Morning Poll: Is Senator Jon Kyl's Excuse Over "Factual Statements" Satisfactory?
Senator Jon Kyl issued a statement yesterday apologizing for his attempt to redefine lying by following a lie with the disclaimer that his statement was not "intended to be a factual statement."
The senator has been the butt of countless jokes by late-night talk show hosts, such as Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert -- as well as New Times readers.
In Kyl's statement, his D.C. press secretary, Ryan Patmintra, is thrown under the bus, and takes responsibility for the claim that Kyl inflating the amount of abortions performed by Planned Parenthood by about 87 percent was "not intended to be a factual statement."
"Senator Kyl misspoke when he incorrectly cited a statistic on the Senate floor last week regarding Planned Parenthood," Patmintra says in statement first obtained by the Arizona Republic. "Rather than simply state that in response to a media inquiry, I responded that his comment was not intended to be a factual statement; a comment that, in retrospect, made no sense. Senator Kyl neither saw nor approved that response."
Kyl went further in the statement to maintain that he didn't lie about the statistics, but rather cited a study about Planned Parenthood's abortion statistics incorrectly.
Last week on the Senate floor, I incorrectly stated that well over 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does is perform abortions. I was referring to a statistic that I had read in a report by the Chiaroscuro Foundation, but I later found that I had incorrectly cited the report. It said that '98 percent of Planned Parenthood's services to pregnant women (abortion, adoption, and prenatal care) are abortion.' That statistic was also cited by a former director of a Planned Parenthood clinic in a recent column. My error was in failing to qualify that it related only to pregnant women. I regret the error. However, regardless of the number, I believe it is still fair to question whether taxpayers should continue to subsidize Planned Parenthood, thereby freeing up its resources to provide abortion services."
Frankly, we'd prefer -- just once -- for a politician to just come out and say "yep, I lied. It may have been inadvertent, but it was a lie. I'm sorry."
But we want to know what you think: Is Kyl's apology for lying on the floor of the U.S. Senate satisfactory?
Cast your vote below.
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