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Bloggers' claim that Obama's dog flies in his own jet is false

The statement

Obama's dog has "his own plane"

Bloggers, July 17, on conservative blogs

The ruling

Bo, the Obama family's Portuguese water dog, apparently flies in his own private jet. At least, that's the claim that spread through the Internet over the weekend.

"As the rest of us toil on the unemployment line, as millions of Americans find their retirement accounts dwindling, their hours at work cut, and their pay scale trimmed, King Barack and Queen Michelle are flying their little doggie, Bo, on his own special jet airplane for his own little vacation adventure," wrote Warner Todd Houston, a blogger on Publius Forum.

The rumor originated in the Morning Sentinel, a newspaper based in Waterville, Maine. On Saturday, the paper published an account of the first family's visit to Acadia National Park. The reference to Bo was:

"Arriving in a small jet before the Obamas was the first dog, Bo, … and the president's personal aide Reggie Love, who chatted with Baldacci," the article stated. Apparently some people thought that statement meant Bo arrived in his own jet.

Air Force One is usually a Boeing 747, but the Trenton airport runway was too small for the plane, so the Obamas opted for a Gulfstream G3, the article stated. That plane can accommodate up to 19 passengers. To fit everyone in — the president always travels with multiple staffers and aides — the Obamas decided to travel in two smaller airplanes, the second of which carried several White House aides and Bo.

Indeed, the Sentinel article was updated to clarify that there were many other people in the jet that carried Bo.

Katherine Bedingfield of the White House Office of Media Affairs told us that the claim that the dog has his own airplane is "baseless and absurd." During the Maine trip, Bo traveled on a government-owned plane with White House staff.

We figured that at least some of the bloggers were being satirical, but reader comments make it pretty clear that there are those who took this seriously.

So, Bo did arrive in a separate jet than President Obama, but he traveled on a government-owned plane with staffers who didn't fit in the Gulfstream G3 that the first family had to take because of the physical limitations of the Trenton airport runway. We rate this claim False.

Edited for print. For more, go to PolitiFact.com.

Bloggers' claim that Obama's dog flies in his own jet is false 07/22/10 [Last modified: Thursday, July 22, 2010 11:55pm]

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