By Pat Kessler

ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — In Tuesday’s Reality Check, Pat Kessler looked at the promise of cheap gas from Minnesota presidential candidate Michele Bachmann, if she is elected.

Kessler questioned whether it is a promise she — or any — president can ever keep and for that, Kessler got an earful. Or you could say a mailbag-full.

Bachmann is getting a lot of mileage from her promise of cheap gas, if she’s elected president.

“Under President Bachmann, the price of gas will be under $2 a gallon. It will happen,” Bachmann told a political rally in South Carolina last week.

Kessler called that claim “questionable” and “misleading,” and some of viewers were irritated, defending Bachmann.

Wayne emailed that Kessler was “slamming” Bachmann and that he “need to get an education”: (haha, did he really say “need?”)

“Yes, gas could go down to $2 per gallon if we drill for oil and stop the speculators. Try this scenario Pat. There is no correlation between the price of gas and the price of oil. As you can see today oil closed at $85 per barrel and gas is at $3.72 per gallon. And when oil was near $140 per barrel the price of gas again is somewhere between $3.72 per gallon and $4.40 per gallon. Your job is to report facts. That my friend is a fact. Now the real question is WHY???????”

Rich B. called the claim “outrageous” that presidents cannot control the price at the pump:

“Remember when George W. Bush announced a domestic policy on drilling for more oil? What happened? Within months, the cost of a gallon of gasoline was dramatically reduced. Dramatically! Look it up.”

Kessler also received a lot of response from the other side, too.

On Twitter @sheilagreenfield said: “Reality check? No Sir! The plebs won’t stand for reality! It’s a *Dumb as we wanna be culture* a la Tom Friedman.”

Then there’s this: Ray and Ardith W. questioned WCCO’s facts and said “shame” on us for “trying to discredit” Bachmann.

“Nothing like trying to discredit her and her claim. Are you that much of an expert to railroad her like you did? Shame on you, unless you have some other facts that are worth printing,” they wrote.

But when asked what facts they question, this was the response:

“It’s not the facts or ‘doubt’ you convey, but the way you say it that seems irritable.”

Here’s what’s TRUE.

Oil industry experts say there’s not a lot presidents can do to make a rapid impact on oil prices at the pump and the effects from more domestic drilling could take decades.

To check the resources for Kessler’s Reality Check, click here to see the original story.

Comments (61)
  1. Richard in Minneapolis says:

    The U.S. produces only about 9% of the world’s oil. Even if we could increase production by 10% that would bump up our share of the world supply to 9.9%, while we continue to consume about 20% of the world’s production.

    Another thing to consider is that there have been no giant oil finds since the ’60s and these fields are declining in production. Would any new oil finds in the U.S. do more than simply offset the depletion of other fields?

    We are currently in a buyers’ market, and have been since the ’70s. The sellers are the ones with influence – not the buyers, and high priced oil is very much in their national interest. It takes a decade to find a new field and bring it online so that it adds to the available supply. On the other side of the world it takes only a phone call to reduce supply by the corresponding amount.

    Finally, the market is all about supply and demand. Why would any oil producer in their right mind sell oil in the U.S. at a price that will enable $2/gal gasoline when there are other buyers on the world market willing to pay more.

    $2/gal gas is a nobel goal. But it flies in the face of the current oil supply situation and also in the face of basic market theory.

    1. Richard in Minneapolis says:

      “We are currently in a buyers’ market” that should read “sellers market”

      1. Rick PArry with an A for America. says:

        Otolaryngologist and Dermatologist can’t treat Truth Allergies.

        Pat Kessler, please stop telling the truth about MB. Her poor loyal fans are allergic to the truth. They’ve been known to develop some life threatening reactions when confronted with the truth.

        Reactions include but are not limited to:

        Cramps or pain in the abdomen
        Chest discomfort or tightness
        Difficulty breathing
        Difficulty swallowing
        Dizziness or light-headedness
        Fear or feeling of apprehension or anxiety
        Flushing or redness of the face
        Nausea and vomiting
        Swelling of the face, eyes, or tongue
        Hives (especially over the neck and face)
        Nasal congestion
        Watery, red eyes,

        Zyrtec, Allegra, Benadryl, Singulair, Flonase, Sudafed, Clarinex, and Xyzal have proven to be ineffective in treating patients suffering from Truth Allergies.

        In future Reality Checks please provide an explicit warning for those suffering from Truth Allergies at the beginning of the segment, it could save a life.

