Michele Bachmann Accuses Obama of “Waving a Tar Baby in the Air”

The Minnesota lawmaker’s Shark Tank interview is causing a feeding frenzy on her choice of words.

Posted: 04/20/2012 10:24 AM EDT
2012 Presidential Election, Barack Obama, Barack Obama 2012, President Barack Obama, Michele Bachmann, President Obama, racism

Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann is having another “Say What?” moment. Referring to President Obama’s energy policy during an interview with the conservative website Shark Tank, the lawmaker accused him of “waving a tar baby in the air.”

Tar baby is a phrase that originated in 19th-century Uncle Remus stories in which a character made a doll out of tar and turpentine to entrap his enemy. Although it was once used to describe a "sticky situation," it has long been considered to be a racial slur.

Spokesperson Becky Rogness in an email Thursday said that Bachmann’s comment had “nothing to do with race” and she used the expression to make the point that Obama “has gotten himself into a sticky situation” on oil prices.

But it’s not the first time that Bachmann has gotten in trouble over race. Last summer she signed a marriage pledge that asserted that Black families were stronger during slavery than they are under Obama.

Bachmann also called the president “infantile” and “irresponsible” in the Shark Tank interview, and accused him of caring only about his re-election.

"All you have to know about President Obama is filtered through a grid called his re-election. Everything he does,” she said. “It has nothing to do with priorities of the country. It has nothing to do with turning around the economy."

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(Photo: Courtesy Shark-Tank.net)