Rep. Michele Bachmann insisted Thursday she’s withdrawing her Swiss citizenship to “make it perfectly clear” that she’s a “proud American citizen,” but intense criticism from the right may have forced her decision. The news that the Minnesota Republican became a Swiss citizen on March 19 was greeted poorly by conservative blogs — which normally argue in her favor — as writers called her dual citizenship “treason,” “career-ending” and an “insult."
A former Bachmann congressional staffer told POLITICO that the congresswoman sometimes acts “impulsively” and suggests that she must have registered for citizenship without considering all consequences.
“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 reelection to her House seat,” said the staffer. “But one might think she’d be better served to focus first on her constituents in Minnesota and then on her fellow citizens in Switzerland.”
Mark Krikorian, an influential anti-immigration writer who contributes to the National Review and heads the Center for Immigration Studies, led the charge in the blogosphere with three articles in two days about how Bachmann’s dual citizenship was wrong. “This is outrageous and she needs to hear about it… Dual citizenship isn’t simply a matter of convenience, a way to make travel easier or a sentimental tie to the Auld Sod,” argued Krikorian. “It’s an insult to both countries.” Elsewhere, the criticism was even fiercer. “Dual Citizenship Is Treason,” blared a headline at the Daily Paul, a website “inspired by” Ron Paul.
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