        1. Tom D says:

          Don’t forget ‘Delayed Backache!!’

        2. meow says:

          R O F L … hilarious post

    2. Jake says:

      Guess he hasn’t heard of North Dakota’s recent finds.

  2. Houdini says:

    How dare Pat Kessler report facts!!

    The Tea Party and its ilk still believe in the tooth fairy, the Easter Bunny and anything that comes out of Michele Bachman’s all-too-often mouth.

    Perhaps Michele will perform miracles if elected, like turning water into gasoline!!!

    1. Minnie says:

      Facts, just like science, are not important to the GOP.

      1. Mouse says:

        Racist much there, Wayne? Unless you previously referred to every President before Mr. Obama as vanilla, then yes, you are racist.

        1. Wayne says:


          Why do liberals such as yourself ALWAYS use the race card. Your dear president has done nothing for 3 years. Except raise the debt ceiling 3 or 4 times and spend more money in 3 years than Bush did in 8 years. Not to mention the amount of people that are now on foodstamps is staggering. The truth hurts. And you need to quit drinking the Kool Aid.

          1. Todd W. Olson says:

            It seems to me, Wayne, based directly upon what you wrote, that you made a point of insulting Obama’s race. It is disingenuous to ridicule the President’s race and then cry foul when someone calls you on it.

      2. COLALEEN says:

        WOW….WHAT A RACIST. He didn’t run it into the ground. The banks did in mid decade well before obama. They created hedge funds in which they would profit more from a borrower who failed to make his house payments. Bush borrow mega bucks just to give us a rebate, along with a tax cut to the rich…who get richer.

      3. meow says:


    2. Redneck Hillbilly says:

      Who cares about gasoline, if she can turn water into beer she has my vote.

      1. JT says:

        Actually, I’d far rather she turn the water into milk, bread, eggs, juice, meat, and veggies. Then my kids could eat their dinners in peace because they won’t see mom going hungry because a fixed income doesn’t provide well enough. As for gasoline…it would be nice not to spend $400 a month for Dad to commute.

  3. Terry says:

    It is a sad day when constituents take any politician at their word! You wouldn’t go and buy a car without doing some research first, would you? Be an informed consumer and constituent. If it sounds to good to be true it probably is.

    1. Bachmann's nuts says:

      But Terry — the gas for that car is gonna be $2.00 a gallon, woo hoo!

  4. Kevin says:

    Conserv woman….attack….attack….attack…..wash….rinse….repeat….

    1. Mouse says:

      If the GOP would offer up an intelligent, intellectual leader, the nature of the attacks would be notably different. It would be about policy rather than the latest gaffe or lies the candidate said. Until the Repubs can convince someone like Kay Bailey Hutchinson to run then nothing changes.

    2. COLALEEN says:

      Conservative is one thing, mentally ill is another….

  5. Angus says:

    I am very happy the media is reporting where Motor Mouth goes off the road to reality and takes a detour into Never-Never land. She attacks, has great sound bytes, and nothing to back up anything she says.

    If she wasn’t such a good Christian (her words) I would think she might be smoking funny cigarettes in the morning. And when did a good Christian mean being nasty to anyone who disagrees with her?

    1. Dave's Not Here says:

      Smoking “funny cigarettes” wouldn’t make her think the bizarre and false things she thinks.

  6. James Eckard says:

    MB is a proud member of the flat earth society. They still do not believe the earth is round as it has not been proven. The sun still revolves around earth, etc blah etc.

  7. who cares says:

    Keep attacking her. Why not preface your attacks with “I get free stuff from the government” the attack her. If you don’t like her, it is because you are one of the half of society that gets a free ride. I don’t care about here oil claim I care that you all seem to think being on the dole is acceptable. Go play your xbox and eat your EBT chips.

    1. reagan says:

      OH YEAH, who cares. Your the SHIZNITZ!! sweet post!

    2. Reality sucks says:

      The thing that attracts certain individuals to Michele is foreign to me. She isn’t bright, so maybe at a level people can relate. She has been ineffective in congress, but people may take that as a fighter that just never wins. Her religious views may attract a certain number but that has nothing to do with state of America. The facts are that she is an intolerant, uninformed, extremist human. She lacks understanding of what this country requires and what the average American is facing. Social issues, fine, she’s consistent in her argument (well, until the presidency has required her to hide from the hard questions). If the tea party thinks she is their answer, they will see their party fade into nothingness. Non-compromising, intolerant, out-of-touch is what I think she is. And that’s putting it nicely for posting purposes.

