“There are a lot of things I wish I would have said differently,” said Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., in a Sunday appearance on Face the Nation,referring to her 2008 remarks suggesting that then-presidential candidate Barack Obama holds “anti-American” views. Bachmann has been prone to gaffes--the latest being Monday's embarrassing mix-up over John Wayne's birthplace. And her signature outspokenness, which has made her popular as a tea party speaker and a magnet for campaign contributions, could prove to be a double-edged sword. Here are five statements that may come back to haunt her as she begins her presidential campaign.
The Gaffe Heard 'Round the World
During her first campaign-inspired trip to New Hampshire, Bachmann told a crowd in Manchester, “You’re the state where the shot was heard around the world at Lexington and Concord.” Her comment was just the latest in a series of flubs about U.S. history, including one that insisted the Founders abolished slavery.
In 2009, she stated perhaps her most notorious claim to date, when she accused President Obama of running a “gangster government.” Bachmann stood by her comment as recently as March.
Since her stint as a Minnesota state senator, Bachmann has been a vocal opponent of gay marriage. In 2004, she decried the popular movie The Lion King as an opportunity for gay propaganda. Elsewhere, she has said: “If you’re involved in the gay and lesbian lifestyle, it’s bondage. It is personal bondage, personal despair, and personal enslavement.”
'Armed and Dangerous'
Spring-boarding off her 2008 comments in which she labeled global warming “voodoo, nonsense, hokum, a hoax,” Bachmann said in a radio interview the following year that she wants Minnesotans “armed and dangerous” on the issue of energy taxes. It's the kind of rhetoric that has become controversial in the wake of the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz.
Waving the Bloody Wrist
At a Capitol Hill rally against President Obama’s health care legislation in 2009, she said: “What we have to do today is make a covenant, to slit our wrists, be blood brothers on this thing. This will not pass. We will do whatever it takes to make sure this doesn’t pass.”