Bachmann wishes Elvis happy birthday on death date

By Jim Davenport

Associated Press

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 16 2011 12:00 a.m. MDT

Republican presidential candidate, Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., pays for her order of Chili Cheese A/Plenty, Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2011, at the Beacon Drive-in , in Spartanburg, S.C.

Richard Shiro, Associated Press

SPARTANBURG, S.C. — Republican presidential candidate Michelle Bachmann got her Elvis Presley dates all shook up during a campaign stop Tuesday in South Carolina.

The congresswoman from Minnesota played the Elvis tune "Promised Land" at a local restaurant and told the crowd of 300 that she wanted to say happy birthday to the king of rock 'n' roll.

"Before we get started, let's all say happy birthday to Elvis Presley today!" Bachmann said.

But Aug. 16 is the anniversary of Elvis' death, in 1977, and someone in the crowd shouted back, "He died today!"

Bachmann didn't respond and launched into her speech.

She didn't miss a beat on the Elvis front either. As she signed autographs, she paused for a brief shag dance with one of her fans.

Bachmann corrected herself later as she spoke with reporters, noting the date marked Presley's passing, not his birth.

"As far as we're concerned, he's still alive in our hearts," Bachmann said.

Bachmann has stumbled over cultural references before. In June, she kicked off her presidential campaign in Waterloo, Iowa, calling it the home of American actor John Wayne. The town was actually home for a time to serial killer John Wayne Gacy.

Get The Deseret News Everywhere