Michele Bachmann gives up her Swiss citizenship

WASHINGTON — Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann has requested withdrawal of her Swiss citizenship after news that she and her children had recently applied for Swiss papers caused a stir.

Referring to the Swiss citizenship as an “automatic” designation conferred upon her when she married her husband Marcus Bachmann, the son of Swiss immigrants, Bachmann said she was withdrawing the citizenship to make clear her allegiance to the U.S.

“Today I sent a letter to the Swiss Consulate requesting withdrawal of my dual Swiss citizenship, which was conferred upon me by operation of Swiss law when I married my husband in 1978,” Bachmann said. “I took this action because I want to make it perfectly clear: I was born in America and I am a proud American citizen.

“I am, and always have been, 100 percent committed to our United States Constitution and the United States of America,” she said. “As the daughter of an Air Force veteran, stepdaughter of an Army veteran and sister of a Navy veteran, I am proud of my allegiance to the greatest nation the world has ever known.”

The former Republican presidential candidate who has often criticized President Barack Obama for what she calls his “socialist” policies, had seemed the most unlikely American politician to have dual citizenship with a European country that is ruled in part by the Social Democratic Party.

The statement also said that “under Swiss law, Bachmann automatically received dual citizenship when she married her husband, a dual American and Swiss citizen, in 1978.”

But that contradicts earlier statements by Bachmann and her spokeswoman, Becky Rogness, who said the Bachmann family had sought the citizenship.

“Congresswoman Bachmann’s husband is of Swiss descent so she has been eligible for dual citizenship since they got married in 1978,” Rogness said. “However, recently some of their children wanted to exercise their eligibility for dual citizenship so they went through the process as a family.”

Bachmann had initially tried to downplay the citizenship, calling it a “non-story” and saying the family had “just recently updated our documents.”

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