From The Slatest:
UPDATE: Michele Bachmann defended her presidential campaign on Tuesday after making a gaffe in which she incorrectly claimed she shared a hometown with the actor John Wayne, a verbal slip up that left many wondering whether she was confused with “clown killer” John Wayne Gacy.
“The main point that I was making are the sensibilities of John Wayne, which is patriotism, love of country standing up for our nation,” Bachmann explained to CNN. “That positive enthusiasm is what America’s all about, and that’s of course my main point.”
Bachmann has a history of attention-grabbing gaffes. In January, she made headlines when she claimed that the founding fathers “worked tirelessly until slavery was no more in the United States.”
In March, she said during a speech in New Hampshire: “You’re the state where the shot was heard around the world in Lexington and Concord.” (Lexington and Concord are in Massachusetts.)
But in Tuesday’s CNN interview, Bachmann made the case that the mistakes she’s made so far have been no more than verbal stumbles, and nothing to get worked up about.
When asked about a survey by PolitiFact.com, which found that she has made at least 18 untrue public statements, she responded: “Of course they were just misspeaking, and that happens. People can make mistakes, and I wish I could be perfect every time I say something, but I can’t. But one thing people know about me is that I’m a substantive, serious person.”
Original post at 11:14 a.m.: Michele Bachmann on Monday officially kicked off her presidential bid using an Iowa campaign rally to tout her local ties, her small government bona fides and her Christian faith.
“I want my candidacy for the presidency to stand for the moment when ‘we the people’ reclaimed our independence from a government that has gotten too big, spends too much and has taken away too much of our liberty,” Bachmann said in Waterloo, a small industrial town where she was born.
Over the weekend she scored a substantial victory by running a close second to Mitt Romney in a Des Moines Register poll of likely Iowa Republicans. Herman Cain was the only other GOP contender to garner double-digit support.
Given her conservative track record, Bachmann is seen as a key player in Iowa, a state where Romney and other more moderate GOP contenders have been less engaged.
The Minnesota congresswoman wasted little time Monday playing up her ties to the Hawkeye State.
“Everything I need to know, I learned in Iowa,” she told the crowd. “This is where my Iowa roots were firmly planted, and it’s these Iowa roots and my faith in God that guides me today.”
Bachmann made multiple mentions to her Christian faith during her morning announcement, saying that she is “profoundly grateful for the blessings that I have received both from God and from this great country,” and that “every American deserves these blessings.”
Too bad he didn’t bless her with a sense of history or geography.