Minnesota Republican Backs Off Call for Probe of “Anti-American” Congressmen

Created: October 20, 2008 15:47 | Last updated: July 31, 2020 00:00

Minnesota Republican congresswoman Michelle Bachmann stirred up a media storm Friday when she told MSNBC’s “Hardball With Chris Mathews” that “the news media should do a penetrating expose and take a look — I wish they would — take a great look at the views of people in Congress and find out [if] they [are] pro-America or anti-America.”

Today, a spokesman for Bachmann had no suggestions as to which questions reporters should ask lawmakers to determine if they are pro- or anti-American. “You guys know what kinds of questions to ask,” Bachmann’s spokeswoman, Michelle Marsten, said in a phone interview Monday. “It’s not for us to decide.”

Asked which members of Congress the media should interview, Marsten said her boss had “no one in mind.”

Bachmann’s call for an inquiry into the patriotism of members of Congress, which spread rapidly in the liberal blogosphere, helped her opponent, Elwyn Tinklenberg, to raise more than $650,000 over the weekend. A Democratic poll released last week showed Tinklenberg trailing Bachmann by just four percentage points, 42-38, in a race that until recently was considered safe for the incumbent.

Bachmann told a local TV station this morning that her remarks had been “misread.” er remarks on “Hardball” is the latest gaffe in a series of controversial statements that have marked her tenure in Congress.