The List

Top ten Michele Bachmann moments

The most controversial statements uttered by the congresswoman George Will calls “an authentic representative of the Republican base”

Michele Bachmann

Minnesota congresswoman and cable-news fixture Michele Bachmann has become one of the GOP’s new lightning rods, attracting new admirers such as Washington Post columnist and conservative eminence grise George Will, who recently defended her as “an authentic representative of the Republican base.” Yes, she's a “a petite pistol that occasionally goes off half-cocked,” says Will, but “some of her supposed excesses are … not merely defensible, they are admirable.”

A quick look back at Bachmann’s more notorious claims and statements, as captured on video:

1. On ethnic riots in Paris (November 2005): On the face of it, Bachmann observed, “multicultural diversity … sounds wonderful. But guess what? Not all cultures are equal. Not all values are equal. And ... those who are coming into France, which had a beautiful culture, the French culture is actually diminished, it’s going away.”

2. On evolution (October 2006): Bachmann provoked viewers by claiming that a significant portion of the scientific community rejects the theory of evolution: “There are hundreds and hundreds of scientists, many of them holding Nobel Prizes, who believe in intelligent design.”

3. On Terry Schiavo (October 2006): Bachmann provoked ridicule by describing Terry Schiavo, who lived in a permanent vegetative state, as “a woman who was healthy. There was brain damage, there was no question. But from a health point of view, she was not terminally ill.”

4. On anti-Americans in Congress (October 2008): “I wish the American media would take a great look at the views of the people in Congress and find out: Are they pro-America or anti-America?”

5. On the threat of a ‘global currency’ (March 2009): “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.” 

6. On the effects of greenhouse gases (April 2009): “Carbon dioxide is portrayed as harmful. But there isn’t even one study that can be produced that shows that carbon dioxide is a harmful gas.” 

7. On Democratic presidents and swine flu crises (April 2009): “I find it interesting that it was back in the 1970s that the swine flu broke out under another, then under another Democrat president, Jimmy Carter. I’m not blaming this on President Obama, I just think it’s an interesting coincidence.”

8. On the threat posed by the U.S. census (June 2009): “I think there is a point where you say enough is enough to government intrusion.… Does the federal government really need to know our phone numbers?”  

9. On the government bailout of GM (June 2009): The congresswoman famously called the Obama administration a “gangster government.”  

10. On health-care reform’s potential to dupe parents (October 2009): “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 [her] abortion, be back and go home on the school bus? That night, mom and dad are never the wiser.”  

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