashtra is a state located in western India.

Now it’s true that overseas travel by presidents can be expensive, said Kelley Gannon, who worked on the press advance team for George H. W. Bush and was director of press advance for George W. Bush. “You have to re-create a mini White House.”

But pegging an exact cost has long been an elusive task for news reporters.

“I think you have to ask, ‘How would they know how much any of this costs?'” said Gannon, the advance press director under George W. Bush “We don’t share that with officials from foreign governments. I’d question where they got that number from. That does sound very inflated.”

But it happens to serve the purposes of the conservative media, which rarely lets common sense get in the way of bashing the president.

This “False” rating keeps Bachmann’s perfect score — of never telling the truth on any claim reviewed by PolitiFact — intact.


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