Congressman Erik Paulsen says the recent comments made by fellow Republican Michele Bachmann about Islamic fundamentalists infiltrating high levels of U.S. government were "not appropriate" and "not accurate."
Paulsen offered his take on the flap today following his appearance at a Minnesota House committee hearing on federal health care issues. Bachmann has faced bipartisan criticism for suggesting with some other GOP members of Congress that Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison and a top state department staffer have ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. Paulsen would not say whether Bachmann owes anyone an apology.
"Well, I'll just say I don't agree with her comments, and I don't think they were right to go after an administration official without any background that would prove otherwise," Paulsen said. "It's up to her to kind of handle that on her own now."
Asked if he believes there are any links between U.S. government officials and the Muslim Brotherhood Paulsen answered with an emphatic no.
Weak comment from Paulsen here. In typical fashion he waited for everyone else to lead on this. Here's what Paulsen's challenger, Brian Barnes, said last week:
“In 1950, near the beginning of Joe McCarthy’s reign of terror in which he exploited the American public’s fear of communism, his colleague Sen. Margaret Chase Smith, a fellow Republican, spoke out against his attacks on innocent government employees. Senator John McCain showed similar courage Wednesday by denouncing the attacks on Ms. Huma Abedin, made by Michele Bachmann in her attempt to exploit the public’s fear of Muslim extremism.
My friend, Representative Keith Ellison also criticized Representative Bachmann actions. Rather than reconsider her reckless statements, she went further and publicly accused Representative Ellison of having connections to terrorist groups.
These attacks go beyond the standards of our political discourse, the dignity of the United States Congress, and decency itself.
Yet, what is most concerning is the silence that enables such actions to occur – specifically the silence of her closest colleague Erik Paulsen.
Representatives Paulsen, Bachmann and Ellison have been long-time colleagues in both Congress and the Minnesota Legislature, and the time has come for Representative Paulsen to follow Senator McCain’s example and rise to the defense of loyal Americans. Silence in the face of such awful attacks only allows them to continue.”
Bachmann's anti-Muslim attacks are extremely personal in nature. She is not merely attacking a group, she is defaming innocent individuals and placing at least one such person in physical danger. This woman is a sick, disgusting, gutter sniping witch whose fascist views and tactics have no place in Congress or in American politics.
Bachmann is right and if Paulsen had any courage he'd support her, but he doesn't and he won't.