Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) lived up to her reputation as one of the fiercest critics of the Obama administration over the weekend, refusing to back down from two controversial claims.
During an interview with BBC News, Bachmann, who is well-acquainted with controversy, chose to defend her 2008 statement that Barack Obama was "anti-American," a comment that has long provided the ceiling to her catalog of contentious rhetoric.
Here's the transcript, courtesy of ThinkProgress:
MAITLIS: You've suggested that President Obama is anti-American. Do you really believe that?
BACHMANN: I've been very concerned about the policies that have come out of the White House and I share that agreement with people who voted at the ballot box on the first Tuesday in November, they're rejecting the federal government foray into buying and owning an equity share [...]
MAITLIS: But that's a different thing, do you think he's anti-American, do you think that the president of America is anti-American?
BACHMANN: The policies that are anti-free enterprise are ones that are not familiar to the people of the United States. And that's why we saw such a strong reaction to the ballot box. In fact, the government takeover of health care is a great example, that's not what was done here historically in the United States, and the people don't want to see the federal government to control and dictate our health care.
While the notion that Obama has been aggressively "anti-free enterprise" is a hotly contested one on its own, Bachmann uses her supposition as the basis for a sentiment that Obama opposes the country that he leads.
Bachmann also took on the president's recent trip to India, a tour that she and a bloc of loud conservative pundits were convinced cost taxpayers upwards of $200 million a day. The claim was quickly proven to be patently false, but that couldn't make Bachmann admit that she had been wrong:
MAITLIS: You claimed that President Obama spent $200 million a day on a trip to India. It's been roundly ridiculed as a quote.
BACHMANN: Actually, I didn't claim that. I was quoting a newspaper out of India. And I only used that quote-
MAITLIS: Well why would you do that?
BACHMANN: Well number one it came out of the host country in India, a well-respected financial newspaper.
MAITLIS: And you believe that? $200 million dollars a day?
BACHMANN: Well, all I did was I quoted the newspaper. I quoted the newspaper and major national figures in the United States, many in the media had already been using that figure. [...] The reason it was so important was that the president has a two-year history of out of country spending. [...]
MAITLIS: You still believe that it was $200 million dollars a day?
BACHMANN: I didn't say if I believe it or not. What I said was a I was quoting a newspaper.
As CNN's Anderson Cooper pointed out in the heat of this debate, the original article was extremely questionable on its own.
"We have no idea who this person is, no name was given," Cooper said. "It was an anonymous quote -- the conduct Sarah Palin has recently been railing against. Some reporter in India wrote this article with this figure in it, no proof was given, no follow-up reporting done."
The White House itself was later forced to reject the outrageous numbers. Scroll down for video from Bachmann's interview.
WATCH: (via ThinkProgress)
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