When word got out that Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., had filed for an acquired Swiss citizenship back on March 19, she got slammed with an icy avalanche of criticism from conservative blogs, reports Politico.com.
By Thursday of this past week, the former GOP presidential contender announced she was withdrawing her citizenship in a country her husband holds dual citizenship with.
Bachmann’s trumpeting of her new citizenship didn’t sit well with conservatives.
Among her detractors was Mark Krikorian of the National Review.
“Dual citizenship isn’t simply a matter of convenience, a way to make travel easier or a sentimental tie to the Auld Sod,” Krikorian added in a piece headlined “Swiss Miss.” “It’s a formal declaration of divided allegiance, civic bigamy, if you will,” Krikorian wrote.
Bachmann’s husband holds dual citizenship as a matter of birth, and the U.S. government sees no problem with such status and does not require such dual citizens to renounce their citizenship outside the United States.
But the United States does discourage citizens, like Bachmann, from seeking and applying for dual citizenship and warns such citizens may lose their U.S. citizenship.
The State Department website states: "A person who acquires a foreign citizenship by applying for it may lose U.S. citizenship. In order to lose U.S. citizenship, the law requires that the person must apply for the foreign citizenship voluntarily, by free choice, and with the intention to give up U.S. citizenship."
When Rep. Bachmann announced that she was withdrawing her Swiss citizenship, she said it was to “make it perfectly clear” that she’s a “proud American citizen.”
A former Bachmann congressional staffer told Poltico.com: “She didn’t think there was anything wrong with holding or applying for Swiss citizenship while serving as a member of the U.S. Congress. She didn’t think it might be perceived as a conflict of interest as a candidate for president or for re-election to her House seat.”
Some detractors, however, went beyond calling for an end to any appearance of conflict of interest, casting the dual citizenship adventure as a stake through the political heart of Bachmann.
“How she thinks that she can sit in the Congress of the United States after swearing allegiance to the country of Switzerland is beyond my comprehension,” wrote conservative blogger Lori Stacy on Examiner.com. “Michele Bachmann needs to step down immediately and apologize profusely to all of our citizens and especially the residents of her district in Minnesota for carrying on this egregious offense of representing them since March 19 after becoming a citizen of a different country.”
Bachmann’s latest fiasco may mean a continued erosion of support she holds from patriotic tea party supporters.
Bachmann has already been criticized for raising millions of dollars nationally for her congressional seat, promising to remain a thorn in the Washington establishment. Instead of fulfilling that promise, Bachmann used millions of the funds she raised for a losing presidential bid many saw as an ego trip for her.
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