Bachmann Makes It Clear Who Is Driving the 'Birther' Train: The Media

What happens when you have James Carville prodding Larry King to ask a "tough" question of outspoken Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann? You get a glimpse of what is really driving the movement questioning the legitimacy of President Barack Obama's birthplace.

On CNN's Oct. 7 "Larry King Live," a persistent Carville would not let it go - that Bachmann was a part of the so-called "birther" movement - a tactic to frame her as "nutty."

"Well, first of all, there are seven Republicans in the House that have ‘birther' legislation before in there," Carville said. "And one of the things that people don't like is that politicians get a simple yes or no question and they try to evade it, just like I heard the Congresswoman do. She's known to be very outspoken."

"Oh, not at all," Bachmann replied. "I answered."

And Carville continued his role of interviewer, instead of guest.

"I can't believe that she doesn't have the courage just to give us a simple yes or no answer - do you believe that these ‘birthers' are plum crazy, because that's what Senator Lindsey Graham was saying? And it's a simple question - do you believe that they're crazy or not?"

After an attempted intervention from former President George W. Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer, explaining that both the right and left have their share of crazies, albeit he said they had more on the left than the right, Carville went back after Bachmann:

JAMES CARVILLE: I can't believe that Congressman Bachmann couldn't answer a yes or no question.
REP. MICHELE BACHMANN: I answered the question.
CARVILLE: You see - are they crazy or not?
BACHMANN: And I answered it very clearly.
CARVILLE: No, you didn't.

Bachmann tried to stay on track and not deviate into Crazy-ville, but Carville kept insisting they revisit the topic.

BACHMANN: What I said is people in my district want to know where are the jobs? That's what I hear over and over, meeting after meeting
CARVILLE: Are they nutty or not?
BACHMANN: No one is bringing this issue up.

But King intervened for Carville for the next go-around.

KING: Congresswoman, I am - Congresswoman, the only thing was the question was simple - do you believe the ‘birthers'? Forget the district, forget the jobs for a moment. Do you believe President Obama was born in the United States?
BACHMANN: I have no reason to doubt that he wasn't born in the United States. I have none. The only place that this issue comes up is on the left. You don't hear people on the right bringing this issue up. Honest to Pete. In Minnesota, the only thing people are interested in are where are the jobs?
KING: Then where did it start? Do you think the left started it?
BACHMANN: I don't know. I have no idea. It's a non-issue. The jobs are the issue.

King wanted to make sure it clear, so he took another stab at the tedious topic:

KING: All right. So, therefore, you don't believe it, right?
BACHMANN: I don't believe that - you mean where President Obama was born?
KING: That he was born somewhere else.
BACHMANN: The president has shown his birth certificate.
KING: You don't believe he was born.
BACHMANN: The president has shown his birth certificate.
KING: OK
BACHMANN: The real issue is jobs.

Over the past couple of years, Bachmann has found herself in these battles with the cable media. Some of those attacks have been against her family, others borderline misogynistic. But Bachmann made it clear she's not afraid of the attacks, specifically those from MSNBC "Countdown" host Keith Olbermann.

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