In an interview airing Saturday at 8pm EDT on FOX News' "Huckabee", GOP presidential contender Michele Bachmann said she does not "hate" Muslims as her Republican primary opponent Ron Paul charged on Friday.
" No, no," Bachmann replied to the show's host, former Gov.Mike Huckabee, when he asked about Paul's comments. "I have never said anything that foolish. What I believe is that I love the American people and I love this country and I want this country to be safe, sovereign and free. "
Instead Bachmann used the opportunity to pivot and point to Iran and Iran's leaders as possessing "the real hate" towards Israelis and Americans.
"The real hate that you hear is coming from the President of Iran," Bachmann said in reference to the Middle Eastern country's controversial head, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad." He hates Jews. He hates Jews in Israel, and he hates the American people, and so do the Mullahs in Iran who have expressly stated that it is their goal to kill Jews in Israel and also to kill Americans."
"That's a real threat and that's why as commander and chief of this nation I will stand up and make sure that Iran never obtains a nuclear weapon and I will stand with our ally Israel, " Bachmann added.
"She doesn't like Muslims," Paul said to Leno during a lightning round segment. "She hates Muslims, she wants to go get ‘em."
"It's kind of an odd thing to say, " Bachmann told reporters during a stop on her 99 stop Iowa bus tour." I think the Iranian threat is real. That doesn't mean that I hate the Muslim people."