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Michele Bachmann downplays Swiss citizenship

May 10, 2012|By Kim Geiger
(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong )

Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmannis downplaying reports that she and her family recently became Swiss citizens, saying she has technically enjoyed dual citizenship since she married her husband in 1978.

Bachmann’s husband Marcus is eligible for Swiss citizenship because his parents are Swiss immigrants, but he only recently registered with the Swiss government, Politico reported earlier this week. Michele Bachmann and her three youngest children became Swiss citizens on March 19, according to the Politico report.

Bachmann called reports of the family’s Swiss citizenship a “non-story,” saying the family had “just recently updated our documents.”

“I automatically became a dual citizen of the United States and Switzerland on 1978 when I married my husband, Marcus,” Bachmann said in a statement.

News of Bachmann’s new citizenship caused a stir in Washington, especially since she did not disclose the “automatic” dual citizenship when she was running for president.

“It wasn’t necessary to disclose, because she is an American citizen and always has been,” Bachmann spokeswoman Becky Rogness told Politico.

As a candidate, Bachmann often criticized President Obama’s policies as “socialist.” Switzerland is ruled by a coalition including members of the Social Democratic Party.  

“I am proud of my husband, Marcus, the love of my life, and his Swiss heritage,” Bachmann said. “Even though I have been a dual citizen since I was married in 1978, I have never exercised any rights of that citizenship. Rather, I have always pledged allegiance to our one nation under God, the United States of America. We live in the greatest nation humankind has ever known and I am proud to be an American.”

kim.geiger@latimes.com

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