Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 27 November 2014

Tea party leader in gaffe over US Revolution

A potential Republican presidential candidate who is a favourite of the conservative tea party movement which extolls America's founding fathers got her geography mixed up when it came to where the first shots of the Revolutionary War were fired.



Michele Bachmann of Minnesota made the gaffe before headlining a Republican Party fundraiser in New Hampshire – the north eastern state which holds the earliest presidential primary every four years.



Clutching a tea bag in her hand, the possible presidential hopeful told a group of students and conservative activists in Manchester, New Hampshire: "You"re the state where the shot was heard around the world in Lexington and Concord."



But those first shots of the Revolutionary War were fired at British troops in Massachusetts, not New Hampshire.



"So I misplaced the battles Concord and Lexington by saying they were in New Hampshire," Bachmann posted on her Facebook page later. "It was my mistake. Massachusetts is where they happened. New Hampshire is where they are still proud of it!"



Though Bachmann probably wasn't the first to confuse Concord, New Hampshire, with Concord, Massachusetts, her mistake was striking given her roots in the tea party movement, which takes its name from the dumping of tea into Boston Harbour in a protest against taxation without representation by angry American colonists in December 1773, 16 months before the Battle of Lexington Green.



Some 30 miles (50 kilometers) to the north and with tea bag in hand, Bachmann was greeted with applause when she asked the crowd, "How about a United States president that gets what the American people want in 2012?" and later proclaimed, "Are you in for 2012? I'm in."



She later clarified that she is committed to denying President Barack Obama a second term, not necessarily running herself.

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