Rep. Michele Bachmann has always been vocal about her religion, but her recent comments have caused speculation within the political community. At a prayer rally on Sunday, Bachmann addressed the inclement weather in Florida:
"Washington, D.C., you'd think by now they'd get the message. An earthquake, a hurricane, are you listening? The American people have done everything they possibly can, now it's time for an act of God and we're getting it."
Bachmann is Minnesota's Representative for the 6th congressional district, and a past candidate for president in the 2012 elections. She attended the prayer rally in Florida on Sunday as a means of maintaining enthusiasm among voters after the RNC was delayed due to Hurricane Isaac. Bachmann is scheduled to speak at the RNC to rally support from Tea Party voters for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
Rep. Bachmann has made claims mixing religion and politics in the past, most memorably when she claimed, "God... called me to run for the United States Congress." The Tea Party favorite withdrew from the presidential race after receiving only 5% of the vote in the Iowa primary. Though she lacks support from the general electorate, Bachmann maintains a strong following among Tea Party activists, hence her appearance at the prayer rally.
The religious claims continued when Bachmann excited the crowd:
"At this moment in time we're quite literally looking at a hurricane here in Florida. We're looking at a political hurricane in this country. We are looking at a spiritual hurricane in our land. And it is time for each one of us to show up and suit up and stand up and realize that in this time and in this day we pour it out for Him."
Some may claim that her comments were meant to stir the crowd, and that they were targeted at a very specific audience, however, based on her previous history of very similar comments, critics will argue that the latest Michele Bachmann hurricane quote is out of bounds. Independent and moderate voters, in particular, might perceive the Minnesota representative's rhetoric as a breach of the separation of church and state.
As Romney slips behind in the polls and attempts to craft a coherent campaign message heading into November, he may not be able to afford the political backlash and distraction over his fellow party member's comments. The RNC kicks off in Florida later this week and post convention polling will indicate whether the venture was successful or not, and whether Romney was affected by Bachmann's latest speech.