Rep. Bachmann Spreads "Permanent Bailout" Lie, Calls Wall Street Reform "Thuggish"

April 20, 2010 11:42 am ET — Matt Finkelstein

Last night on Fox News, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) joined the chorus of Republican lawmakers spreading misinformation on Wall Street reform.  In an interview with host Sean Hannity, Bachmann repeated the false talking point that the pending bill represents a "permanent bailout" of the big banks.  Bachmann also characterized the plan as a "government takeover" and "thuggish."

BACHMANN: The main thing right now really is the government takeover of private industry and we're seeing that in one sector after another. And the worst is this new financial regulation bill where the federal government wants to decide who will get credit in the future of the United States.

They want to decide what a bank teller in Peoria, Illinois will make and they also want to give permanent bailout authority to the federal government and bypass Congress. That is the federal government coming in in a real thuggish way, if you will, and taking over the boardrooms of private industry.

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In January, pollster Frank Luntz wrote a strategy memo encouraging Republicans to associate Wall Street reform with bailouts.  After powwowing recently with Wall Street executives, several Republican leaders have adopted the deceptive language -- which has been rebutted by a variety of sources, including conservative officials. 

On the Senate floor yesterday, Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) said the plan "is anything but a bailout." Similarly, Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) has called his colleagues' rhetoric "over the top." Sheila Bair, the Republican head of the FDIC, has noted that "the status quo is bailouts" and this bill "makes them impossible."

Read our complete fact check of the "permanent bailout" lie HERE

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