    3. Sean says:

      You missed all the free stuff that Bachman has received courtesy of the farm

    4. I care says:

      I have no time for Michele Bachman, and I don’t receive any “free stuff from the government” I worked my way through college, no grants, etc. I work a full-time job and don’t have an XBox or an EBT crad. Grow up and get over yourself. If you really don’t care, why are you on this website making stupid comments?

    5. Shan says:

      I earn six figures, take no money from the gov’t other than a tax refund in April, I’m white and have never been arrested. I believe MBach is truly and completely nuts.

      But I do have an XBOX so I suppose my positions don’t count, to racists such as yourself.

    6. Todd says:

      Take a good look kids, when MB gets elected you will all be spelling just like Who cares. But dumb and stupid is what politicians like.

  8. reagan says:

    I’m actually impressed, there is some truth. By the way it is true we all forget way too soon. When oil was $140, fuel prices were $3.75, and still at $83 per barrel we are paying the same. We need more flash mobs, this is complete robbery. Most of our politicians are too gutless to do anything about it. It can be changed don’t let the speculators persuade you.

  9. KLS says:

    You do a good job Pat. You’re not progressive enough for me but I feel you are a balanced reporter. Do not let what the tea-party and the conservative psychos say bother you.

  10. tina says:

    Love her or hate her, she does have stage presence. Notice how when Tim Pawlenty went for his run at it, basically everyone ignored him? But not Michelle. The media loves to rip on her (and rightfully so) but whether you like it or not, she IS a contender.

    I agree with her fiscally conservative views, but on social issues…not so much. I think she would be better off if she removed her “Christian” viewpoints out of her campaign. Apparently, she forgot (among other things) the concept of Separation of Church and State.

    Don’t get me wrong…I do not dislike Obama….I think he had good intentions but could not deliver. And yes, he had a lot to confront from the previous administration, but a truly effective President could have overcame those challenges, but he DIDN’T. This is the whole problem.

    I hoped for Change.

    Now I want my change back.

    1. Reality sucks says:

      Good post, Tina.

    2. Matt says:

      hard to make change when you have so many republicans putting road blocks in your way.

      The problem with the teaparty republicans is they want to cut everything cold turkey. That would only cause problems and damage our country more than Bush ever could.

  11. StraycatStrut says:

    Why $2…. lets get’r back to Pre’67 prices (suggestion of B Obama border issue)… where it was $.35 a gallon. See Democrats do have logic once and awhile. They are not all that dumb as all would think.

  12. frozenrunner says:

    All the wingnuts rip on Kessler as being a liberal. If he were truly biased as a liberal he would be finding anything to praise or good deed that Bachman has done. Surely she is the best candidate, other than maybe Palin, for any Democrat to run against.

    1. Jake says:

      Well, he IS a liberal. Don’t you know what the definition of a liberal is? This guy worked for Garrison Keillor, for cryin’ out loud. What, you think that Keillor is a neo-con?

  13. Jeremy says:

    I love how every time Pat does a reality check, no matter who it is on or what it is about or whether it is for or against the right or the left, then he is barraged by hundreds of emails saying he is pulling it all out of the air and doesn’t have facts. People in society these days never want to be called wrong and when they get told an idea of theirs is not correct it seems like that person feels its a personal attack and they must defend themselves against some sort of “injustice.”

  14. Melissa says:

    Every politician makes empty promises, Michelle is no exception.

  15. mel says:

    One thing I find very interesting is how the media reports on just the conservatives’ outrageous claims and promises; not the democrats’. Things that make you go hmmmmm…

    1. Matt says:

      what claims have the democrats made lately that are outrageous?

      1. Mel says:

        Vice President Biden’s expressed admiration for China’s one-child policy, ie. forced abortions and sterilization. I call that outrageous.

        1. Otto says:

          Admiration is a far cry from endorsing and enacting any outrageous policy. I admire how W was able to not have the bills for his two wars not show up on the budget until he left office. But I hardly endorse such actions and would never enact such idiocy in my personal life. But the guy had some balls to do what he did…no matter how stupid and damaging it turned out to be.

          1. Melissa says:

            @Otto, I have no idea what you’re talking about. The article is about Michelle Bachmans goofy claims. My response is about goofy things democrats say, cause those don’t get reported. I guess I’m just a dumb conservative cause what you said makes no sense to me regarding the topic the rest of us are discussing.

