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Bachmann: Matthews Laid 'Anti-American' Trap

6 years ago
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Minnesota Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann blames MSNBC "Hardball" host Chris Matthews for goading her into saying Barack Obama may have "anti-American views." But she admits she should have known better.

Speaking before the St. Cloud, Minn., Rotary Club on Tuesday, Bachmann, who is up for re-election this year, said: "I walked into a trap ...He was the one who first said 'anti-American.' But I take responsibility for it."

Since that fateful appearance last Friday on "Hardball,"
Bachmann's rival, Elwyn Tinklenberg, has received a $1 million windfall in campaign contributions.

"I did not say that Barack Obama was anti-American, nor do I believe Barack Obama is anti-American. He loves his country, just as everyone in this room does," she told the crowd. "Nor did I call for an investigation of members of Congress for their pro-American or anti-American views. That is not what I said."

"This is a gross distortion of what I said," she later told the St. Cloud Times editorial board in an interview [video below], during which she apologized more fully but denied calling for a "McCarthy-type" investigation of various Congress members' views. "That is not what I believe and that isn't what I said and that isn't what I stand for."

Bachmann, who said she had never watched "Hardball" before her appearance and didn't realize what she was getting herself into, said, "the whole line of questioning was Chris Matthews on anti-American."

"My parents taught me when I was little, if you make a mistake, own up to it," she said. "I wish I had not used that phrase. ...I do not question his patriotism, what I do question are his ideas."

UPDATE: The Huffington Post this afternoon is reporting that two sources aware of ad buys in Minnesota say that the National Republican Congressional Committee is pulling its media purchases from Bachmann's race.

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