Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann has never been one to shy away from controversy. Whether she understands the subject or not, she will belt out anything that crosses her mind if she thinks it will build her street cred with the Tea Party faithful. She is, after all, a Constitutional expert dontchaknow. Monday was no exception. After touring flood damaged areas of Iowa with fellow Republican Steve King, she used the occasion to inject race into the mix:
Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann pointed to one program in particular Monday when talking about wasteful government spending: a multibillion dollar settlement paid to black farmers, who claim the federal government discriminated against them for decades in awarding loans and other aid.
The issue came up after Bachmann and Republican Rep. Steve King of Iowa toured flooded areas along the Missouri River. During a news conference, they fielded a question about whether farmers affected by the flooding also should be worried by proposed U.S. Department of Agriculture cuts.
Bachmann seconded King's criticism, saying, "When money is diverted to inefficient projects, like the Pigford project, where there seems to be proof-positive of fraud, we can't afford $2 billion in potentially fraudulent claims when that money can be used to benefit the people along the Mississippi River and the Missouri River."
Inefficient projects? Of course neither King nor Bachmann can cite any actual fraud, they just throw it out there to see what sticks to the wall. When asked by the AP for his thoughts on Bachmann's statements, John Boyd, head of the National Black Farmers Association had this to say:
"Why continue to take from those people who haven't taken part in federal programs equally and give to another group of farmers who have taken part in federal programs?" Boyd asked. "I think taking resources from a group of people who have been historically denied any relief at the Department of Agriculture is a bad idea. For the flood victims that deserve redress ... they should provide those people with relief, too."
Later in the article Boyd was quoted as saying "If Ms. Bachmann wants to be president of the United States, she should treat all people fairly." Mr. Boyd, I applaud your statement, but unfortunately, in Michele Bachmann's America, only wealthy, white Christians are worthy.