Bachmann's John Wayne slip
June 27th, 2011
05:02 PM ET
9 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. CTYank

    Who really cares? If you listen over time to what Michelle says (waste of time, true, but funny), you realize that she's pretty ignorant, and not really very bright. Her self-image way exceeds her.
    Then when you hear her apologists here, more comedy. Some adults that were left behind.

    June 27, 2011 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  2. gordyb

    She is way out of her element which is on FOX news creating headlines with outrageous statements. Does she not realize how she is and has been used by the ratings folks at FOX. Just put her in front of a camera and who know what will come out. It is a shame this woman is being set up by her own party. The Dems don't have to do anything, she will self destruct just like Trump, Newt and Sarah.

    June 27, 2011 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  3. Billy Davis

    The idiot that keeps on giving. She and Palin must be the dumb, dumb twins. BTW, why do they keep using analogies to folks long dead? John Wayne was and actor. His public persona was make believe.

    June 27, 2011 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  4. Expat American

    This is the first of many to come.....

    June 27, 2011 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  5. PoconoPhil

    I've got no love for Bachmann or her politics, but really? This is a story? Big deal, honest mistake. Hardly relevant to political issues.

    June 27, 2011 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  6. musician

    She remains completely unencumbered by the facts.

    June 27, 2011 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  7. mack Johnson

    Chartercandidate. It is not a sin to say I don't know–even to "hollywood triva". What are the things that we should expect people who put themselves up for public office to know? The honorable way to find out if, in fact, people know or not know is to ask the question and expect an honest answer. The problem starts when people obfuscate the truth. The American public is already on the downward path when we tolerate our public office seekers to take misspoke and lies to an art form.

    June 27, 2011 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  8. jon

    Didn't John Wayne also say he didn't think blacks "should be isolated until they become educated enough to participate in society?" Is THIS the "spirit of John Wayne" that Bachmann wants?

    June 27, 2011 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  9. Republican Robber Baron

    Fox News keeps on redefining the definition of "News", where facts obviously don't matter.

    June 27, 2011 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  10. Anyone But Obama

    But of course, Obama's gaffes don't go viral. Because he's so smart? Because the liberal media wants him to win? Because their really are 57 states in the US? Because the Purple Heart award he named for a military service member wasn't really dead? Because the correct way to pronounce corpsman is 'corpse man'? Because the Libya hostilities really did complete in 'days, not weeks'?

    June 27, 2011 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  11. Skadams

    This is a terminal gaffe for her. She should be executed in our 57th state. Somebody ask Obama where that is.

    June 27, 2011 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  12. Kevin H

    Remember George w Bush's repeated gaff├ęs? Now remember Palin's remarks. OK now let's remember Dan Quayle who was "kidding" when he arrived on the Island of Pago Pago as a sitting US Vice President and said (full press court): "Happy Campers we are and Happy Campers we will be." He wasn't with people in an extemporaneous situation and this wasn't citizen Quayle taking a family vacation he was acting as our head of state. Folks do we really want people like this representing our country? Really? This is going to be the GOP front runner? This is the Tea Party choice for President? Were I not a already NOT a Republican I would ask for my campaign contributions back. This stuff will continue. Sadly Ron Paul, whom I'm not a huge fan of, is 1,000 times smarter than this women and he hasn't a chance – this is what the GOP supporters want for their candidate – well you can have her. I'll vote for Obama again – because good, bad or indifferent he's a better choice than Palin, Bachmann, Romney or heaven help us Pawlenty.

    June 27, 2011 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  13. Wildone

    If this is the best that the GOP has to offer for President of the United States, they might as well forget about 2012 and set their sights on 2212.

    June 27, 2011 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  14. Markpackman

    Her comment wasn't meant to be factual.

    June 27, 2011 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  15. Eardley Ham Woodbury, MN

    Memo to other Republican hopefuls :

    Monitor all her speeches, appearances, interviews, etc. She is guaranteed to make at least one blatantly false statement or Twilight Zone utterance each and every time she opens her mouth. Then, call her out publicly in the debates or in your media events by repeating her idiotic muttering word for word and challenging her to prove what she said was factual.

