Chris Wallace Asks Michele Bachmann: 'Are You A Flake?'

06/26/2011 09:49 am ET | Updated Aug 26, 2011
  • Sam Stein Senior Politics Editor, The Huffington Post

WASHINGTON -- As Rep. Michele Bachmann's (R-Minn) presidential candidacy grows more serious, and as her position in the Iowa polls continues to strengthen, she will, undoubtedly, be asked about some of the more provocative avowals she's made in her past.

Sunday was -– sort of -– one of those moments. While Fox News Chris Wallace didn't press the Minnesota Republican on any specific statement -- whether it be that President Barack Obama was creating a gangster government, that anti-American sentiment existed in Congress, or that NATO air strikes had killed up to 30,000 civilians in Libya -- he did touch on the broader point.

"Are you a flake?" he asked.

Bachmann seemed offended by the line of inquiry. "I think that would be insulting to say something like that because I'm a serious person," she explained. She then went on to tout all the ways in which she was, indeed, serious.

"I'm 55 years old. I've been married 33 years," she said. "I'm not only a lawyer, I have a post-doctorate degree in federal tax law from William and Mary. I've worked in serious scholarship … my husband and I have raised five kids, we've raised 23 foster children. We've applied ourselves to education reform. We started a charter school for at-risk kids. I've also been a state senator and member of the United States Congress for five years."

The exchange wasn't particularly illustrative of anything, save Bachmann's adeptness at turning a question she doesn't like into a platform to discuss her best attributes. So Wallace asked again.

"Do you recognize that now that you are in the spotlight in a way that you weren't before that you have to be careful," he said, with the tone of a professional counselor as opposed to an interviewer.

"Of course a person has to be careful with the statements they make," replied Bachmann. "I think now will be an opportunity to speak fully on the issues. I look forward to that."