John Wayne, the iconic western actor who starred in over 100 movies, was the subject of a comical gaffe by presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann on Monday (27th June 2011). The Tea Party favourite who became the latest Republican to launch a bid for the White House mixed up John Wayne with John Wayne Gacy during an interview with Fox News.
Just moments after confirming her presidential bid, the Minnesota congresswoman said, "Well, what I want them to know is just like John Wayne was from Waterloo, Iowa, that's the kind of spirit I have too". The legendary American actor was actually from Winterset, not Waterloo and the only famous John Wayne to spend time in Waterloo was the infamous serial killer John Wayne Gacy. The criminal, known as the 'Killer Clown', lived in Waterloo before moving back to Chicago to begin his murder streak. It's the second time Bachmann has failed with her historical knowledge - during a recent rally in New Hampshire the Tea Party candidate told the crowd, "You're the state where the shot was heard around the world at Lexington and Concord". The famous 1775 battle was actually fought in Massachusetts. Born in Waterloo, Bachmann has been attempting to promote herself as a 'hometown girl' with community ties. In announcing her candidacy for the presidency, Bachmann took swipes at Barack Obama for his "failed leadership".
Bachmann's campaign later attempted to cover up the gaffe by insisting John Wayne's parents lived in Waterloo for a short time.