Bachmann Mangles Revolutionary History In N.H.

Bachmann Mangles Revolutionary History In N.H.

By Scott Conroy - March 12, 2011

MANCHESTER, N.H. -- Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann's visit to the first-in-the-nation primary state of New Hampshire got off to a rocky start on Saturday morning when she misstated a key fact about the American Revolution in a speech to a group of local conservative activists and students.

"What I love about New Hampshire and what we have in common is our extreme love for liberty," the potential GOP presidential candidate said. "You're the state where the shot was heard around the world in Lexington and Concord. And you put a marker in the ground and paid with the blood of your ancestors the very first price that had to be paid to make this the most magnificent nation that has ever arisen in the annals of man in 5,000 years of recorded history."

In fact, the 1775 Battles of Lexington and Concord that marked the first military engagements of the American Revolution took place in Massachusetts. But Bachmann did not correct her error when she referenced the battles again later in her speech.

Bachmann's contorting of a basic fact about the fight for American independence was made all the more glaring because of her repeated references throughout her speech to the nation's founding.

The Republican Liberty Caucus of New Hampshire, which hosted the event, provided pocket-sized copies of the Declaration of Independence and United States Constitution on a table a few feet from where Bachmann spoke.

"I'm thankful that you are the first in the nation state because you are the liberty state," Bachmann said. "That is your charge. You keep that baton of liberty. You've done it very well for almost 20 generations from the time the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, and I'm sure the very first one came up to New Hampshire and said, ‘This is where I want to be.'"

Several school-aged children attended the event, which was held at the site of a planned private high school.

Bachmann sprinkled in remarks related to her concerns about the public education system with her calls for fiscal restraint.

"I don't think that our public schools are necessarily the place where one fixed set of political beliefs should be imposed on students," Bachmann said. "I think that knowledge, facts, and information should be on the table, and let students decide what their beliefs should be."

As she continues to explore a presidential run, Bachmann said that the Republican Party needed to nominate someone who would usher the country back to its founding principles.

"What we need in our nominee is this," Bachmann said. "We need someone who understands and comprehends the seriousness of the times we live in, and second, we need someone who knows what to do. They know what the proper solution would be to get us back to liberty."


Scott Conroy is a national political reporter for RealClearPolitics. He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @RealClearScott.

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