Michele Bachmann brushes off Hurricane Irene joke
Tuesday 30 August 2011
Republican White House hopeful Michele Bachmann insisted yesterday she was joking when she said a hurricane and quake were God's warning to Washington, in an effort to control the damage from her latest controversial comments.
The Tea Party favorite raised eyebrows with a weekend remark to supporters in Florida that Hurricane Irene, which killed at least 24 people and left millions without power, and an East Coast earthquake were God's way of telling US politicians to cut spending and fix the budget deficit.
"I don't know how much God has to do to get the attention of the politicians. We've had an earthquake; we've had a hurricane. He said, 'Are you going to start listening to me here?'" Bachmann said at a campaign event in Sarasota on Sunday.
"Listen to the American people because the American people are roaring right now. They know government is on a morbid obesity diet and we've got to rein in the spending," she said.
Bachmann, among the top three candidates seen to have a chance to win the Republican nomination and take on President Barack Obama next year, made similar comments elsewhere in Florida on Saturday, drawing some laughs from her audience.
When the remarks began drawing wide attention, she went into some damage control.
"Of course I was being humorous when I said that. It would be absurd to think it was anything else," Bachmann said yesterday on a campaign stop in Miami.
"I am a person who loves humour, I have a great sense of humour," she said.
The hurricane drenched Vermont and caused the worst flooding in the state for 80 years. The 5.8 magnitude earthquake, a rare occurrence on the East Coast, shook up Washington and did minor damage to the Capitol building and Washington Monument.
Many comments by Bachmann, a Minnesota congresswoman, have come under scrutiny since she surged toward the head of the Republican election race over the summer.
During her campaign roll-out in June, she declared that iconic American actor John Wayne was from her hometown of Waterloo, Iowa, when in fact he was born 150 miles away.
She has also been quizzed about a remark that suggested wives should be submissive to their husbands, and in a recent speech confused Elvis' birthday with the anniversary of his death.
Bachmann told her Miami audience yesterday that if she was elected president, "you won't see any teleprompter in the White House." She criticised Obama for often using one for speeches.
Bachmann is popular in the fiscally conservative Tea Party movement and with religious social conservatives. She won an important poll in the early voting state of Iowa earlier this month but recent surveys have shown her lagging behind Texas Governor Rick Perry and moderate Mitt Romney.
- 1 Man on naked bike ride gets ejected after becoming aroused
- 4 Ann Summers survey reveals the UK's favourite sex position
- 5 Ayyan Ali: Pakistan's top model now appears in the courtroom rather than on the catwalk
Man on naked bike ride gets ejected after becoming aroused
Caitlyn Jenner's mother Ester thought her daughter, formerly known as Bruce Jenner, had transitioned for money
Charles Kennedy 1959-2015: A gifted, compassionate politician whose career was cut short by the 'demon drink' - latest news
Charles Kennedy dead: A guy once asked the Lib Dem leader who his favourite Muppet was and his letter response was wonderful
Jaden Smith wears gender fluid dress to high school prom with Hunger Games actress
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
Michael Gove determined to scrap the Human Rights Act – even if Scotland retains it
Threat to scrap Human Rights Act could see UK follow Nazi example, warns UN official
Why this year's general election was the most unfair in Britain's history
£18000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive is required t...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you inspired to bring new a...
£14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company are a world leadin...