Bachmann Announces Candidacy -- Explains Gaffes

06/28/2011 04:36 pm ET | Updated Aug 28, 2011

Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann has officially announced her candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination. Addressing a throng of supporters in Waterloo, Iowa, Bachmann said:

"I've chosen this place to make my announcement not just because I was born here or because Iowa is the site of the first presidential primary, but because Waterloo stands for something important in the history of this country. It is the place where in 1815 legal immigrants from Britain, Germany and other countries in the European Union held a town meeting at the Elba Inn to welcome with countless arms the first French settlers. "

She continued,

"When the people of my District conferred upon me the honor of joining the United States Congress, I said to my husband, 'Can you imagine that I'm going to be one of the 100 people on Capitol Hill who have the power to lower taxes and decide who sits on the Supreme Court? And did you ever in your wildest dreams think that I'd be going to work every day and sitting right next to Jesse Helms?'"

When the cheers subsided, Bachmann said,

"I know that millions of reporters in this country and in Hawaii have claimed that I make a lot of factual mistakes. Well, here and now I want to look the American people right in the eye and give them the facts."

Turning away from the cameras, she spoke with obvious emotion,

"Last week I was criticized for saying that during the Revolutionary War, New Hampshire was the place where the shot was heard around the world. Well, I stand by that statement. As a tax lawyer and a supporter of gun rights, I happen to know that shot was fired by the Kaiser Wilhelm Geshutz Long-Range gun, which used a 400-pound bullet and had a 131-foot barrel. And when the revolutionaries shot off that gun, you could hear it everywhere, from India all the way to Italy. So that's my answer to that one."

"I have also been taken to task for saying that our Founding Fathers worked hard to abolish slavery to make sure that every citizen was treated equally. And, once again, what I said was absolutely right.

"As any Texas fourth grader will tell you, when they first came to this country, legal immigrants from Norway and Sweden were put in milking camps located in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa. Often working 18-hour days, these people had to hunch over, under cows, and pull on what's down there to make milk. And isn't it an odd coincidence that that sounds a lot like the Pledge of Allegiance?

"And as if life weren't already hard enough for them, these enslaved people had to churn that milk into whipped cream for the sundaes of the Eastern elite. Tens of thousands of them might have perished while ice fishing but for the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed them to start up farms where they could milk their own cows and hire itinerant colored people to make whipped cream out of it.

"Before leaving you to go to Fargo, another one of Iowa's wonderful towns, I want to leave you with a thought. That's why my staff is circulating among you with fortune cookies."

"God bless America."