Michele Bachmann Renounces Swiss Citizenship

Only days after it became public that she had obtained Swiss citizenship through her husband, Michele Bachmann has walked the entire thing back:

Michele Bachmann no longer wants to be a Swiss miss.

The Minnesota congresswoman asked the Swiss government Thursday to withdraw her citizenship, saying she wanted to make it clear that she was a proud U.S. citizen.

“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,” said Bachmann in a statement.

“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. 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,” she added.

POLITICO, along with Swiss TV, reported Tuesday she was granted Swiss citizenship on March 19.

On Wednesday, Bachmann’s office insisted she’d been a dual citizen for much longer.

“I automatically became a dual citizen of the United States and Switzerland in 1978 when I married my husband, Marcus. Marcus is a dual American and Swiss citizen because he is the son of Swiss immigrants. As a family, we just recently updated our documents,” the Minnesota Republican and former presidential candidate said in a statement. “This is a non-story.”

But her claim that she has been a Swiss citizen since 1978 raised questions about why, if that’s true, she didn’t disclose this while running for Congress and president of the United States.

Her office said she didn’t need to.

“It wasn’t necessary to disclose, because she is an American citizen and always has been. She has a United States birth certificate and a United States passport,” Bachmann spokesperson Becky Rogness told POLITICO on Wednesday evening.

My guess is that Bachmann did this because she started getting negative feedback from her Tea Party supporters and donors. Like I said when the story first came out, I didn’t necessarily have a problem with it but the hyper-patriotic crowd quite possibly did.

FILED UNDER: Congress, US Politics, , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Hey Norm says:

    So she was bi?

  2. Al says:

    Thus ends projekt wahnsinnigenfraupräsidentin. Oh well, it was always a long shot.

  3. gVOR08 says:

    Flip flopper.

  4. As a family, we just recently updated our documents

    You know how it is: drivers license about to expire, you go to the DMV to renew, and when you fill out the form you forget to check the “Please Do Not Make Me a Citizen of Switzerland” box.

  5. Murray says:

    The funny thing is you can’t relinquish Swiss citizenship.

    A Swiss friend recently explained to me that what counts is to be recognized by a locality (in Bachmann’s case the place of origin of her husband’s parents). Once that has been established you automatically gain citizenship and that is that.

    The reason for this emphasis on locality is that under Swiss law, the place of origin is responsible for you if you are indigent for example. But also that since you can’t relinquish your origins, you can’t relinquish citizenship.

    Note that place of origin is not place of birth. Even Swiss citizens who’ve never left the country often never set foot in their “place of origin”, which almost always goes back to some male ancestor several centuries ago. The notion of “place of origin” predates the modern Swiss state which was only founded in 1848.

  6. Tsar Nicholas says:

    …but the hyper-patriotic crowd quite possibly did.

    Those wingnuts are not “hyper-patriotic” as much as they are hyper-ignorant and terminally stupid.

  7. al-Ameda says:

    Thank god, Switzerland is saved.

  8. Franklin says:

    This story seems to have completely changed from a couple days ago. I thought her kids wanted to have dual citizenship, so they went through the process together as a family. Completely intentionally. Now she renounces it? If so, I guess I’ll have to admit that she’s as stupid as everyone said she was. Previously I just thought she was wildly misguided.

  9. al-Ameda says:


    If so, I guess I’ll have to admit that she’s as stupid as everyone said she was. Previously I just thought she was wildly misguided.

    And I used to wonder how it happened that she did not end up married to Rick Santorum.

  10. Gustopher says:

    I respect her feeling that she had to choose between the US and Switzerland, but did she really have to pick us?