Are Bachmann’s Words Her Undoing?

Without missing a beat, Michele Bachmann attacked President Obama’s latest proposal, which includes $1.5 trillion in tax revenues generated by increases on the wealthy, saying the plan would “ruin the United States economy.” In this case, she’s more or less in line with the statements from other Republicans. And perhaps that’s what she’s striving for after a number of misstatements that have done more harm than good to her presidential campaign.

In trying to take a shot at Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Bachmann suggested that the HPV vaccine, which Gov. Perry mandated in his state, was linked to “mental retardation.”

“People close to the campaign, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Mrs. Bachmann is often influenced by the last person she speaks with on an issue rather than maintaining discipline in communicating a message,” wrote The New York Times.

It’s not uncommon for politicians to slip in a bit of hyperbole when trying to make their case. But Bachmann is taking it too far, forcing her to backtrack. That’s not a good look on a presidential candidate.

She could be taking the criticism of her misstatements to heart. The Washington Post‘s Jonathan Capehart calls Bachmann’s Friday appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno “a dud.” She seemed subdued during the interview, becoming visibly uncomfortable and giving a nonsensical, cringe-worthy, and clearly untrue response when questioned about her husband’s Christian counseling clinic and her views against gay marriage. What does gray hair have to do with gay marriage?

“While Bachmann didn’t hurt herself by saying anything (else) of questionable veracity, she didn’t help herself either,” he writes.

It’s always a good time to stick with the facts. But with word that her campaign could be running low on cash, now is a bad time to become self-conscious.

Publish date: September 19, 2011 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT