MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann is in hot water after she made a racially tinged comment in a conversation about President Barack Obama.
The Republican Congresswoman was being interviewed by conservative blog, “The Shark Tank” when she addressed high gas prices, and the president’s proposal to curb oil speculation.
“This is just about waving a Tar Baby in the air and saying that something else is a problem,” said Bachmann, during the interview. “I have never seen a more irresponsible president, who is infantile in the way that he blames everyone else.”
Merriam-Webster defines “Tar Baby” as “something from which it is nearly impossible to extricate oneself,” but for many there is a racial connotation to the term.
The origin of the term is from a character in the Uncle Remus stories, used to trap Brer Rabbit.
Rep. Bachmann’s Press Secretary Becky Rogness issued this statement: “The Congresswoman values all human life – regardless of race, color or creed. If you listen to the interview, Rep. Bachmann was making a point about the President’s poor understanding of oil prices, which has nothing to do with race. The President doesn’t understand the oil market and hence, has gotten himself into a sticky situation.”
WCCO’s Chad Hartman played Bachmann’s comment for Minnesota DFL Congressman Keith Ellison. He had this reaction.
“I think it’s very insensitive,” said Rep. Ellison. “I think someone needs to bring to her attention that this not an acceptable term. It’s disrespectful of a section of society.”
Ellison believes Bachmann will correct the record and issue a proper apology. The Congressman believes Bachmann didn’t know what the term “Tar Baby” means to African-Americans.
“I don’t think she’s a mean person in her heart,” said Ellison. “I think she sometimes says things that are not well thought out.”