Charlie Riedel, Associated Press
Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn.

The earthquake and hurricane that recently afflicted the Eastern Seaboard are just God's way of getting tone-deaf politicians to pay attention, Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann explained Sunday while speaking to tea partiers in Florida.

Per the St. Petersburg Times and Politico, Bachmann said, "I don't know how much God has to do to get the attention of the politicians. We've had an earthquake; we've had a hurricane. He said, 'Are you going to start listening to me here?' Listen to the American people because the American people are roaring right now. They know government is on a morbid obesity diet and we've got to rein in the spending."

In other Bachmann news, an Associated Press article in Monday's Seattle Post-Intelligencer details her willingness to consider drilling for oil and natural gas in the Florida Everglades.

"Bachmann said the United States needs to tap into all of its energy resources no matter where they exist if it can be done responsibly. … In 2002, the federal government at the urging of Pres. George W. Bush bought back oil and gas drilling rights in the Everglades for $120 million. Bachmann, who wants to get rid of the federal Environmental Protection Agency, said she would rely on experts to determine whether drilling can be done without harming the environment."

Also, the New York Times reported Saturday that the Minnesota Congresswoman's plans for orchestrating an economic turnaround hinge on tax cuts.

"Representative Michele Bachmann promised Saturday that as president she would turn things around within one economic quarter, in part by cutting corporate taxes and eliminating capital gains and inheritance taxes. Painting President Obama as doggedly anti-business, Mrs. Bachmann asked, 'Why in the world wouldn't we do what we know works to create jobs in this country?' "

UPDATE: Bachmann's spokeswoman, Alice Stewart, told Talking Points Memo that the candidate's comment about natural disasters was intended as a joke.

"Obviously she was saying it in jest," Stewart said in a statement.

At the Politico website, columnist Alexander Burns responded to Stewart's clarification: "If the campaign says she meant it as a joke, it's a believable explanation. That does, though, raise the question of whether it's appropriate for a presidential candidate and member of Congress to be joking about a major weather event that has already resulted in fatalities and extensive property damage, and isn't over yet."

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