This is another in our series of regular quarterly updates of key statistical indicators of the Obama presidency. Our intent is to provide accurate measures of what’s changed — for better or worse — since Obama first took office in January 2009.
Rep. Michele Bachmann used misleading and at times wildly inaccurate portrayals of two key domestic and foreign policy issues — food stamps and the response to an attack on a U.S. consulate in Libya — to paint President Obama as someone who doesn’t “care.”
Her account of the White House response to the Benghazi attack included unsubstantiated claims, distortions of omission and outright factual errors, including the bogus claim that Glen Doherty “defied orders” to help colleagues under attack.
Q: Do 11 states now have more people on welfare than they have employed?
A: A viral email making this claim is off base. It distorts a Forbes article that compares private-sector workers with those “dependent on the government,” including government workers and pensioners, and Medicaid recipients — not just “people on welfare.”
Mitt Romney claims President Barack Obama caused a doubling of able-bodied persons on food stamps by taking “work out of the food stamps requirement.” That’s an exaggeration. All but four states had already received waivers from specific work requirements for some or all of their residents before Obama became president.
The total number of persons getting food stamps is up 46 percent since Obama took office, a big jump but far short of a doubling. Romney is referring only to single,
Newt Gingrich claims that “more people have been put on food stamps by Barack Obama than any president in American history.” He’s wrong. More were added under Bush than under Obama, according to the most recent figures.
The former speaker made that claim Jan. 16 in a Republican debate in Myrtle Beach, S.C., and his campaign organization quickly inserted the snippet in a new 30-second TV ad that began running Jan. 18 in South Carolina.
Gingrich would have been correct to say the number now on food aid is historically high.
Republican Newt Gingrich mistakenly claimed on "Meet the Press" that a U.S. helicopter involved in the Osama bin Laden raid "was shot down." There’s no evidence of that. U.S. officials say it crash landed and was destroyed by Navy SEALs. Gingrich also was wrong to say Pakistan’s intelligence chief did not apologize for "failing to find" bin Laden. He may not have apologized to Gingrich or the U.S. public, but he did apologize to the Pakistani Parliament.
Q: Does an illegal immigrant in Florida get $1,500 a month for each of her eight children?
A: No. Illegal immigrants don’t qualify for welfare or food stamps. A chain e-mail from a “disabled Vietnam vet” is full of misinformation.