Bachmann's John Wayne slip
June 27th, 2011
05:02 PM ET
3 years ago

Bachmann's John Wayne slip

(CNN) - On the eve of her official presidential announcement, GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann incorrectly identified movie star John Wayne's origins in an attempt to draw a parallel between her and the American icon.

"I want them to know just like John Wayne is from Waterloo Iowa, that's the spirit I have too," Bachmann said Sunday on Fox News. "It's embracing America. It's sacrificing for America."

John Wayne the movie star was born in Winterset, Iowa, which is approximately three hours Southwest of Waterloo, Iowa, Bachmann's native city and the site of her presidential announcement Monday. But according to the Waterloo Chamber of Commerce, the actor's parents did live in the city at one point.

However, it was a different John Wayne that caused the misstep to go viral on the internet.

Serial killer John Wayne Gacy was born in Chicago, Illinois and later lived and worked in Waterloo where he was convicted of sodomy and sentenced to prison. Gacy, known as "the clown killer" was found guilty of 33 murders in the Chicago area in 1980 and died by lethal injection in 1994.

Bachman's campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


Filed under: 2012 • Michele Bachmann
soundoff (139 Responses)
  1. Troy

    The only thing she has in common with John Wayne (the Duke) is the leathery face and she walks like she has something up her........

    June 27, 2011 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  2. SB

    Chartercandidate, it's not that she's gaffed once, or twice, or even three times. It's that she misspeaks on an almost regular basis. And when she's not gaffing she's spouting nonsense, like connecting pedophilia with homosexuality, or expressing doubt about evolution and claiming that intelligent design is science. It's not a question of knowledge about trivia. She is a genuine idiot.

    June 27, 2011 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  3. Patrish

    I am so unimpressed with her....I'm sure Sarah will now jump in the ring because someone might get more attention then she.

    June 27, 2011 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  4. lol

    far less worse than obama claiming he gave a medal to someone who was alive, when in fact the heroic man was deceased! than the spin machine tries to blame that on the lack of a teleprompter. pathetic that he has to rely on a teleprompter, shameful that the commander in chief made that mistake.

    June 27, 2011 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  5. David

    Everybody relax. She's a Republican, and everybody knows facts don't matter to those people. Serial killer or iconic American hero. Why quibble over such trivialities?

    June 27, 2011 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  6. Proud member of "Global Zero"

    I thought she was against Sharia Law. Her social agenda is just that. It tells people who they can marry. It tells women to go to the back of the bus and the bottom of the pack. This woman is a terrorist in my eyes.

    June 27, 2011 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  7. Gary, Hunt Valley, Md.

    Exactly how did John Wayne "sacrifice for America?" By making movies about war instead of actually picking up a gun and fighting for his country? Yes, he "sacrificed" by putting up with those damned directors and those long days on the set and practicing all of those damned lines. Oh, the pain. Besides being an American icon on the big screen, John Wayne was one of those Chicken Hawks. To quote the great Drive By Truckers, "I never saw John Wayne on the sands of Iwo Jima." Sort of like those Neocons that sent America's sons and daughters to Iraq with such bravado, such "sacrifice."

    June 27, 2011 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  8. johnson

    As a so called tuff guy, john wayne wouldn't last a heart-beat compared to the average joe today.

    June 27, 2011 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  9. Jay S.

    Who cares if she knows where John Wayne comes from? What scares me is she wants to bring back Joe McCarthy to investigate folks she considers un-American.

    June 27, 2011 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  10. Dennis

    Silly season has truly begun with the Republicans. The national comedy hour will start once one of these Republicans gets the nomination and has to face the "lamestream media" (a.k.a., the real, objective media and not Faux News) and has to debate President Obama.

    June 27, 2011 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  11. LDRP

    "I want them to know just like John Wayne is from Waterloo Iowa, that's the spirit I have too," Set aside the error. Set aside the act of quoting a fact that could easily be checked before speaking. What about the grammar? My tenth grade English teacher would have made mincemeat out of this sentence.

    June 27, 2011 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  12. AC

    The Kings of Comedy, when does this start?

    June 27, 2011 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  13. steven harnack

    Just how is it that John Wayne sacrificed for America? Or was it that he made a major sacrifice by staying in Hollywood when so many others deserted the tough job of making movies to go play games with the Germans and the Japanese? Some of you are saying that she was close to being right because his parents once lived there, well. my parents lived in Arizona before they went back to Minnesota where I was born so I guess I'm close to being right if I say I am from Arizona?

    June 27, 2011 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  14. Kay

    You know, this is so, so much worse than identifying a posthumous recipient of the Medal of Honor as a living recipient. Or stating that we have 57 states. Or stating that there was such a language as "Austrian". Or identifying UPS as a government-run entity. Or pronouncing "corpsman" as "corpse-man". Or stating that a tornado killed 10,000 people when it really killed 12. Or identifying "the Middle East" as a problem that has "plagued the region for centuries." It's a good thing we have such a well-spoken genius as our President.

    June 27, 2011 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  15. clarke

    Well she is on the short list.

    June 27, 2011 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  16. Bad Dog

    Mitt Romney is smiling with both faces right now.

    June 27, 2011 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  17. txpatriot

    I guess if she had said there were 57 states (like a certain someone), the media would have chalked it up to "being tired" (just as they ignored a certain someone who said it). No media bias there, no sirree . . .

    June 27, 2011 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  18. Ellie in San Antonio

    Chris Wallace misspoke, He meant to say, "You are a flake." not "Are you a flake?" Simple mistake... he shouldn't need to apologize.

    June 27, 2011 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  19. bashaleebee

    This is hardly that big of a gaffe. And besides it's close enough. No, I'm not a Michelle Bachman fan or a fan of any GOP rep. Waterloo, Winterset ... geesh.

    June 27, 2011 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  20. tallery

    I am born and raised in Iowa, she is an idiot and Waterloo is actually a disgusting dirty town full of bunch of nasty meth addicts and crackheads. I would never live there or VOTE for anyone bragging about being born there!!!

    June 27, 2011 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  21. hillbilliter

    How is it this woman still has a job? I don't care what her politics is, she's embarassing.

    June 27, 2011 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  22. Andrew Martin

    I am seeing striking similarities between her and Ms. Pailin. I will say, her evangelical drives concern me more than Palin's stupidity.

    June 27, 2011 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  23. Four and The Door

    If his parents once lived in the city then she was close enough. To her point, I see some great things in Michelle Bachmann that are characteristics of John Wayne as well. Rugged individuality, self pride and respect for country to name a few. Those are just the things that liberals cannot identify with and so they will feel compelled to say bad things about her. That's okay. She has a strong enough values to put up with people who have none of their own.

    June 27, 2011 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  24. Jeff Spangler

    This former tax lawyer turned Tea-Partier answers Mike Wallace's question to her ("Are you a flake?") almost every day.

    June 27, 2011 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  25. Gadzilnacho

    Poking fun at the gaffes of GOP candidates sure comes easier to CNN than discussing how the current administration really isn't doing too much to make our daily lives any better.

    June 27, 2011 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
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