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March 21, 2013

Fact Checker: Bachmann's Claim That Obama Has '$1.4-Billion-a-Year Presidency

WASHINGTON — "A new book is out talking about the perks and the excess of the $1.4-billion-a-year presidency that we're paying for. And this is a lifestyle that is one of excess. Now we find out that there are five chefs on Air Force One. There are two projectionists who operate the White House movie theater. They regularly sleep at the White House in order to be readily available in case the first family wants a really, really late show. And I don't mean to be petty here, but can't they just push the play button? We are also the ones who are paying for someone to walk the president's dog, paying for someone to walk the president's dog? Now, why are we doing that when we can't even get a disabled veteran into the White House for a White House tour? That isn't caring!"

— Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference, March 16, 2013

During last year's GOP presidential race, Bachmann made so many statements that didn't hold up under fact checking that now just about everything she says needs to be checked and doublechecked before it is reported.

In this case, Bachmann appears to be citing the self-published book "Presidential Perks Gone Royal," by Republican lobbyist Robert Keith Gray, though one wonders whether she actually read the book — which is only 131 pages — or just read a summary that appeared in the Daily Caller, since many of her points are highlighted in the Daily Caller article.

We read the book so that you don't have to. It provides no specific sourcing for any of its claims, though in the back it provides a list of articles and books that presumably the author consulted. He claims that the book is not intended as an attack on President Barack Obama, but only on the imperial trappings of the presidency, though the subtitle of the book is: "Your taxes are being used for Obama's re-election."

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