Whopper of the Week: George W. Bush
"I got to know Ken Lay when he was the head of the—what they call the Governor's Business Council in Texas. He was a supporter of Ann Richards in my run in 1994 [italics Chatterbox's]. And she had named him the head of the Governor's Business Council. And I decided to leave him in place, just for the sake of continuity. And that's when I first got to know Ken. …"
—President George W. Bush, answering reporters' questions in the Oval Office Jan. 10.
"When Governor Bush—now President Bush—decided to run for the governor's spot, [there was] a little difficult situation—I 'd worked very closely with Ann Richards also, the four years she was governor. But I was very close to George W. and had a lot of respect for him, had watched him over the years, particularly with reference to dealing with his father when his father was in the White House and some of the things he did to work for his father, and so did support him."
—Interview with Enron Chairman Kenneth Lay for Frontline's 2001 documentary, "Blackout: What Caused the Power Crisis in California? And Who's Profiting?"
"In distancing himself from Enron, President Bush said that CEO Kenneth Lay 'was a supporter' of Democrat Ann Richards in his first race for Texas governor in 1994.
"But records and interviews with people involved in the Richards campaign show that he was a far bigger Bush supporter.
"Mr. Lay and his wife gave Mr. Bush three times more money[italics Chatterbox's] than Ms. Richards in their gubernatorial contest, according to a computer-assisted review of campaign finance reports by The Dallas Morning News. … Mr. Bush, a Republican, collected $37,500 from the Lays in his successful bid to unseat the Democratic incumbent, state records show. Ms. Richards received $12,500."
—Wayne Slater, " Lay Gave More To Bush," Dallas Morning News,Jan. 12.
(Submitted by multiple readers.)
Got a whopper? Send it to email@example.com. To be considered, an entry must be an unambiguously false statement paired with an unambiguous refutation, and both must be derived from some appropriately reliable public source. Preference will be given to newspapers and other documents that Chatterbox can link to online.
Timothy Noah is a former Slate staffer. His book about income inequality is The Great Divergence.