Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) on Sunday changed her explanation for her controversial statement about Hurricane Irene and the earthquake that rocked the East Coast.
Last week, Bachmann seemed to suggest to a crowd in Florida that the natural disasters were messages from God warning politicians to take heed of small-government conservatives.
"I don't know how much God has to do to get the attention of the politicians. We've had an earthquake; we've had a hurricane. He said, 'Are you going to start listening to me here?'" Bachmann told the crowd.
"Listen to the American people, because the American people are roaring right now," Bachmann continued. "They know government is on a morbid obesity diet and we've got to rein in the spending."
Bachmann dismissed the controversy over the remark the next day, calling her line a joke. "Of course, I was being humorous when I said that. It would be absurd to think it was anything else," she said.
When asked about the statement in an interview on CBS's "Face the Nation" on Sunday, however, Bachmann shifted her tone somewhat, calling the statement a "metaphor."
"Obviously, I was speaking metaphorically," she told host Bob Schieffer. "That was clear to the audience. It was clear to me."
"The American people have been desperately trying to get the president's attention, and he's not paying attention," Bachmann said. "They're trying to get the president's attention, and that was the metaphor I was making."
Schieffer asked Bachmann whether she believes "God uses weather to send people messages."
"I believe in God. I'm not ashamed to say that I believe in God. I'm a woman of faith and a woman of prayer, but the comment that I made right then was a metaphor. That was very simply what I was doing," Bachmann replied.