    Be relentless, take no prisoners. Remember, this woman is dangerously addled and is a candidate for the jacket with sleeves that tie in back.

    June 27, 2011 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  16. Doug

    It's funny to watch the libs scream about stupid she is for this mistake.

    Their Messiah Obama thinks we have 57 states. Their idiot Biden thinks FDR was president when the stock market crashed and that in 1929 people watched FDR on the televisions in their homes.

    Problem is with Democrats it is not always a mistake, most of the time they are just lying and trying to rewrite history. They don't want people to know that it is the Democrats who started the klan, Democrats who faught segrigation, and that they came up with and are still implimenting their great society which was designed to negative the Civil Rights Act, seeing the genocide they have commited in inner cites under complete Democrat control for the last 50 years, the Robert Byrd libs take great pride in the sucess of their great society plan, the second biggest black eye on our nations history behind slavery. It took a Republican to end slavery and it will take another one to end the great society genocide too.

    June 27, 2011 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  17. SB

    As Bugs Moran famously said, "What a maroon!" Or was that Bugs Bunny? Ah, who cares! I prefer to just make things up as I go like my role model, Michele Bachmann.

    June 27, 2011 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  18. Old Guy

    What disturbs me is all the coverage about her John Wayne blunder but, what about all the misstatements the republicans make daily. They constantly lie outright about Obama and the budget, they refuse to accept responsibility for their past actions and present actions. This country is going down the tubes and all the discussion is about this verbal blunder. Lets hear a discussion on her actual false statements that have some importance.

    June 27, 2011 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  19. BLindfAitH

    Remember when Bachmann went on national television claiming that President Obama's trip to Asia was costing more on a daily basis than the war in Afghanistan? 200 million per day, I believe she said. That was not only a lie, it was the trashiest sort of appeal to her racist constituency. Because the only thing worse than a black president is a black president who thinks he's royalty. That's the subtext of this slander – make no mistake about it.

    June 27, 2011 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  20. David

    But.. and she said it in Iowa, she learned everything she needed to know when she lived in Iowa...

    That's quite an indictment of Iowa's educational system!.

    June 27, 2011 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  21. Tubby the Tuba TEXAS

    Michelle is very wealthy, like most politicians....who can't relate to the common man or woman today. The GOP protects their riches by NOT taxing people like her and other politicians! If we can get a common man or woman into high office, and we can't the ways things are set up, then we will always be led by politicians taking care of their own self concerns and self-interest. Check and see how much money your reprensentatives are making in Congress and off of Congress!

    June 27, 2011 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  22. We have a winner!

    I sure do hope she wins the nomination. Otherwise it might be a boring, same ole, mud-slinging, yadda yadda yadda election season. She brings color to the debate.

    June 27, 2011 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  23. An Independent

    "This is ridiculous. No candidate for office should be judged based on their knowledge of hollywood trivia. She missspoke. Politicians from both parties misspeak daily. Judge her, or Romney, or Obama, or any candidate on policies or things that they should be expected to know." – Chartercandidate

    I agree. We should oppose her because of her bad policies, not because she gets her facts wrong when trying to make herself look good by comparing herself to someone famous.

    If she had good ideas but didn't know where John Wayne was born, I'd have no qualms about voting for her, but she's proposing bad policies so there's no way I'd vote for her. How much she knows about John Wayne is irrelevant. One could make an argument that saying things without verifying their accuracy first is a bad trait for a president to have, but I think most of the people that support her don't care about facts anyway so that wouldn't be a concern for them.

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

    Please give me the name of one politician who doesn't make mistakes. Just one.

    How about Obama's 57 states? Or his inability to remember the year.

    June 27, 2011 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  25. Larry C Wilson

    Given the poor quality of American education, it might not be fair to blame Ms Bachman for her historical ignorance.

    June 27, 2011 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
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