WASHINGTON -- Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) vigorously defended top State Department official Huma Abedin, who is Muslim-American, against allegations by Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) and other conservatives that she is part of a Muslim Brotherhood conspiracy to infiltrate the U.S. government.
"These allegations about Huma and the report from which they are drawn are nothing less than an unwarranted and unfounded attack on an honorable woman, a dedicated American and a loyal public servant," McCain said in a speech on the Senate floor on Wednesday morning.
The accusations stem from a report by the Center for Security Policy. The organization is run by Frank Gaffney, who has been crusading against the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood and Sharia law for years.
Bachmann, along with Reps. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), Thomas Rooney (R-Fla.) and Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.), recently sent letters to five federal agencies demanding investigations into infiltration by the Muslim Brotherhood, citing Gaffney's work.
McCain never mentioned Bachmann or the other lawmakers by name, but pointedly criticized their letters and the report, noting he had worked with the Center for Security Policy in the past.
"The letter alleges that three members of Huma’s family are 'connected to Muslim Brotherhood operatives and/or organizations,'" he said. "Never mind that one of those individuals, Huma’s father, passed away two decades ago. The letter and the report offer not one instance of an action, a decision or a public position that Huma has taken while at the State Department that would lend credence to the charge that she is promoting anti-American activities within our government."
"These attacks on Huma have no logic, no basis and no merit," McCain added. "And they need to stop now."
Abedin, a longtime aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, is married to former Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner, who is Jewish and strongly pro-Israel.
McCain said that he traveled overseas with Clinton and Abedin when Clinton was a senator.
"I have every confidence in Huma's loyalty to our country, and everyone else should as well," he said. "All Americans owe Huma a debt of gratitude for her many years of superior public service. I hope these ugly and unfortunate attacks on her can be immediately brought to an end and put behind us before any further damage is done to a woman, an American, of genuine patriotism and love of country."
But McCain said his larger reason for condemning Bachmann's allegations is to stand up for the character of America.
"Ultimately, what is at stake in this matter is larger even than the reputation of one person," he said. "This is about who we are as a nation, and who we still aspire to be.
"When anyone, not least a member of Congress, launches specious and degrading attacks against fellow Americans on the basis of nothing more than fear of who they are and ignorance of what they stand for, it defames the spirit of our nation, and we all grow poorer because of it."
In a statement on Wednesday, Bachmann said that her letters were being "distorted," but she did not directly address McCain or mention Abedin.
"I encourage everyone, including media outlets, to read them in their entirety," she said in a statement. "The intention of the letters was to outline the serious national security concerns I had and ask for answers to questions regarding the Muslim Brotherhood and other radical group's access to top Obama administration officials."
Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), who was the first Muslim-American elected to Congress, also condemned the allegations against Abedin Wednesday.
"I think it just is the worst of guilt by association," Ellison told CNN's Anderson Cooper. "I think it's really reprehensible and I do hope that people stand up to it."
Ellison also sent Bachmann a letter Wednesday saying that he hadn't seen any evidence supporting her claims about the Muslim Brotherhood, even after she responded to a letter he sent her on July 12 asking her to back them up.
"A careful review of your 16-page response reveals that you fail to provide any credible evidence for your claims, engage in guilt by association, and continue to rely on discredited sources," he wrote.
Ed Rollins, Bachmann's former campaign chairman, posted a blistering op-ed on Fox News' website on Wednesday afternoon, comparing her allegations to the conspiracy theories of former Sen. Joseph McCarthy:
I have been a practitioner of tough politics for many decades. There is little that amazes me and even less that shocks me. I have to say that Congresswoman Michele Bachmann's outrageous and false charges against a top aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Huma Abedin reaches that threshold.
Her unsubstantiated charge against Abedin, a widely respected top aide to Secretary Hillary Clinton, accusing her of some sort of far-fetched connection to the Muslim brotherhood, is extreme and dishonest.
Having worked for Congressman Bachman's campaign for president, I am fully aware that she sometimes has difficulty with her facts, but this is downright vicious and reaches the late Senator Joe McCarthy level.
Shame on you, Michele! You should stand on the floor of the House and apologize to Huma Abedin and to Secretary Clinton and to the millions of hard working, loyal, Muslim Americans for your wild and unsubstantiated charges. As a devoted Christian, you need to ask forgiveness for this grievous lack of judgment and reckless behavior.
Other lawmakers roundly condemned Bachmann's allegations Wednesday night and Thursday morning.
Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) weighed in on Twitter, writing, "Rep. Bachmann’s accusations about Sec. Clinton aide Huma Abedin are out-of-line. This kind of rhetoric has no place in our public discourse."
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) also took to Twitter, writing, "I applaud @SenJohnMcCain for his powerful rejection of baseless accusations against Huma Abedin + other Muslims. I wish this discourse no longer existed in our country, but we have more educating to do with respect to what America is about."
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) -- whom McCain specifically mentioned in his floor speech as being one of the members who traveled with Clinton and Abedin abroad -- also condemned the attacks, calling them "ridiculous, really off-base, inappropriate."
"The person saying it has no idea what they're saying because they've never met her," he told Politico's Huddle. "She is about as far away from the Muslim Brotherhood view of women and ideology as you possibly could get. She's a very modern woman in every sense of the word, and people who say these things are really doing her a disservice because they don't know what they're talking about, and I don't know what their motivations are, but clearly it says more about them than it does her."
CNN's Dana Bash tried to catch up with Bachmann on the Hill Wednesday to ask her about the reaction to McCain's comments, but the congresswoman refused to stop and talked over Bash:
While most of Bachmann's four co-signers have stayed silent as well, Rooney said he believed the allegations were legitimate, although he regretted the focus on Abedin.
"I regret that Mrs. Abedin has become the media focus of this story, because the intention of the letters was to bring greater attention to a legitimate national security risk," Rooney said in a statement.
The Center for Security Policy issued a statement saying that McCain clearly had not fully reviewed the organization's "curriculum" and its "extensive documentation of a stealthy 'civilization jihad' being mounted against this country, its civil society institutions and government."
"Congresswoman Bachmann and her colleagues have rendered a tremendous public service by raising an alarm about the dangers posed by the Muslim Brotherhood’s ‘civilization jihad,'" Gaffney said in the statement. "Far from being chastised for doing so, by Sen. McCain or others, they should be applauded and aided in their efforts to have the extent of Brotherhood influence operations properly investigated by Inspectors General and/or congressional committees."
The organization also invited Huma Abedin's mother -- Dr. Saleha Mahmood Abedin, whom Gaffney's group accuses of supporting an organization that promotes shariah law -- to "participate in a dialogue."
The New York Times applauded McCain for speaking out in an editorial published Thursday, entitled "McCarthyism Redux."
"Since his defeat for the White House four years ago, Senator McCain has too often seemed a listless, unpredictable political figure, forgetful of his own bearings as his party steered resolutely rightward," the editorial said. "It was heartening to hear him back on deck condemning Know-Nothingism, especially in a week that started with his vote against a campaign finance disclosure act that should have had his strong backing."
This story was updated extensively after its initial publication Wednesday afternoon with reaction from lawmakers and others.
'I Haven't Had A Gaffe'
Bachmann raised some eyebrows in November 2011 when she claimed she'd never "had a gaffe." "As people are looking at the candidate that is the most conservative and the most consistent candidate, I've been that candidate. I haven't had a gaffe or something that I've done that has caused me to fall in the polls," Bachmann told Greta van Susteren in a <a href="http://www.foxnews.com/on-air/on-the-record/2011/11/18/bachmann-solyndral-scandal-criminal-and-gangster-government" target="_hplink">Fox News interview</a>. The claim was interesting considering her <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/27/michele-bachmann-john-wayne_n_885368.html" target="_hplink">knack</a> for <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/16/michele-bachmanns-elvis-birthday_n_928454.html" target="_hplink">making</a> <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/15/michele-bachmann-revolutionary-war-gaffe_n_836025.html" target="_hplink">misstatements</a>.
President Of Iran A 'Hater'
During a campaign stop in Iowa, Bachmann responded to accusations from Ron Paul that she "hates Muslims." "I don't hate Muslims," Bachman said. "I love the American people. And as president of United States, my goal would be to keep the American people safe, free and sovereign." "The haters are the president of Iran," she said, referring to Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. "He stated unequivocally that given a nuclear weapons he will use that weapon to wipe Israel off the map, and he's willing to use it against the United States of America."
Early in the Republican presidential race, Bachmann attacked rival Rick Perry for his 2007 executive order mandating that young girls receive the vaccine against HPV, a sexually transmitted disease that is the leading cause of cervical cancer. She even made the claim that the vaccine could cause mental retardation. However, she <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/22/michele-bachmann-rick-perry-hpv-vaccine_n_977139.html" target="_hplink">distanced herself</a> from the statement after receiving criticism from medical professionals who believe the vaccine is very safe. "I didn't make that claim, nor did I make that statement," Bachmann said. "Immediately after a debate a mother came up to me, and she was visibly shaken and heartbroken because of what her daughter had gone through. I only related what her story was."
