Bachmann's John Wayne slip
June 27th, 2011
05:02 PM ET
12 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. David Sanford

    I too like Michele likes John Wayne Gacy. His cold-blooded attitude toward humanity – like that of M. Bachmann – is what I look for in my Republican candidates.

    June 27, 2011 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  2. localboy

    Goes to prove my old maxim: I know a lot of liberals who are well educated and very intelligent, but none of them are smart.

    June 27, 2011 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  3. Peter s

    Think with your head not your feet!!, the more you talk less the better! oops who is your consumer "don't trend on me" facts don't matter because they even can't recognize those facts even if it bites them in the reel. Keep the flag higher of "don't trend on me, I'm an ignorant Caucasian white male, didn't cut in high school yet I get the jobs I need, because you know I'm white." We get the damn jobs the Negroes second whether with a Doctorate or not!!! Remember Michelle its not the brains its the skin!!!

    June 27, 2011 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  4. Skadams

    Bachmann is a very intelligent woman and typical liberal bias is to tear down any woman running for higher office because they are intimitdated by her. Obama made many gaffes that were glossed over.

    June 27, 2011 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  5. Scott A

    Yep, I was born in Florida, but I'm apparently a Wolverine too since my dad was in Michigan in the 1960s about 12 years before I was actually born, but that's not important according to the researchers on Bachman's staff.

    June 27, 2011 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  6. Ben

    Bachmann may be an idiot, but the notion that she was invoking John Wayne Gacy is a stretch at best. It's "stoiries" like this one that give the mainstream media coverage of Republicans a bad name.

    June 27, 2011 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  7. George

    Don't you think that Bachmann and Palin would be the perfect ticket for the republicans ? Bachmann candidate for president and Sara Palin for Vice president , ha ha ha , that would be perfect for the republicans

    June 27, 2011 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  8. Al Boree

    Here is the similarity between John Wayne Gacy and Michelle Bachman. Whereas Gacy used to dress as a clown , Bachman is in real life a CLOWN.

    June 27, 2011 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  9. JohnRJohnson

    Bachmann pulls ahead of Palin in the race for Dumbest American Politician. Do you think the people from John Wayne's home town enjoy having the Duke confused with a serial killer?

    June 27, 2011 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  10. Ravi

    I have a name for the supporters of Bachmann and her ilk: Teasy Dittoheads. It is a combination of Teasies (thanks Joe Klein) and ditto heads (thanks Rush Limbaugh). They will make dems look good. Obama will easily win '12.

    June 27, 2011 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  11. jrm03063

    Every candidate has their gaffes – and watching Republicans crash and burn is great – but even I'm not sure how much more of this fiasco I can take...

    June 27, 2011 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  12. VA VERY Ex Republican

    FOX called her a flake, then later apologized. why do we apologize when we say the truth???? what happened to our American Values? since when saying the truth calls for an apology????? what happened to our values??? is this the new America now???? It is insulting and offensive. I hope that any true republican who reads this comment get to understand why I left this party. the party of lies and politics. Oh my God, I can not imagine the amount of damage George W. Bush Caused to this country and this Party. He managed to to do in 8 Years what the democarts could not do in decades. now you know why I call myself EX Republican.

    June 27, 2011 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  13. USA

    How many Obama/Biden gaffes have you reported on??? Wonder if she knows we have 57 states...

    June 27, 2011 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  14. Liberty Tom

    John Wayne Gacy was born in Chicago. John Wayne was born in Iowa and grew up in Waterloo. John Wayne Gacy committed most of his murders in Chicago. John Wayne grew up in Iowa. Michele Bachmann did not confuse the two, whatever halfwit liberal "journalist" that wrote this piece did. Bachmann knows there ere 50 state, not 57. Bachmann knows that under our current regulatory regime "shovel ready" jobs don't exist. Bachmann knows that spending $1.6 trillion more than we take in every year is not "Hope and Change."

    June 27, 2011 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
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