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Most of the 2012 Republican presidential candidates remained relatively quiet as Hurricane Irene made her way up the Eastern Seaboard this weekend.Not Michele Bachmann though. Appearing at the Sarasota County GOP rally in Florida yesterday, the Minnesota Congresswoman suggested that natural disasters like Hurricane Irene and last week’s earthquake are God’s way of telling politicians that he is unhappy.
“I don’t know how much God has to do to get the attention of politicians,” Bachmann said, according to the St. Petersburg Times. “We’ve had an earthquake; we’ve had a hurricane. He said, ‘Are you going to start listening to me here?’ Listen to the American people because the American people are roaring right now. They know government is on a morbid obesity diet and we’ve got to rein in spending.”
Bachmann is not the first prominent evangelical to suggest God is behind the recent spate of natural disasters. Televangelist Pat Robertson said last week that the earthquake that cracked the Washington Monument last week was a sign that “we’re closer to the coming of the Lord:”
“It seems to me the Washington Monument is a symbol of America’s power,” Robertson said on Thursday’s broadcast of the “700 Club.” “It has been the symbol of our great nation. We look at the symbol and we say ‘this is one nation under God.’ Now there’s a crack in it…is that a sign from the Lord? You judge. It seems to me to be symbolic.”
Bachmann, however, is the first Republican candidate to link the devastation of Irene to God’s wrath. But her campaign said the candidate was just joking.
“Obviously she was saying it in jest,” Bachmann spokeswoman Alice Stewart told Talking Points Memo today.
That Bachmann would make a joke about God seems unlikely, however, given her evangelical roots and efforts to court the conservative Christian vote. Bachmann’s Florida campaign swing also included a stop at the Idlewild Baptist megachurch, accompanied by her “faith outreach coordinator” Peter Waldron, an evangelical activist once arrested for trying to start a Christian nation in Uganda.