Michele Bachmann jokes that God sent hurricane, earthquake

Chip Somodevilla GETTY IMAGES Republican presidential candidate U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) addresses a rally at a GOP Picnic August … Continued

Chip Somodevilla


Republican presidential candidate U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) addresses a rally at a GOP Picnic August 9, 2011 in Humboldt, Iowa.

Republican presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann (Minn.) told supporters God was sending a message to Washington politicians through the earthquake and hurricane that pummeled the East Coast this weekend, according to a report in the St. Petersburg Times. The hurricane killed more than 26 people, including at least two

While giving a speech about the merits of small government and tea party activism, Bachmann said:

Bachmann’s press secretary said that Bachmann was “saying it in jest” to prove a point.

On Monday the congresswoman insisted that she was joking, The Hill reported. “Of course I was being humorous when I said that. It would be absurd to think it was anything else,” Bachmann said, adding: “I am a person who loves humor. I have a great sense of humor.”

The three-term congresswoman’s comments, joking or not, moved into ”risky territory,” writes Politico. This may be especially true for a candidate who, in the two months since she announced her candidacy, has faced many questions about her religious worldview.

Bachmann was asked during an August debate about whether or not she would ‘submit’ to her husband’s authority in her potential role as president. (She answered that, in her marriage, submission “means respect.”) Her husband’s Christian counseling center has also been criticized for advancing controversial “reparative therapies” for homosexuality.

Bachmann’s hurricane-earthquake comment is “not exactly a mainstream meteorological view,” Politico wrote. But a Public Religion Research institute/ Religion News Service poll from earlier this year found that nearly 40 percent of Americans “believe that earthquakes, floods and other natural disasters are a sign from God.”

Note: This post has been updated.

More On Faith:

Under God: Glenn Beck: Hurricane a ‘blessing’

Under God: Pat Robertson: D.C. earthquake ‘means we’re closer to the coming of the Lord’

Figuring Faith: Why religion will matter in 2012

Lisa Miller: Be not afraid of evangelicals


Elizabeth Tenety Elizabeth Tenety is the former editor of On Faith, where she produced "Divine Impulses," On Faith’s video interview series. She studied Theology and Government at Georgetown University and received her master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. A New York native, Elizabeth grew up in the home of Catholic news junkies where, somewhere in between watching the nightly news and participating in parish life, she learned to ponder both the superficial and the sacred.
  • WorldNet

    Any extremist talking head who has to explain an awkward statement meant to kowtow to religious extremists as actually being a joke – days after the fact – is a lying flake. I think every realist always knew – and probably hoped – that she would show her true colors eventually.

    For her fulfilling my own expectations, she deserves praise for failing so well.

  • Urgelt

    If it was a joke, when do we get to the funny-ha-ha part?

  • diamond2

    If she’s joking, it is a bad joke and she has no class. If she’s not joking, she belongs on Cable TV with Pat Robertson and not running for President.

  • domagaya

    Does she want to say that her presidential candidacy is a joke?

  • rmarinko

    If you have to tell someone that it was a joke, then you are not funny. Humor shouldn’t need to be explained.


    Michele Bachmann doesn’t worry about what she says. If she is challenged, she’ll just turn around and say she didn’t say it. Since she never says anything of substance, it really doesn’t matter.

  • MTgrassland

    We have once again been Bachmann’d.

  • whocares666

    How ironic that her lord now is sending a message to the Texas theocrat.

  • DavidH3

    Just because you’re smiling doesn’t make it a joke.

  • manfredman55

    One sided, narrow minded fanatics like Michel Bachmann have no sense of humour, they believe what they say…. hard to believe that persons like Bachmann, Perry , Palin have got such an importance in the US.. It´s frightening… even for the rest of the world. What can we await next .. burning of witches like in the 17th century?

  • seo1

    I think that families of the 38 people who were killed by the hurricane have gotten a big chuckle out Bachmann’s droll sense of humor.

  • aallen1

    It doesn’t matter if she was joking or not. Her comments were equally tasteless, insensitive and clueless either way.

  • gVOR08

    It’s sort of like FOX News being “fair and balanced.” People who have a great sense of humor don’t have to say they have a great sense of humor. .

  • bkontheloose

    I guess Texax, NJ, Vermont all had it coming.

  • tojby_2000

    We have see this canard time and time again; a wingnut toots a dog whistle to her/his pack and when an outsider asks if the sound was meant seriously is told ‘Oh… that was just a joke.’
    The ‘joke’ is on the MSM.

  • bucinka8

    She wasn’t joking. She’s just trying to cover her derriere at this point. At least she has some intelligence and humility to realize that that kind of comment makes some of her potential voters think she’s a goober. (unlike a certain prior candidate for VP….)

  • bucinka8

    Pat Robertson is, and Jerry Falwell was, a master of this technique. They knew full well you can’t un-say something. Apologizing is a useless gesture, as people will have heard what they said, and that’s what counts.

  • bucinka8

    Oh, by the way, I am on business travel in San Antonio this week, and they are in the middle of a terrible drought, so much that wildlife is at risk and pool-filling restricyions are in effect. I guess this doesn’t count as the wrath of G*d as well. Only in “librul” blue states….

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