GOP Rep.: Obama, Congress may be 'anti-American'
David Edwards and Andrew McLemore
Published: Friday October 17, 2008

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Sen. Barack Obama and certain members of Congress should be investigated by the media for "being anti-American," Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) said.

The Democratic presidential candidate's ties to 1960s radical Bill Ayers and Rev. Jeremiah Wright cast suspicion on his claims to American values, Bachmann said in an interview with MSNBC's Chris Matthews. She also connected "leftists" and "liberals" to her allegations about Obama's character.

"The news media should do a penetrating expose and take a look... at the views of the people in Congress and find out, 'Are they pro-America or anti-America?'" Bachmann said. "I think people would love to see an expose like that."

Obama and his campaign have condemned the radical activities of Ayers, carried out when Obama was 8 years old, the Associated Press reported.

There is no evidence they were close friends or that Obama received advice from Ayers on policy.

When asked by Matthews why Obama's connection to Ayers is important, Bachmann said it "calls into question what Barack Obama's true beliefs" are, and called him the "most liberal senator in the United States Senate."

Matthews asked Bachmann what the connection is between liberals and anti-Americanism. This was her response:

"Anti-American is the point. The liberals that are Jeremiah Wright and that are Bill Ayers are over-the-top anti-American and that's the question that Americans have."

Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin said Obama "pals around with terrorists" in a clip shown by Matthews. Bachmann agreed with Palin's statement.

Palin slammed Obama in a Friday speech for his connections to the controversial Rev. Wright, who was Obama's pastor for 20 years.

Bachmann's statements stoked anger in Katrina Vanden Heuvel, editor of The Nation, who said the congresswoman represented a kind of "American fascism."

"I fear for my country," Vanden Heuvel said. "I think what we just heard was a congresswoman channeling Joe McCarthy, channeling a politics of fear and loathing and demonization and division and distraction."

She continued to say Bachmann's comments were "so debased that I'm kind of almost having a hard time breathing because I think it's very scary."

But Matthews also spoke to Pat Buchanan, who said he agreed with all of Congresswoman Bachmann's comments except for the insinuation that liberal members of Congress are un-American.

Buchanan criticized Vanden Heuvel for using the same fear-mongering language she attacked Bachmann for.

"Nobody called Obama a traitor and a terrorist," Buchanan said.

This video is from MSNBC's Hardball, broadcast October 17, 2008.

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Katrina Vanden Heuvel responds to Michelle Bachmann

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