            1. Otto says:

              “Vice President Biden’s expressed admiration…”

              One can admire something without wanting to actually make it happen. The rest of my comment expounds on that thought by what I consider to be one of Bush’s outrageous blunders. If further explanation is necessary, just keep watching Faux News, they can totally confused any issue with their form of ‘entertainment’.

        2. Todd says:

          I don’t, 6 billion little miracles is enough. If you really want facts, the over population of the world is the root of every problem we have. There were 2.7 billion people on the planet in 1957, today there are over 6 billion. How long can the earth sustain all these people?

          And besides, the conservative Christian right is all about forcing people to have babies, but they in no way want to pay for them.

    2. meow says:


      As we humans keep populating versus how our technology takes away jobs and fills our lives with more automation and convenience, we might just see that same policy established here in America. Pick up a National Geographic once in a while and learn about how humans are depleting the earths resources and creating more pollution. The Earth cannot sustain humans at the rate we are populating.

      1. Yup says:

        Like meow said. Very well put.

      2. mel says:

        @ Meow, Do I undestand you correctly? Are you advocating or even defending forced abortions? Are you even pro-women’s rights? Or is it more “economical and environmental” to just kill babies, regardless of whether they are wanted or not? Do you know how the chinese government implements their one-child policy? You should look THAT up, cause I don’t think National Geographic has covered that story. I find it so fascinating that liberal women who are so vocal about protecting women’s rights to do what they want with their bodies, are so silent about a government FORCING a woman, who WANTS her baby, to be strapped down to a table and have her baby sucked out of her womb. Her rights clearly aren’t as important, just as long as she’s not overpopulating the earth.

        @Todd, I actually do support women who choose to carry their babies to term, through financial donations to local non-profits and volunteering. I happen to think that non-profits do a very good job taking care of the needs of people; just my opinion.

  16. kev says:

    Gas should be 2.00 now, oil is tradded at 80.00, but no price drop at the pumps, the time has come to get these oil companys out off us soil, they do not pay taxes anyway, robery, crooks. time for lawmakers to put an end to this now, or there will be riots here in usa. canada, north dakota, utah, have found oil 2 yrs ago, that was the biggest find ever, and have done nothing about it. time to put these oil companys in check, enough of there bs, and put there lawyers in prison where they belong, crooks.

    1. Dave's Not Here says:

      Gas station owners themselves, not Obama, not oil company execs, not rich muslims in the middle east, set gas prices.

      1. JT says:

        Actually Dave, they do not. Gas prices are heavily regulated. For each $3.75 gallon of gasoline sold, the station gets 8-9 CENTS. So when someone comes in with a big SUV and fills it with 20 gallons the sale amounts to about $75 and the station gets a profit of around $1.60. If gas stations were allowed to set their own prices, they would make far more and gasoline would be FAR higher thatn what it is.

  17. truth hurts says:

    If she truly cares about $2/gallon, then why would she wait be to be a President to do something about it. Isn’t she in the Congress? Aren’t Americans suffering? Do something and quit just campaigning?

    Bernie Sanders knows what we need to do…come on Bachman join the Socialist and solve American problems.

    1. Tom D says:

      You are so correct, truth hurts…I would think that single-handedly getting gas down to under $2/gallon would make her, or anyone, a shoe-in for the White House. They’d get my vote.

  18. WILL U Really? says:

    OPEC is licking their chops and praying that America is as dumb as Ms. Bachmann….. because as soon as we drill all OUR oil and destroy our natural resources away…. all OPEC will do is raise their prices to make up the difference. And say thank you very much for playing your last card. The only real solution is to make affordable, functional, & practical electric cars …

    . I suppose the next sound bite promise will be “a chicken in every pot” because she’s smoking it?

  19. Mark says:

    @WILL U Really?

    There are so few on here who “GET IT”, you do get it.

    Why can’t people see that the resource of OIL is a finite resource that has a limited supply. When will we get off our rears and develop an affordable, concise and renewable source that will still allow us to be as mobile a society as we have become?

    If we don’t do it now, will we start the day the last drop has been refined and we are left scratching our heads, saying: “Gee, what do we do now?”

    1. Jake says:

      Well, MARK, when you come up with a great new idea that will make oil obsolete, like an ARC REACTOR, PLEASE SHARE IT WITH US.

  20. Mike says:

    Pat Kessler, YOU ROCK … keep up the great reporting.

  21. Murph says:

    Iowans always did like scare crows like Bachmann it’s good for the crops! Ordinary folk tho would rather have something a little more human and humane that Bachmann ,like Pawlenty before her, lack in many ways!

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