(Please be sure to read the comments section for a parsing of Rep. Bachmann’s statements.)
At a time when his campaign strategy has tacked to the middle, Sen. Norm Coleman is distancing himself from controversial remarks made by Rep. Michele Bachmann about Sen. Barack Obama.
“I’m very concerned that he may have anti-American views,” Bachmann said on MSNBC on Friday.
“I would not label his views as anti-American. Clearly folks can look at past relationships but in the end I have a different perspective than that…. In the end the voters will decide,” Coleman said on WCCO TV this morning.
Speaking on the same program after Coleman, Bachmann denied saying Obama was unamerican, “I view his views are’concerning,’ I’m not saying his views are anti-American; that’s a misreading of what I said. I’m calling on the media to take a look at what he’s said.”
Here’s the transcript of the MSNBC statement:
REP. BACHMANN: It’s important because we look at the collection of friends that Barack Obama has had over his life, and usually we associate with people who have similar ideas to us. And it seems that it calls into question what Barack Obama’s true beliefs and values and thoughts are — his attitudes, values and beliefs with Jeremiah Wright on his view of the United States —
MR. MATTHEWS: Okay —
REP. BACHMANN: — which is negative; Bill Ayers, his negative view of the United States. We’ve seen one friend after another. It calls into question his judgment, but also what is it that Barack Obama really believes? And we know that he’s the most liberal senator in the United States Senate, and that’s just after one year after being there. He’s the most liberal. Joe Biden is the third most liberal. You’ve got Harry Reid who’s liberal, Nancy Pelosi who’s liberal.
MR. MATTHEWS: Right. What’s the connection?
REP. BACHMANN: You have a troika of the most leftist administration in the history of our country.
MR. MATTHEWS: If you have liberal views, does that mean you have anti-American views? What’s the connection? I don’t get the connection. What’s the connection between liberal and leftist and anti-American?
REP. BACHMANN: Anti-American is the point, because —
MR. MATTHEWS: I mean, if you’re liberal, are you anti-American?
REP. BACHMANN: Well, the liberals that are Jeremiah Wright and that are Bill Ayers, they’re over-the-top anti-American. And that’s the question that Americans have. Remember, it was Michelle Obama who said she’s only recently proud of her country. And so these are very anti-American views.
MR. MATTHEWS: Okay.
REP. BACHMANN: That’s not the way that most Americans feel about our country. Most Americans, Chris, are wild about America, and they’re very concerned to have a president who doesn’t share those values.
If Chris Matthews would learn to be quiet after asking a question, the exchange might’ve been clearer.