Michele Bachmann Tells Florida Blog That Obama Is "Waving a Tar Baby"
During that interview, she accused President Obama of "waiving a tar baby in the air." Whoops! Mitt Romney already had to apologize for using that racially charged phrased back in 2006.
Shark Tank blogger Javier Manjarres sat down with the Minnesota congresswoman Wednesday and asked her about the Keystone pipeline and high gas prices. Here's what Bachmann had to say:
"This is just about waiving a tar baby in the air and saying that something else is a problem. I have never seen a more irresponsible President who is infantile in the way that he continually blames everyone else for his failure to first diagnose the problem and second to address the problem."The remarks can be heard starting at 1:48 in the video below:
The term certainly has a complicated history. In 2006, Romney apologized for using the term while referring to Boston's Big Dig highway project.
Bachmann's use of the term could perhaps be more controversial. She's discussing the policies of an African-American president, and then just one sentence later characterizes Obama as baby-like himself by calling him "infantile."
The term originates from folklore and was most noticeably used in Joel Chandler Harris's Uncle Remus stories in which the Br'er Fox makes a doll out of tar to trick Br'er Rabbit. The Rabbit gets snared in the tar baby, and his efforts to free himself only get him more ensnared. So the term can mean "a sticky situation." Though it also has been used as a derogatory term.
The Oxford English Dictionary lists two definitions for tar baby: "a difficult problem, that is only aggravated by attempts to solve it" and as "a derogatory term for a black person (U.S.) or a Maori (N.Z.)." The much less academic Urban Dictionary also lists several definitions of both the folkloric and racist varieties.
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