Oops! Bachmann regrets anti-Obama statement

Jake Turcotte

After generating tremendous financial support for her opponent with her appearance on MSNBC's "Hardball" last Friday, Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann backed away from the comments she made on the show.

"I shouldn't have said that," she said.  "I regret saying that.  I don't question Barack Obama's patriotism.  I do question his ideas.  I don't think his ideas are good for the United States."


What's all the fuss about?  As we discussed yesterday, the freshman Congresswoman was relatively assured to keep her seat in the House -- that is until she appeared on the show and started talking.

When discussing Barack Obama's relationship with Weather Underground co-founder Bill Ayers, Hardball host Chris Matthews asked Bachmann, "You believe Barack Obama may - because of this relationship - have anti-American views?"

“Absolutely. I’m very concerned that he may have anti-American views,” she replied.

Fundraising machine

In one sentence, she became the largest political donor to her opponent's campaign.  Like Adam "Pacman" Jones at a nightclub, donors are throwing money at Elwyn Tinkleberg at a dizzying pace.

Over $1 million has been raised since Bachmann's TV appearance.  That's more than he brought in during the entire third quarter.

Of the 20,000 donors contributing to the cool mil, 16,000 of them are from out of state.

How's the campaign going?

"You know what, it’s going pretty damn well,” Tinklenberg said to one Minnesota newspaper.

No longer a lock

Not only does he have an infusion of cash, but political watchers have changed her status.

CQ Politics writes, "[Bachmann]  looked to be cruising to a relatively easy victory in her Republican-leaning district — that is, until she dropped her “anti-A” bomb."

"The huge flap that ensued has made Bachmann a much more visible target for Democratic activists nationwide, who in turn have poured money into Tinklenberg’s campaign to fuel a late-campaign blitz," CQ continues.

Why do the show?

Political pundits and campaign strategists all seem to be saying the same thing.  Why go on national TV with two weeks out instead of playing it safe?  And of all places for a Republican -- the Chris Matthews show?

The Minneapolis Star Tribune has the video of Bachmann speaking to constituents yesterday.  She said she hand't seen the show before but "probably should have to get an idea of what Chris Matthews is about."

But to be fair - in viewing the program, Matthews did not bully Bachmann.  It can be argued he was baiting her.  But overall, it was a pretty fair exchange.

"I was talking about Barack Obama's liberal views, his radical views and Chris Matthews continued to use the words 'anti-American', 'anti-American',  'anti-American', " she said.  "And unfortunately when I gave my response, I used that word."

The future of Bachmann?

According to CQ Politics, she still has the edge but it is much closer game.

"Because of the overall conservative tone in her district, CQ Politics still considers Bachmann a slight favorite for re-election, but will be watching further developments very closely," CQ reports.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
QR Code to Oops! Bachmann regrets anti-Obama statement
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today