Republican presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) dodged questions Tuesday morning from CNN's Soledad O'Brien on a past statement of hers on homosexuality.
"Your stance on homosexuality -- and want to read a little bit of what you said -- You said, at the Educators Conference in 2004, 'Gays live a very sad life,' and that 'it's part of Satan' And that's quote. You’ve taken a lot of flak for that. Do you pull back on any of that?" asked O'Brien on CNN's "Starting Point."
(Video above via Mediaite.)
Bachmann, then a state senator from Minnesota, said of gays at the National Education Leadership Conference in 2004, "It's a very sad life. It's part of Satan, I think, to say this is gay. It's anything but gay." She prefaced that comment by saying that she was not "bashing people who are homosexuals."
"It's a bizarre thing to bring up," replied Bachmann. "Today is the election, and what people recognize is that the most important issue that people will be looking at is, 'Who is the best person to deal with the economy?' Probably someone who's created a business from scratch,'" she continued. "I came from a family where I was below poverty. I had to earn my way up out of poverty."
O'Brien interrupted Bachmann. "What you're telling me is you don't want to discuss social issues because you want to talk about the economy? I don't think it’s a bizarre question. I think it's a fair question."
"It's a gotcha question coming way out of the past," replied Bachmann. "I stand very strong for marriage between one man and one woman. I believe in protecting human life from conception until natural death. I believe in the family, I believe in religious liberty and for people to practice their faith freely. That's important," she said. "It’s also important we get rid of Obamacare," she continued, going on to tout her opposition to the health care law signed by President Barack Obama.
The exchange was reminiscent of an August 14 interview on "Meet The Press" after her Iowa straw poll victory where she dodged David Gregory's questions on gays after he played a past clip of her saying that the "gay and lesbian lifestyle" is "bondage."
"Well, I am running for the presidency of the United States. I'm not running to be anyone's judge," she replied. When asked what her view on gays was, she said, "Well, my, my view on marriage is that I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman. And that's what I stand for." Gregory continued to press Bachmann, who insisted that she wasn't "judging" gays.
Bachmann is trying to stave off an embarrassing finish in Iowa after winning the August straw poll. Saturday's Des Moines Register poll showed her garnering seven percent support, placing sixth among the GOP candidates.