By Justin Sink
Gingrich, given a chance to respond, flatly denied Bachmann's charges.
"Well, the easiest answer is, that's just not true. What she just said is factually not true. I never lobbied under any circumstance. I never went in and suggested in any way that we do this," Gingrich said. "I think some of those people ought to have facts before they make wild allegations."
It was at this point that Bachmann cited PolitiFact to back up her claims.
"Well, after the debates that we had last week, PolitiFact came out and said that everything that I said was true. And the evidence is that Speaker Gingrich took $1.6 million," Bachmann said. "You don't need to be within the technical definition of being a lobbyist to still be influence-peddling with senior Republicans in Washington, D.C., to get them to do your bidding."
But the group says Bachmann's claim simply isn't true.
"We rated two statements by Bachmann from that debate and ruled one of them Mostly True and the other one Pants on Fire," the organization said in a blog post Friday.
But neither of the statements it evaluated related to Gingrich's work for Freddie Mac. One — rated mostly true — related to Gingrich's advocacy for the individual mandate in healthcare. And the other, that Mitt Romney instituted "socialized medicine" in Massachusetts, was rated as untrue.
"Neither of the two items we checked addressed the subject at hand — Gingrich’s work for Freddie Mac, what he thinks of Freddie Mac today, or whether Gingrich was ever a lobbyist," PolitiFact wrote.
The moment was the first of a continued spat between the two candidates that clearly hit nerves on both sides. Later, Bachmann accused Gingrich of supporting partial-birth abortion, prompting Gingrich to say that "sometimes Congressman Bachmann doesn't get her facts very accurate."
Bachmann, in an impassioned rebuttal, denounced Gingrich's dismissal.
"I think it's outrageous to continue to say over and over through the debate that I don't have my facts right. When as a matter of fact, I do. I'm a serious candidate for president of the United States. And my facts are accurate," Bachmann said.