Michele Bachmann Campaign Pushes Back On John Wayne Remark

Jun 27, 2011 3:08pm

ABC's Sara Just and Russell Goldman report: While spending time in her hometown of Waterloo, Iowa to  formally announce her candidacy Michele Bachmann misidentified her hometown as the birthplace of legendary actor John Wayne.

Wayne’s Iowan hometown is a landmark but it is in Winterset, Iowa, about three hours away from Bachmann’s hometown of Waterloo.

“What I want them to know is just like John Wayne is from Waterloo, Iowa, that’s the spirit I have too,” she told Fox News.

But as the Washington Times first noted, Waterloo is famous for its link to another John Wayne – John Wayne Gacy, the infamous serial killer of the 1970s. Gacy moved to Waterloo as a young adult, managed several fast food restaurants there and was charged with sexual assault there, his first criminal conviction.  

Bachmann’s campaign pointed out to ABC News today that actor John Wayne’s parents did live in Waterloo, although the actor himself did not.

And a little internet research proves that point correct.

According to the book “Duke: We’re Glad We Knew You” by Herb Fagen, Clyde and Molly Morrison  – actor John Wayne’s parents – lived in Waterloo early in their marriage – but they moved to Winterset before the birth of son Marion Mitchell Morrison (he changed his name to John Wayne professionally). 

Bachmann’s misidentification of her hometown’s local hero is not the first gaffe of this political season and surely won’t be its last. Just last week the President misidentified the recipient of the Medal of Honor. And earlier this month, erstwhile candidate Sarah Palin was on her One Nation bus tour through New England and flubbed the history of Paul Revere

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