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bachmann ambition overdrive

Michele Bachmann Stands By Ridiculous Thing She Said About Slavery

Another day, another Michele Bachmann gaffe. Actually, the original gaffe took place in January, when Bachmann claimed that the Founding Fathers had worked "tirelessly" to end slavery when, in fact, they had enshrined it in the Constitution and didn't do a whole lot afterward to abolish it.

"We know we were not perfect. We know there was slavery that was still tolerated when the nation began. We know that was an evil and it was scourge and a blot and a stain upon our history. But we also know that the very founders that wrote those documents worked tirelessly until slavery was no more in the United States. And I think it is high time that we recognize the contribution of our forebears, who worked tirelessly, men like John Quincy Adams, who would not rest until slavery was extinguished in the country."

John Quincy Adams did eventually become a leader of the anti-slavery movement. But he's not a good example of an abolitionist Founder, since he was not a Founder. He was born in 1767 and didn't participate in crafting or signing the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution. Nobody — NOBODY! — considers him a Founding Father. Except, apparently, Bachmann, one of the foremost champions of a movement based on a reverence for colonial history, the tea party.

Bachmann insisted on this point in an interview with George Stephanopoulos this morning, although, eventually, when pressed, she called Adams merely "part of the Revolutionary War era," which is setting a pretty low bar. (Slavery discussion runs from 0:59 to 2:30)

To sum up: When forced to defend her claim that the Founding Fathers worked tirelessly to end slavery, the best and only example that Bachmann can produce is that boy who was "a part of the Revolutionary War era" fought slavery decades later.

Bachmann holds a lot of appeal for the Republican base, and these gaffes won't be fatal on their own. But she has a knack for saying things that are, well, not true, and over time, it adds up. Especially in the early going of the primary season, at a time when voters are forming their first impressions of the candidates, you don't want to become known as the woman who makes shit up.

John Quincy Adams a Founding Father? Michele Bachmann Says Yes [ABC News]

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