The Minnesota congresswoman's campaign denies that she wants to remove the president from office
NEWTON, Iowa--With a well-established track record for raising eyebrows on the stump, Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota on Tuesday said she thinks President Obama should be impeached.
After visiting a coffee shop in this small Iowa town, Bachmann was asked by a man in the crowd, "When will we impeach him and get him out of the way?" The candidate replied, "Well, I'll tell you, I'll tell you, I agree, I agree. Some people are really upset." Then she moved on to the next well-wisher.
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Campaign spokesperson Alice Stewart said later, "She was not saying that she agrees that Obama should be impeached. She agreed with the man on what they were talking about before -- that people are frustrated."
Bachmann's impeachment comments came after she gave her standard stump speech at Uncle Nancy's coffee shop, a popular stop for presidential candidates courting voters in the first-in-the-nation caucus state. About 60 people turned out to hear Bachmann.
Her crowds have diminished along with her political fortunes in recent weeks. Texas Gov. Rick Perry may get the prize for worst debater in the Republican field, but Bachmann is on track to win most gaffe-prone. Last month, after a candidate debate, she claimed that a popular vaccine for girls to prevent cervical cancer could cause mental retardation, an assertion that was immediately debunked by medical experts.
Other recent Bachmann-isms include her claim that Obama's policies caused the popular rebellions and political upheaval sweeping the Arab world, an assertion that the president should bar Iran's leader from the United Nations in violation of international treaties, and her dismissal of a question about school bullying as "not a federal issue." Other problems for Bachmann have included the departures of Ed Rollins, her top political adviser, and Ed Goeas, her pollster.
The U.S. Constitution provides for a president to be impeached and removed from office for treason, bribery, and other "high Crimes and Misdemeanors." Only two American presidents have been impeached in history; the last was President Bill Clinton.