Many Scientists Believe In Intelligent Design
In October of 2006, before Bachmann emerged as a superstar of the conservative movement, the Minnesota congresswoman raised eyebrows when she <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Damah0KH-Co&feature=player_embedded" target="_hplink">suggested</a> that a sizable portion of the scientific community discredits the theory of evolution. Bachmann <a href="http://theweek.com/article/index/102109/Top_ten_Michele_Bachmann_moments" target="_hplink">said</a>, "There are hundreds and hundreds of scientists, many of them holding Nobel Prizes, who believe in intelligent design." More recently, Bachmann <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/17/michele-bachmann-intelligent-design-evolution_n_879618.html" target="_hplink">discussed</a> her views on the matter at this year's Republican Leadership Conference. "I support intelligent design," she told reporters at the conservative gathering, <a href="http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2011/06/17/bachmann-schools-should-teach-intelligent-design/" target="_hplink">according</a> to CNN. "What I support is putting all science on the table and then letting students decide. I don't think it's a good idea for government to come down on one side of scientific issue or another, when there is reasonable doubt on both sides."
Warning Of 'Sex Clinics'
During the long road to health care reform in the fall of 2009, Bachmann took to the House floor to warn members of congress that <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/10/01/bachmann-sex-clinics-will_n_306292.html" target="_hplink">"sex clinics"</a> could result from passing legislation that was under debate at the time. The Tea Party favorite suggested that if reform were to pass, schools might begin offering abortions to students given her interpretation that the measure was designed to bring Planned Parenthood into educational facilities: <blockquote>The bill goes on to say what's going to go on -- comprehensive primary health services, physicals, treatment of minor acute medical conditions, referrals to follow-up for specialty care -- is that abortion? Does that mean that someone's 13 year-old daughter could walk into a sex clinic, have a pregnancy test done, be taken away to the local Planned Parenthood abortion clinic, have their abortion, be back and go home on the school bus that night? Mom and dad are never the wiser.</blockquote> Section 2511 of the health care bill referred to by Bachmann, makes no mention of abortion and stipulates: <blockquote>(i) "SBHC services will be provides in accordance with Federal, State, and local laws governing-- (I) obtaining parental or guardian consent; and (II) patient privacy and student records, including section 264 of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 and section 444 of the General Education Provision Act;</blockquote> The nonpartisan PolitiFact rated Bachmann's statement <a href="http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2009/aug/07/liberty-counsel/school-health-clinics-would-not-provide-abortions/" target="_hplink">a "Pants On Fire" falsehood.</a> <blockquote>We see no language in the three main versions of the bill that would allow school-based clinics, which have a long history of providing basic health services to underprivileged students, to provide abortions. Nor would the clinics even be new they have been around for three decades. So we rate the claim Pants on Fire!</blockquote> Nevertheless, Bachmann within weeks <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/10/08/bachmann-warns-once-again_n_314490.html" target="_hplink">went on to issue the same warning </a>once again.
'A Weapon Of Mass Destruction'
Bachmann <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/20/michele-bachmann-tax-code_n_825694.html" target="_hplink">criticized</a> the country's current tax code as "a weapon of mass destruction" in a speech she delivered to local Republican activists in South Carolina back in February, the <em>Spartanburg Herald-Journal</em> <a href="http://www.goupstate.com/article/20110220/ARTICLES/102201031/1083/ARTICLES?p=1&tc=pg" target="_hplink">reported</a> at the time. According to the local outlet, the Tea Party favorite called for the system to be abolished. "We need a radically different system," she stressed to a crowd of nearly 200 guests.
The 'LensCrafters Of Big Abortion'
After Bachmann derided Planned Parenthood as "the LensCrafters of big abortion" earlier this year, it became <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/04/13/michele-bachmann-lenscrafters_n_848896.html" target="_hplink">clear</a> that the Tea Party darling's comparison <a href="http://www.rollcall.com/issues/56_110/-204886-1.html" target="_hplink">left</a> the prescription eyewear company less than pleased. Roll Call <a href="http://www.rollcall.com/issues/56_110/-204886-1.html" target="_hplink">reported</a> in April of this year: <blockquote>But LensCrafters didn't like the comparison. A company spokeswoman tells HOH that it contacted Bachmann's office Tuesday asking that she stop using its name. "She's using our name without our knowledge or permission," says Julie Maslov, communications director for Luxottica Retail, LensCrafters' parent company. She didn't cite any legalese but rather says that the request was made "in the spirit of the fact that we have nothing to do with these parties or the debate."</blockquote> According to <em>Roll Call</em>, a spokesman for Bachmann said the congresswoman would avoid referencing LensCrafters going forward, calling the request "perfectly understandable."
