This you should know without using a teleprompter.
There comes a time in everyone’s high school (or junior high school) experience when one of your classmates drops a reference to Africa as a country in casual conversation. Usually it comes out something like, “Oh I totally want to go to Africa some day—it’s supposed to be a beautiful country.”
The kid who makes this remark might come from a wide variety of high-school social strata: they might be a jock, a cheerleader, an over-sheltered silver-spoon type, or just a general dumbass. But whoever they are, they were probably not voted “most likely to become president of the United States” in their senior yearbook.
It seems only fair the same rules should apply to the Republican primaries.
Last night in the GOP debate Michele Bachmann said she’d consider cutting everything from the federal budget—including some modest cuts to defense spending—if she were elected. Railing against what she apparently considers costly military adventurism abroad on the part of the Obama Administration, she said, “The president, he put us in Libya. He is now putting us in Africa.”
New Zealand Herald clarified: “Bachmann was referring to Obama’s recent announcement that he will be sending 100 U.S. troops to Uganda to help battle rebels from the Lord’s Resistance Army, implying that Libya – a North African state – was not in that continent.” (We had to go halfway around the world to make sense of that one.)
Bachmann has a colorful, gaffe-riddled short history as a presidential candidate, wishing Elvis a happy birthday on the anniversary date of his death, and confusing her birthplace of Waterloo, Iowa as the birthplace of John Wayne when it’s actually the birthplace of serial killer John Wayne Gacy.
But not knowing that Libya is in Africa? Come on.
Bachmann has said that geography is not her strong suit. If you’re running for president, an acceptable threshold of being bad at geography means sometimes forgetting whether Paraguay of Uruguay is the one that’s further north. But not knowing that Libya is in Africa?
No doubt the Bachmann camp will try to spin this (if they acknowledge it at all) that she of course knows Libya is in Africa—she didn’t explicitly say that Libya was in the middle east, after all.
But watch the clip from the debate yourself and decide what you think of the context. For my money, no way is she placing Libya in the right continent.