Tim Pawlenty aide Vin Weber apologizes for saying Michele Bachmann has "sex appeal"
Weber, a co-chairman of Pawlenty's political action committee, said in a Wednesday interview with the Hill that "sex appeal," along with hometown appeal and ideological appeal, would make Bachmann, R-Minn., "very hard to beat" in Iowa.
"She's got hometown appeal, she's got ideological appeal, and, I hate to say it, but she's got a little sex appeal too," Weber said.
In a Wednesday night statement, Weber quickly walked back the remarks.
"I made a mistake that was disrespectful to my friend Congresswoman Bachmann," Weber said. "I've been a Bachmann supporter in her congressional bids and I apologize. I was not speaking on behalf of Governor Pawlenty's campaign but nevertheless, it was inappropriate and I'm sorry."
The controversy highlights apparent tensions between the two campaigns: both Pawlenty, the former Minnesota governor, and Bachmann, a current Minnesota Representative, are social conservatives who are counting on strong Iowa performances to solidify their roles in the contest. Bachmann, however, has recently seen a surge in the polls while Pawlenty's strength appears to have taken a dip.
Pawlenty condemned Weber's comments as "wrong" in remarks to reporters Wednesday night.
"I don't believe that he or anyone else should be using as a reference somebody's sex appeal to judge their fitness for office or the strength of their campaign," he said, according to the New York Times. "It was a wrong statement. He should not have been making that reference."
Bachmann's campaign has so far declined to comment on the matter.
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