‘Not intended to be a factual statement’

‘NOT INTENDED TO BE A FACTUAL STATEMENT’…. On the Senate floor yesterday, Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), eager to prove that the budget debate wasn’t just about Planned Parenthood, spent some time on the Senate floor going after Planned Parenthood.

“Everybody goes to clinics, to doctors, to hospitals, so on,” Kyl said. “Some people go to Planned Parenthood. But you don’t have to go to Planned Parenthood to get your cholesterol or your blood pressure checked. If you want an abortion, you go to Planned Parenthood, and that’s well over 90% of what Planned Parenthood does.”

That’s not even close to being accurate. Just 3% of the organization’s work is related to terminating pregnancies, while “well over 90% of Planned Parenthood does” relates to preventative health care services.

Yesterday, CNN, to its credit, sought an explanation from the senator about the glaring error. CNN anchor TJ Holmes told viewers:

“We did call [Kyl’s] office trying to ask what he was talking about there. And I just want to give it you verbatim here. It says, ‘his remark was not intended to be a factual statement, but rather to illustrate that Planned Parenthood, a organization that receives millions of dollars in taxpayer funding, does subsidize abortions.'”

Indeed, Kyl’s office shared this identical line with other outlets.

As political spin goes, this is a true gem. Kyl said abortion is “well over 90% of what Planned Parenthood does” — a blatant lie — and when called on it, his defense is that his remarks on the Senate floor were “not intended to be a factual statement.” What an amazing way to justify all bogus claims — just make stuff up, and if anyone notices that you’re not telling the truth, simply explain that your nonsense was “not intended to be a factual statement.”

Quick follow up for Jon Kyl: how are we to know which of his arguments are “intended to be factual,” and which aren’t? Perhaps he can start letting us know in advance?