Beware Of 'Gangster Government'
During an appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press" back in March, Bachmann <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/06/michele-bachmann-obama-ne_n_831986.html" target="_hplink">addressed</a> an eyebrow-raising allegation she had previously made against the Obama administration. "I don't take back my statements on gangster government," she said, referring to a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/02/02/bachmann-health-care-refo_n_446576.html" target="_hplink">charge</a> she made during the debate over health care reform. "I think that there have been actions taken by the government that are corrupt." <em><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/06/michele-bachmann-obama-ne_n_831986.html" target="_hplink">Click here</a> to read more about what the conservative favorite had to say.</em>
HuffPost's Jason Linkins <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/11/11/the-craziest-examples-of_n_354333.html?slidenumber=yetcoEHNVlc%3D&slideshow#slide_image" target="_hplink">reported</a> in November of 2009: <blockquote>Minnesota Republican Michele Bachmann made the acquaintance of some hula dancing Teabaggers from Hawaii, and they brought her a lei, which Bachmann herself could obtain at the airport in Hawaii, were it not for the fact that she believes planes cannot fly over water without the use of witchcraft. Anyway, <a href="http://minnesotaindependent.com/49288/bachmann-lei-health-care-steve-israel-holocaust" target="_hplink">she told Congress</a>, "I'm reminded that the one who created this lei also created our freedom. Are we so insensible to the high cost our forebearers paid to purchase our freedom?" So, the Hawaiian Bureau of Tourism created our freedom? I guess this is not supposed to make much sense.</blockquote>
Her Own State Of The Union Response
Bachmann <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/25/michele-bachmann-state-of-union-response_n_813972.html" target="_hplink">delivered her own rebuttal</a> to President Barack Obama's <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/25/state-of-the-union-2011-s_n_813477.html" target="_hplink">State of the Union address</a> back in January despite <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/25/paul-ryan-state-of-the-un_n_813985.html" target="_hplink">Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.)</a> being tapped to give the official Republican response. Republican party leaders <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/24/michele-bachmann-state-of-the-union_n_813362.html" target="_hplink">downplayed</a> the move from Bachmann at the time. CNN was the only cable network to carry the Tea Party favorite's speech, but that didn't stop Bachmann from landing in the headlines with her remarks. One video capturing Bachmann's response showed her appearing to look off to the side of the camera while speaking. The <em>Minneapolis Star Tribune</em> <a href="http://www.startribune.com/politics/blogs/114802314.html" target="_hplink">reported</a> at the time: <blockquote>The reason, it appears, is that Bachmann delivered her speech to TeaPartyHD's camera, which had the teleprompter she used. But most of the world -- well, nation -- saw the footage shot by network cameras that were allowed to video the speech. </blockquote> Luckily for Bachmann, TeaPartyHD, which produced the video, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/28/michele-bachmann-response-video_n_815622.html" target="_hplink">made moves to straighten out the footage</a> after it began to stir buzz.
Financial Reform = Mussolini-Style Fascism?
