On Fox9 Morning News today, Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann tried a new argument for why she shouldn’t be held responsible for saying Barack Obama and members of Congress may have anti-American views:
Chris Matthews made her do it.
Fox9’s Alix Kendall asked Bachmann: “Does being liberal mean that you are anti-American?”
“No. I appreciate this opportunity because I’m hoping people will look at the context of the full interview. Because I did not suggest anti-American, Chris Matthews used the word ‘anti-American’ and asked me to respond to it.”
True — Matthews used the term “anti-American” first. But that was preceded by this:
MATTHEWS (referring to McCain-Palin robo-calls that stated “Barack Obama has worked closely with domestic terrorist Bill Ayers, whose organization bombed the U.S. Capitol, the Pentagon, a judge’s home, and killed Americans”): I mean, we’ve got a lot of problems in this country. Why is this so important that it’s being pushed out on telephone calls to all the key states now with two weeks to go?
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 —
MATTHEWS: Okay —
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?
Bachmann then lumps Obama, Joe Biden, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi as liberals, concluding, “You have a troika [sic] of the most leftist administration in the history of our country.”
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 —
So, yes, Matthews throws out the first “anti-American,” but not until after Bachmann put Obama’s “true beliefs and values” into play, linking those to Rev. Wright’s “view of the United States, which is negative.”
In other words, it was Bachmann’s suggestion, not Matthews’.
To refresh your memories, here’s where it went from there — judge for yourself whether Matthews forced words in Bachmann’s mouth or she glommed onto them as if they were George Bush at the 2007 State of the Union address:
MATTHEWS: So this is a character issue. You believe that Barack Obama may — you’re suspicious because of this relationship — may have anti-American views. Otherwise it’s probably irrelevant to this discussion.
REP. BACHMANN: Absolutely.
MATTHEWS: So you believe it brings into —
REP. BACHMANN: I absolutely —
MATTHEWS: So you believe that Barack Obama may have anti-American views.
REP. BACHMANN: Absolutely. I’m very concerned that he may have anti-American views.
As for Congress, here’s the pertinent section:
MATTHEWS: How many Congress people, members of Congress, do you think are in that anti-American crowd you described? How many Congress people do you serve with? I mean, it’s 435 members of Congress.
REP. BACHMANN: Right now —
MATTHEWS: How many are anti-American in the Congress right now that you serve with?
REP. BACHMANN: You’d have to ask them, Chris. I’m focusing on Barack Obama and the people that he’s been associating with. And I’m very worried about —
MATTHEWS: But do you suspect that a lot of people you serve with —
REP. BACHMANN: — their anti-American nature.
MATTHEWS: Well, he’s a United States senator from Illinois. He’s one of the people you suspect as being anti-American. How many people in the Congress of the United States do you think are anti- American? You’ve already suspected Barack Obama. Is he alone, or are there others? How many do you suspect of your colleagues as being anti-American?
REP. BACHMANN: What I would say — what I would say is that the news media should do a penetrating expose and take a look. I wish they would. I wish the American media would take a great look at the views of the people in Congress and find out, are they pro-America or anti-America? I think people would love to see an expose like that.