In the hot seat on Sunday, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) was asked by Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer, "Do you believe that God does use the weather to send people messages here on Earth?"
Bachmann said late last month that the one-two punch of a rare east coast quake followed in short order by Hurricane Irene was a wake-up call from God to Washington. Here's her exact quote:
"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?'"
Her campaign quickly walked the statement back, saying Bachmann was speaking "in jest."
But on Face the Nation, Bachmann didn't exactly answer the question. "Obviously I was speaking metaphorically," she said, adding that Hurricane Irene was "a terrible tragedy."
"The American people have been desperately trying to get the president's attention," she went on. "... that's why I'm running for president, Bob. I want to bring the voice of the American people and their concerns into the White House where their voice hasn't been heard for a long time. They're trying to get the president's attention, and that's the metaphor I was making."
"So ... do you believe that God uses the weather to send people messages?" Schieffer pressed.
"I believe in God," Bachmann said. "I'm not ashamed to say that I believe in God. I'm a woman of faith, and a woman of prayer. But the comments that I made right then was a metaphor, that was very simply what I was doing."