On NBC's Meet the Press, Bachmann Schools Gregory on National Debt

As Congresswoman Michele Bachmann made the point on NBC's Meet the Press on Sunday that the national debt has increased dramatically under President Obama compared to under President Bush, host David Gregory interrupted and attempted to dismiss that fact: "Congresswoman, that just misstates the record....For accuracy, the debt exploded under the Bush administration." [Audio available here]

Bachmann tried to finish her point: "There's no comparison. We're talking-" But Gregory kept interrupting: "...the debt – wait a minute, Congresswoman." Bachmann replied: "David, let me just finish." Gregory claimed: "No, wait a minute. I just want to stop you for accuracy." [View video after the jump]

In reality, Bachmann was making an accurate comparison, which she explained when Gregory finally allowed her to continue: "For accuracy. David, David, then, then let me finish. Do a comparison. I agree with you that there was too much money that was spent under George Bush.  But for the year 2007, the debt for the year was $160 billion. The debt for this last year was about $1 1/2 trillion. That's almost 10 times more in debt than George Bush."

Gregory blamed his continual interruptions on the satellite delay: "Let me just point out, I don't want to appear to be cutting you off. Sometimes the satellite delay can exacerbate that, so I wanted to make sure you could finish your point."


Here is a transcript of the testy December 18 exchange:

10:53AM ET

(...)

MICHELE BACHMANN: When I came into Congress in January of 2007, the country was $8.67 trillion in debt; today it's $15 trillion. Next year it'll be $17 trillion. We're acting like Greece and like Italy, and that's what people are frustrated with. They want us to act like a first world nation, not like what President Barack Obama's doing. He's acting like we're a banana republic. We've got to get our act together and stop spending money that we don't have.

DAVID GREGORY: You're not – I mean, you're seriously calling the United States acting like a banana republic compared to the sort of debt issues that, that the Eurozone countries have had?

BACHMANN: What, what I'm doing is I'm – what I'm doing is saying that what – the decisions that Barack Obama is making is acting like a banana republic. It's absolutely irresponsible what President Obama is doing to get behind measures to, to increase spending to such a level that we're going into debt $1.5 trillion every year. This compares to President George Bush. Back in 2007, our debt for the entire year was $160 billion.

GREGORY: Congresswoman, that just misstates the record.

BACHMANN: Well, we topped that just in the month of November alone.

GREGORY: I mean, the Bush presidency, the-

BACHMANN: There's no comparison. We're talking-

GREGORY: -the, the debt – wait a minute, Congresswoman.

BACHMANN: David, let me just finish.

GREGORY: No, wait a minute. I just want to stop you for accuracy.

BACHMANN: Let me just finish. We're talking-

GREGORY: For accuracy, Congresswoman.

BACHMANN: -we're talking 10 times.
        
GREGORY: For accuracy, the debt exploded under the Bush administration.

BACHMANN: For accuracy. For accuracy. David, David, then, then let me finish. Do a comparison. I agree with you that there was too much money that was spent under George Bush.  But for the year 2007, the debt for the year was $160 billion. The debt for this last year was about $1 1/2 trillion. That's almost 10 times more in debt than George Bush. And just for the month of – for the month of, I think it's November of this year, it was more than the entire year for 2007.  So there's no question that the debt has just skyrocketed under, under President Obama in comparison to George Bush.

GREGORY: Let me just point out, I don't want to appear to be cutting you off. Sometimes the satellite delay can exacerbate that, so I wanted to make sure you could finish your point.      

(...)

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC