11/18/2011 03:49 pm ET

Michele Bachmann: Solyndra 'Makes Watergate Look Like Child's Play'

Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann shared her thoughts on the Solyndra issue today, saying the loan scandal "makes Watergate look like child's play."

Bachmann made the comparison during an appearance on the Fox News show "America Live" with Megyn Kelly.

"This is more than just a simple Washington scandal," Bachmann said of the failed energy company. "This is a historic scandal, because the president had his own political fundraiser placed in the Department of Energy for the specific purpose of pointing to which loans would benefit his political donors."

"It just stinks on every level," Bachmann continued. "This makes Watergate look like child's play and this is something where the White House has to answer questions."

Obama officials have been answering more questions in recent days, addressing recently uncovered emails that show the Energy Department tried to delay layoffs at the solar company until after the 2010 midterm elections. Solyndra received a $528 million loan from the federal government in 2009 but went bankrupt and laid off 1,100 workers in September. Energy Secretary Steven Chu -- who has been grilled on the scandal by House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.), among others -- has taken responsibility for the Solyndra situation.

Bachmann is not the first Republican presidential hopeful to speak out on the Solyndra scandal. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has also expressed disappointment, and can be counted among the Republicans who have called for Chu to be fired.

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