Bachmann says Gingrich has 'memory challenge'

December 1, 2011 - 8:46 PM

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann is pushing back after rival Newt Gingrich called her "factually challenged."

Campaigning Thursday in Florida, the congresswoman from Minnesota said both Gingrich and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney are guilty of changing positions when it's politically convenient. And she said Gingrich has a "memory challenge."

On Wednesday, the former House speaker and college professor said of Bachmann: "In the eyes of a teacher, occasionally I'd have a student who couldn't figure out where things were, or what things were, or what the right date was. When that happens, you feel sorry that they're so factually challenged."

Gingrich's criticism apparently refers to several instances in which Bachmann has flubbed some facts, such as when she said she would close the U.S. Embassy in Iran — even though the U.S. hasn't had an embassy there for decades.

Bachmann said of Gingrich: "I think that a professor doesn't like to be challenged, but I think that his real challenge is a memory challenge."

Gingrich and Romney are at the top of some national polls in the race for the Republican nomination while Bachmann often appears in single digits.