U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, a tea party favorite, has a knack for making eyebrow-raising statements that the media loves to quote. Sometimes, though, those statements veer away from verifiable fact.
Take, for instance, PolitiFact's first fact-check of Bachmann, back in 2009. She issued a press release claiming that then-Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was considering abandoning the U.S. dollar. "Bachmann Demands Truth: Will Obama Administration Abandon Dollar for a Multi-National Currency?" We rated the claim False.
Bachmann later made opposing President Barack Obama's health care law one of her signature issues. She said the law banned private health insurance after a "date certain," even naming the page number of the bill that contained the clause. We checked page 92, though, and found Bachmann was wrong. Pants on Fire!
She had a remarkable streak: Her first 13 ratings were False or Pants on Fire.
Bachmann went on to compete in the 2012 Republican primary for president.
When a question was raised about her veracity, Bachmann cited our work during one of the many Republican presidential debates. "After the debate that we had last week, PolitiFact came out and said that everything I said was true," she said in Sioux City, Iowa, on Dec. 15, 2011.
Alas, she was totally wrong. In fact, the week before we had rated her statement that Mitt Romney instituted "socialized medicine" in Massachusetts as Pants on Fire.
Also during the presidential race, Bachmann made the surprising claim that a vaccine to protect against human papilloma virus, or HPV, caused mental retardation. Scientists said there was no evidence for that. We rated it False.
Bachmann's record on the Truth-O-Meter skews toward the red. We've rated 15 statements Pants on Fire, 21 False, 8 Mostly False, 6 Half True, 4 Mostly True and 5 True.
Read them all at PolitiFact.com.