Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann explained her support for waterboarding Monday by likening it to the decision to drop nuclear bombs on Japan during World War II.
At Saturday's CBS News/National Journal Republican presidential debate, Bachmann agreed with Herman Cain that waterboarding was an acceptable interrogation technique.
"If I were president, I would be willing to use waterboarding," the Minnesota Republican declared. "It was very effective. It gained information for our country."
Over the weekend at a summit with Asian leaders in Hawaii, President Barack Obama said his rivals were wrong.
"Waterboarding is torture," the president insisted. "It’s contrary to America’s traditions. It’s contrary to our ideals. That’s not who we are. That’s not how we operate. We don’t need it in order to prosecute the war on terrorism. And we did the right thing by ending that practice."
On Monday, Fox News host Martha MacCallum asked Bachmann to respond to the president's remarks.
"I think the president is clearly wrong," the candidate said. "I would go back to president Harry Truman who had to make the horrific decision about dropping an atomic bomb on Japan to end World War II. He said if he had to kill Japanese in order to save one American life, he would."
"If as president of the United States, I believed that we would be able to save 3,000 American lives and stop jet aircraft from flying into the twin towers, I would utilize waterboarding if it would save American lives. Sometimes decisions have to be made."
She concluded: "It is important for people to know no one died from the use of waterboarding. Is it uncomfortable? Yes, it's uncomfortable, but our worries should not be the about the comfort level of a terrorist."
Following the end of World War II, the International Military Tribunal for the Far East executed Japanese soldiers who participated in the waterboarding of U.S. soldiers.