MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- A spokeswoman says Rep. Michele Bachmann wasn't referring to race when she used the term "tar baby" to attack President Barack Obama's energy policy.
The Minnesota Republican told a conservative blog Wednesday that Obama's calls for more regulation of oil speculators "is just about waving a tar baby in the air and saying that something else is a problem."
In the Uncle Remus story, "tar baby" describes a tar lump dressed as a person to catch Brer Rabbit. But "tar baby" also has been considered a derogatory term for black people.
Bachmann spokeswoman Becky Rogness says in a Thursday email that Bachmann made a point about Obama's understanding of oil prices that has "nothing to do with race." Instead, Rogness says Obama "has gotten himself into a sticky situation."
Bachmann's chief of staff told MPR News Friday morning that the congresswoman was unavailable for comment and traveling out of the country.
Bachmann made the remarks in this video: