Friday, November 18, 2011

Bachmann: "I haven't had a gaffe"

Michele Bachmann, making the case on Fox News that she's the safest candidate in a rather jaw-dropping statement.

BACHMANN: I haven't had a gaffe or something that I've done that has caused me to fall in the polls.

People see in me someone who's genuinely a social conservative, a fiscal conservative, a national security conservative and a Tea Partier. I'm the whole package.

And when it comes to the best Republican who take on Barack Obama and not have any clunker in my record to be able to take him on, it's me. And I've been involved as a private citizen for 50 years, and for the last five years, I've been in the lion's den in Washington, D.C. And so I have a record that I'm very proud of, and I'm happy to take him on in the debates to hold him accountable for what he's done to the economy and the country and our national security while he's been in office.

VAN SUSTEREN: So you're talking about clunker -- you mean the allegations -- underline allegations, no proof of Mr. Herman Cain that there were two women who said that they were sexually harassed, and you had the Governor Perry's unfortunate 53-second gaffe at the -- one of the debates -- is that the clunker that brings people down?

BACHMANN: Those clunkers show that people -- that that hurts candidates in the polls. I haven't had something like that. But what I've been...

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, you've had a few -- you've had a few little gaffes, maybe not recently, but you had the historic reference in Massachusetts, I think, and I think you had one...

BACHMANN: Well, I got Elvis Presley's birthday wrong, but I don't think that's a disqualifying factor for being president of the United States.

Besides small gaffes like confusing one John Wayne for another, mixing up the date of Elvis' birth with the date of his death, and incorrectly identifying where the first shots of the Revolutionary War were fired, she made one giant gaffe that really hurt her in the primary.

After a September presidential debate, she said a woman came up to her and claimed that the HPV vaccine that Rick Perry controversially mandated caused "mental retardation".

Bachmann made the claim on both Fox News and the Today Show with no evidence whatsoever that the vaccine did, in fact, cause cognitive disorders.

Her fast-and-loose play with the truth provoked considerable alarm among conservatives, including from Rush Limbaugh who was a fan, in the past.

"Michele Bachmann, she might have blown it today. Well, not blown it -- she might have jumped the shark today.... There's no evidence that the vaccine causes mental retardation."

So it seems that claiming she hasn't had a gaffe might be a little gaffe in and of itself.