During an online town hall forum in May of last year, Bachmann suggested that proposed financial regulatory reform legislation was reminiscent of Italy under the rule of fascist dictator Benito Mussolini. The Minnesota Independent <a href="http://minnesotaindependent.com/58887/bachmann-financial-reform-is-like-mussolinis-italy" target="_hplink">relays</a> what Bachmann had to say at the time: <blockquote>"Let's remember really what this is. This has a lot in common with Italy in the 1930s and they way Italy dealt with economics," she said. "It still continues private ownership of business but government is in control." She continued, "So government control of the private business, while it's private ownership, that's still at the end of the day the federal government virtually having a say over private business. We lose freedoms; we lose economic competitiveness." "And don't forget," she added, "Italy is in tough shape financially, and that's not what we want for the United States."</blockquote>
'I Took Karate, I'm Dangerous'
Bachmann <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/06/11/michele-bachmann-taunts-o_n_609133.html" target="_hplink">said</a> that she could take out President Obama if she were ever caught in the mind-boggling and improbable scenario of engaging the nation's leader in a physical fight in an <a href="http://biggovernment.com/bshapiro/2010/06/10/bachmann-obama-worst-president-in-united-states-history/" target="_hplink">interview</a> with BigGovernment.com last year. <blockquote><strong>SHAPIRO</strong>: I want to ask you, speaking of his violent language, and he's been brutal on BP, talking about putting his boot on the throat of BP, talking about how he wants to go down there and kick someone's ass -- frankly, Michele, I think you could take President Obama, off the record. <strong>BACHMANN:</strong> Hey, I took karate when I was 17 years old, I am dangerous.</blockquote>
Mangling Revolutionary History
Back in March, Bachmann told a group of local New Hampshire Republicans, "You're the state where the shot was heard around the world in Lexington and Concord." However, the first shots of the Revolutionary War were fired in Massachusetts, not the Granite State. The AP <a href="http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110313/ap_on_re_us/us_bachmann_nh_8" target="_hplink">reported</a> at the time Bachmann made the comments in question: <blockquote>Though Bachmann probably wasn't the first to confuse Concord, N.H., with Concord, Mass., her mistake was striking given her roots in the tea party movement, which takes its name from the dumping of tea into Boston Harbor by angry American colonists in December 1773, 16 months before the Battle of Lexington Green. </blockquote> "I made a mistake; I should've said Massachusetts rather than New Hampshire," Bachmann <a href="http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2011/03/12/bachmann_mangles_revolutionary_history_in_nh_109213.html" target="_hplink">said</a> amid scrutiny on the heels of <a href="http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2011/03/12/bachmann_mangles_revolutionary_history_in_nh_109213.html" target="_hplink">making the remarks</a>. "We all know that there's a double standard in the media."
The Great Census Conspiracy Theory
HuffPost's Jason Linkins <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/06/26/michele-bachmanns-census_n_221427.html" target="_hplink">reported</a> in the summer of 2009: <blockquote><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/06/25/bachmann-compares-census_n_221081.html" target="_hplink">Michele Bachmann has drawn a line in the sand</a>, and will not fill out the Census, and no one really cares because who in America really wants to see government resources allocated to the Bachmann demographic, anyway? Nevertheless, Bachmann is the Neda Agha Soltan of fighting ACORN and the Census. "Why does the government need our phone numbers?" complains Bachmann, making me wonder if she plans on robo-calling her constituents come re-election time. You know I'll be watching for that! Anyway, last summer, Michele Bachmann went on the Glenn Beck Common Sense Comedy Hour to talk about all of this. Understandably, Bachmann is concerned with whether the government should know about its citizens' "mental stability." And here is one of Bachmann's amazing insights: <blockquote>BACHMANN: You know the question that's not on this survey, Glenn? "Are you a U.S. citizen?" This would be your perfect opportunity to find out how many illegal aliens are in the United States.</blockquote> Of course! That is precisely the way this mystery should be penetrated! I can see it now! <blockquote>CENSUS TAKER: Okay, next question...are you a U.S. Citizen? ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT: RATS! You caught me! CENSUS TAKER: I shall now deport you, with my ACORN magicks! ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT: And to think I almost got away with it!</blockquote> And that's the incredibly true story of how Mitt Romney had to start paying his gardeners actual money! But here's the revelatory part of Bachmann's conversation: It appears that there actually is a point at which you can even out-bonkers Glenn Beck! Watch as the video gets to about the two-minute mark. That's when Bachmann starts up her "OMGZ! THE INTERNMENT CAMPZ" spiel. Beck starts shaking his head in disbelief, and then just shuts her down, mid-thought! Is that a bridge too far for Glenn Beck, who runs the most realistic Doom Room in Cable news? Maybe! Of course, I can't help but notice that Beck set Bachmann up perfectly to proffer that answer.</blockquote>
Obama 'Very Anti-American'
