Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) and her views on torture tactics are being put to the test.
During last Saturday's Republican debate on foreign policy, the congresswoman was among the candidates condemning President Barack Obama's ban on waterboarding. In a Wednesday interview with the Des Moines Register's editorial board, Bachmann reiterated that she would use the interrogation technique if necessary (the remarks begin at 29:30 in the video clip above).
"Yes I would, because waterboarding does not kill anyone," Bachmann said. "Is it uncomfortable? Yes, it's uncomfortable, but I am more concerned that we would prevent aircraft from going into the Twin Towers, taking them down, and taking out 3,000 innocent American lives, than I am about the comfort level of a terrorist, and what that means for them," referring to the 9/11 attacks.
That answer led the board to take a different turn on the GOP hopeful's perspective. When asked if she would submit to the technique to see what it's like, Bachmann's response was less committal.
"Well, I think that would be absurd -- to have the president of the United States submit themselves to waterboarding," she said. "There are those who have submitted themselves to it so that they can talk about it, and speak about it afterwards. But again, let's look at the context -- the United States of America was attacked in an act of war. We lost the Twin Towers. We lost 3,000 innocent Americans."
Last Sunday, Obama struck a different chord, labeling waterboarding as a form of "torture" that is "contrary to American traditions."
Some Republicans were equally against the support for waterboarding expressed by some GOP candidates, with Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman marking waterboarding as torture. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) also denounced the approach in a Monday tweet, writing that he was "very disappointed by statements at SC GOP debate supporting waterboarding."
Opposition aside, Bachmann's position falls in line with her new website. Unveiled last week, www.nosurprises2012.com touts her as a candidate without "policy-flip flops."
"There's no need to compromise on one of the issues that matters to you," the site writes. "She means what she says, and she says what she means."
WATCH the ad below (via Bachmann's YouTube channel):