Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann is retiring from Congress, but she's leaving behind a treasure trove of red-meat rhetoric that got her in political trouble. Here's a look at five of her most memorable sound bites.
1. Bachmann mixed up John Wayne with a serial killer. Bachmann sapped some of the buzz surrounding the announcement of her presidential campaign when she confused serial killer John Wayne Gacy with John Wayne, the actor. Bachmann chose Waterloo, Iowa, her hometown, to kick off her bid and told a Fox News reporter that she had the same spirit as Wayne, the actor, who she claimed was also from the Black Hawk County town. The problem was that Wayne wasn't from Waterloo. But Gacy was.
"Well what I want them to know is just like John Wayne was from Waterloo, Iowa. That's the kind of spirit that I have, too," Bachmann told a Fox News reporter.
2. Her McCarthy moment. Bachmann called for the media to report exposes about members of Congress who hold anti-American views. During an interview with MSNBC's Chris Matthews, Bachmann criticized then-presidential candidate Barack Obama for his association with pastor Jeremiah Wright and activist Bill Ayers, saying those relationships implied Obama could hold anti-American views. Asked if she thought other members of Congress might hold the same view, she said she wanted to find out.
"What I would say is that the news media should do a penetrating expose and take a look. I wish they would," Bachmann said. "I wish the American media would take a great look at the views of the people in Congress and find out, are they pro-America or anti-America. I think people would be -- would love to see an expose like that."
3. Her shot heard around the presidential campaign. Bachmann mistakenly implied the Revolutionary War began in New Hampshire while speaking to a group of Republicans in March 2011. "You're the state where the shot was heard around the world in Lexington and Concord." Those shots were fired in Massachusetts, not New Hampshire. Bachmann later admitted her mistake but criticized the media for concentrating on the gaffe.
"I made a mistake; I should've said Massachusetts rather than New Hampshire. We all know that there's a double standard in the media," she said, according to The Hill. "Only if a conservative makes a misstep is it considered interesting."
4. She trumpeted non-existent health risks over a vaccine. She criticized Gov. Rick Perry for signing an executive order that mandated schools administer the HPV vaccine to girls. At the September 2011 debate in Tampa, Fla., Bachmann said the vaccine "can have very dangerous side effects," and cast Perry's order as a violation of liberty. The American Academy of Pediatrics rebuffed Bachmann's statement, saying her statement lacked scientific validity, according to CBS News.
"I'm a mom of three children," Bachmann said during the debate in Tampa, Florida. "And to have innocent little 12-year-old girls be forced to have a government injection through an executive order is just flat out wrong."
5. Longstanding culture warrior. Bachmann took a hard line against gay marriage, saying being "involved in the gay and lesbian lifestyle" amounts to "personal bondage, personal despair and personal enslavement," during a speech in 2004 when she was still a state senator. She also lamented the culture that leads to people accepting homosexuality.
"Today under 'Will and Grace,' the attitude is, 'hey, I'm gay, so what?'" Bachmann said. "It's the apathy factor that's set in."
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