As municipal crews around the US northeast worked to clean up after Hurricane Irene, US Representative Michele Bachmann was doing her own damage control from a Florida political rally in which she suggested that the recent natural disasters were God’s way of sending a message to Washington.
“I don’t know how much God has to do to get the attention of the politicians,” Bachmann told a group of residents on Florida’s Gulf Coast on Sunday, referring to the need to rein in spending.
“We’ve had an earthquake; we’ve had a hurricane. He [God] said: ‘Are you going to start listening to me here? Listen to the American people because the American people are roaring right now,’” Bachman said.
The Republican’s comments came less than a week after a magnitude 5.8 earthquake near Mineral, Virginia, shook a large stretch of the east coast, including areas that would have to brace for a hurricane days later.
Irene, as both a hurricane and tropical storm, knocked out power for more than 1 million people and killed dozens, according media reports.
Playing it down
When a reporter asked her about the remarks after the event in Sarasota, Florida, Bachmann was quick to play down her intentions.
“Our hearts and prayers go out to the families of the victims,” she said. “This isn’t something that we take lightly. My comments were not meant to be ones that were taken lightly. What I was saying in a humorous vein is there are things happening that politicians need to pay attention to. It isn’t every day we have an earthquake in the United States.”