On Monday, Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann made a memorable impression on the nation during her presidential kickoff speech. Unfortunately for Bachmann, it probably wasn’t the kind of impression she was trying to make. Instead of basking in the glow of launching her new presidential campaign, Bachmann found herself the brunt of jokes for mistaking serial killer John Wayne Gacy for legendary movie star John Wayne.

Rep. Michele Bachmann, Source: Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia.org

During her speech on Monday in her home town of Watterloo, Iowa, Bachmann told Fox News: “John Wayne was from Waterloo, Iowa. That’s the kind of spirit that I have, too.” Sadly for Bachmann, as the Washington Times was quick to point out, the newly minted Republican presidential candidate was referring to the wrong John Wayne.

It was not film actor and producer John Wayne who was born in Waterloo. Instead, it was John Wayne Gacy, Jr. who was born in Bachmann’s home town. John Wayne Gacy, Jr. was a horrific serial killer who raped and murdered at least 33 teenage boys and young men between 1972 and 1978.

So, basically, Michele Bachmann told the world she has the same “kind of spirit” as a mass murderer of children. Not really the best sentiment to express in your presidential campaign launch speech.

On Tuesday, Michele Bachmann addressed the flub that turned her presidential speech into a giant joke laughed at over water coolers and social networking sites across the world.

“People can make mistakes and I wish I could be perfect every time I say something, but I can’t,” Bachmann told CNN. “Of course, the main point I was making are the sensibilities of John Wayne, which is patriotism, love of country, standing up for our nation, that positive enthusiasm is what America’s all about,” Bachmann said.

Bachmann also noted that actor John Wayne’s parents did live in Waterloo for a time and glossed over the ‘technicality’ of her error. In the end, Michelle Bachmann just wants the nation to know that she didn’t mean to say she had the same “spirit” as a serial killer.

No, instead, she has the “spirit” of a man who told Playboy magazine in 1971 that Native Americans were ‘selfish’ for trying to keep their land from being taken from them when the white people were expanding and needed new land. He also stated that he believed “in white supremacy until blacks are educated to a point of responsibility.”

Oh, and let’s not forget that John Wayne had any number of high-profile affairs, was known as a mean drunk and allegedly liked to hit women. Now that’s the kind of role model any presidential candidate should want to emulate, isn’t it?

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