Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) is still on the defensive from an appearance last Friday on MSNBC’s Hardball, in which she called for the media to conduct a “penetrating exposé” into anti-American views of members of Congress.
Speaking with the St. Cloud Times on Tuesday, Bachmann said she regretted suggesting that Barack Obama held “anti-American” views. Referencing Chris Matthews by name 12 times in a 6 minute interview, Bachmann portrayed herself as the victim of a clever ploy devised by the MSNBC host:
Chris Matthews laid a trap, and I walked into it. [...]
Chris Matthews was using the term over and over, and I should not have used it. [...]
This was Chris Matthews. I made a big mistake by going on the show. I never should have. [...]
I just didn’t recognize — I never watched the Chris Matthews show before. I should have before I went on. I didn’t recognize that he would lay a trap the way that he did.
Bachmann concluded the interview by circling back to where she began: “I didn’t bring the word choice up. That was Chris Matthews who brought the word choice up. Unfortunately, like I said, I walked into a trap.” Watch it:
Bachmann, who appears frequently on Fox News, apparently doesn’t understand that journalists on other networks sometimes ask critical questions. The issue isn’t Matthews’ questions; it’s Bachmann’s answers. Here’s key portions from the transcript:
MATTHEWS: So you believe that Barack Obama may have anti- American views.
REP. BACHMANN: Absolutely. I’m very concerned that he may have anti-American views.
MATTHEWS: What parts of America would you say are anti-American? What parts of this country?
REP. BACHMANN: Well, I would say that people who hold anti- American views. I don’t think it’s geography. I think it’s people who don’t like America, who detest America.
MATTHEWS: How many do you suspect of your colleagues as being anti-American?
REP. BACHMANN: What I would say — what I would say is that the news media should do a penetrating exposé 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, are they pro-America or anti-America? I think people would love to see an exposé like that.
Bachmann’s biggest disappointment must be that she wishes she hadn’t been so honest about her true feelings.
Bachmann made similar comments in a speech to the St. Cloud, MN Rotary Club. Bachmann said, “I do believe firmly that a trap was laid and I stepped into it.”