Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) attacked President Barack Obama's proposal to curb oil speculation amid high energy prices as "waving a tar baby in the air."
"This is just about waving a tar baby in the air and saying that something else is a problem," said Bachmann in an interview with the conservative blog The Shark Tank. "I have never seen a more irresponsible president who is infantile in the way that he continually blames everyone else for his failure to first diagnose the problem and second to address the problem."
"Tar baby," coming from the doll made of tar trapping Br'er Rabbit in an Uncle Remus story, is defined as "something from which it is nearly impossible to extricate oneself" but also has been defined as a derogatory term for African-Americans.
The term has sparked controversy in the past.
Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) apologized to Obama in 2011 for saying that being associated with his policies would be like "touching a tar baby."
More distantly, then-Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) apologized, via a spokesman, for using the term to describe Boston's much-maligned Big Dig highway project.