Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann told Florida voters on Sunday that Hurricane Irene and the recent earthquake were manifestations of God's desire to cut back government spending.
As East Coast states contended with a storm that would eventually kill at least 21 people, leave six million without electricity and cause billions of dollars in damage, Bachmann was courting voters in Sarasota, Fla. on her first campaign trip to the state. She lauded the Tea Party's emphasis on a smaller government and suggested that fiscally-minded voters were doing God's work.
Bachmann: Earthquake, Hurricane Are Divine Messages to Politicians
I don't know how much God has to do to get the attention of the politicians, Bachmann said. 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.
The statement continues a trend of Bachmann's political convictions being intertwined with a sense of divine will, including her contention that she ran for Minnesota State Senate because he [Jesus] called me to run and her enthusiastic endorsment of the idea that God's will governs every bit of life, including sociology, theology, biology, politics. That religiosity has energized the evangelical Christian voters whose support is central to Bachmann's election odds.
While Bachmann is not the first to attribute a natural disaster to divine displeasure -- John Hagee suggested a New Orleans gay pride parade may have incurred divine wrath in the form of Hurricane Katrina, while Pat Robertson postulated a connection between Katrina and abortion -- neither of them were considered to be viable presidential candidates.