Archives: Bachmann’s Iran gaffe shows foreign policy ineptitude

Originally published in December 2011
Simon Nguyen

While gaffes are something politicians commit on a regular basis, Michele Bachmann’s recent misstatement regarding Iran shows she is not fit to run for president. According to NBC News, Bachmann made a comment at a campaign stop in Iowa that appears to claim the U.S. still has an embassy in Iran. This is of course not true as the U.S. has had no diplomatic ties with Iran since 1980.

It is simply unforgivable for someone who is running to be the U.S. commander in chief to make this amateurish mistake. Iran is and will continue to be the biggest national security challenge for any U.S. president. If Bachmann’s gaffe was a result of her lack of knowledge regarding the state of relations between the two countries, her credibility as a presidential candidate clearly needs to be reassessed. While American voters do not expect presidential candidates to have a PhD in foreign policy, they do expect them to at least know the basic facts.

The fact that this mistake came from Bachmann, who is a member of the House Select Committee on Intelligence, is especially infuriating. One has to wonder what the Minnesota representative has been doing in the intelligence committee all this time.

According to ABC News, Bachmann missed 88 consecutive house votes from August to October of this year. May be she should have spent more time on Capitol Hill than on the campaign trail.

If Bachmann’s gaffe was due to a poor choice of words, her candidacy should still be put under scrutiny. Foreign policy is a serious matter. Our allies and adversaries are monitoring every statement made by the president as well as by presidential candidates with interest. Bachmann needs to be more precise with her statements.

Unfortunately, this is not the first time Bachmann has made a big gaffe on foreign policy. In a radio interview on Jay Sekulow Live back in August, she asserted that America needs to be wary of the rise of China, India and the Soviet Union. Bachmann appeared to have completely forgotten that the Soviet Union had already folded some twenty years ago.

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