HuffPost's Sam Stein <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/10/17/gop-rep-channels-mccarthy_n_135735.html" target="_hplink">reported</a> back in 2008: <blockquote>In a television appearance that outraged Democrats are already describing as Joseph McCarthy politics, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann claimed in October of 2008 that Barack Obama and his wife Michelle held anti-American views and couldn't be trusted in the White House. She even called for the major newspapers of the country to investigate other members of Congress to "find out if they are pro-America or anti-America." Appearing on MSNBC's Hardball, Bachmann went well off the reservation when it comes to leveling political charges against the Democratic nominee. "If we look at the collection of friends that Barack Obama has had in his life," she said, "it calls into question what Barack Obama's true beliefs and values and thoughts are. His attitudes, values, and beliefs with Jeremiah Wright on his view of the United States...is negative; Bill Ayers, his negative view of the United States. We have seen one friend after another call into question his judgment -- but also, what it is that Barack Obama really believes?" Goaded by a Chris Matthews to explain exactly what she was talking about (at one point Bachmann seemed to imply that liberalism was anti-Americanism), the congresswoman waded deeper into the mud. "Remember it was Michele Obama who said she is only recently proud of her country and so these are very anti-American views," she said. "That's not the way that most Americans feel about our country. Most Americans are wild about America and they are very concerned to have a president who doesn't share those values." Matthews later pressed her to name a single member of Congress other than Obama who she thought was anti-American. Bachmann, who initially wouldn't budge, called for a major "expose" into the matter. "What I would say is that the news media should do a penetrating expose and take a look. I wish they would. I wish the American media would take a great look at the views of the people in Congress and find out if they are pro-America or anti-America," she said.</blockquote>
Obama Turning U.S. Into 'Nation Of Slaves'
In July of last year, Bachmann accused the Obama administration of "turning our country into a nation of slaves." The Colorado Independent <a href="http://coloradoindependent.com/57145/bachmann-calls-for-constitutional-conservative-takeover-to-free-nation-of-slaves" target="_hplink">relays</a> what Bachmann had to say while speaking at an event in Denver: <blockquote>"'We are determined to live free or not at all. And we are resolved that posterity shall never reproach us with having brought slaves into the world,'" Bachmann read from founding father John Jay , ending her reading with the statement, "We will talk a little bit about what has transpired in the last 18 months and would we count what has transpired into turning our country into a nation of slaves." She reiterated her concern more forcefully toward the end of the program.</blockquote>
'Re-Education Camps For Young People'
HuffPost's Sam Stein <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/04/06/bachmann-obama-wants-re-e_n_183552.html" target="_hplink">reported</a> in April of 2009: <blockquote>Appearing on Minnesota radio station KTLK-AM, (h/t <a href="http://minnesotaindependent.com/31237/bachmann-reedcuation-camps" target="_hplink">Minnesota Independent</a>) the Republican Bachmann expressed her concern that White House was trying to put in place "re-education camps for young people, where young people have to go and get trained in a philosophy that the government puts forward." Furthering the Obama-as-autocrat theme, Bachmann said the youngsters would "then they have to go to work in some of these politically correct forums." The launching point of Bachmann's remarks was the widely popular and bipartisan Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, which would expand national community service programs from 75,000 positions to 250,000. "It's under the guise of -- quote -- volunteerism. But it's not volunteers at all. It's paying people to do work on behalf of government," said the Minnesota Republican. "I believe that there is a very strong chance that we will see that young people will be put into mandatory service. And the real concerns is that there are provisions for what I would call re-education camps for young people, where young people have to go and get trained in a philosophy that the government puts forward and then they have to go to work in some of these politically correct forums."</blockquote>
The 'Global Currency' Threat
Bachmann issued a warning in March of 2009 on her fear that the United States might wind up <a href="http://bachmann.house.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=116036" target="_hplink">abandoning</a> "the dollar for a multinational currency." A <a href="http://bachmann.house.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=116036" target="_hplink">press release</a> put out by the Tea Party darling read: <blockquote>"Yesterday, during a Financial Services Committee hearing, I asked Secretary Geithner if he would denounce efforts to move towards a global currency and he answered unequivocally that he would," Bachmann said in the March 25, 2009 news release . "And President Obama gave the nation the same assurances. But just a day later, Secretary Geithner has left the option on the table. I want to know which it is."</blockquote> The Republican congresswoman also <a href="http://theweek.com/article/index/102109/Top_ten_Michele_Bachmann_moments" target="_hplink">expressed</a> her concerns during an appearance on Fox News: "I'm very concerned about the international moves they're making, particularly ... moving the United States off the dollar and onto a global currency, like Russia and China are calling for." Politifact rated Bachmann's statement <a href="http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2009/apr/01/michele-bachmann/defending-dollar-bachmann-distorts-geithners-comme/" target="_hplink">"false."</a>
Flubbing Basic Geography
During the CNN Republican presidential debate in Las Vegas, Michele Bachmann flubbed some basic geography while criticizing the Obama administration's foreign policy, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/18/michele-bachmann-libya-africa_n_1018814.html" target="_hplink">HuffPost's Amanda Terkel reported</a>. "Now with the president, he put us in Libya. He is now putting us in Africa," Bahmann said during the debate in October. Libya is, of course, in Africa.