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Bachmann campaign disputes fraudulent flier


TAMPLA, FL -- Michele Bachmann's campaign is denying the Minnesota congresswoman has either endorsed or ruled out supporting a candidate following the circulation of a fraudulent news release in South Carolina.

A release, which appears to show the Minnesota congresswoman denouncing Newt Gingrich two weeks after Bachmann ended her campaign, was distributed by email to voters in South Carolina yesterday.

The campaign's former communications director, Alice Stewart, issued this response: "The Bachmann for President campaign has not issued an official statement regarding an endorsement of any current candidate in the GOP race ahead of the South Carolina primary. Any information found to the contrary is inaccurate."

NBC News has obtained a copy of the release, which was printed on campaign letterhead and made to look like a news release sent on behalf of the candidate herself. 

The release promises an endorsement in the "coming weeks," but notes, "through this exhaustive process of consideration, it was strikingly obvious that one candidate could not be less acceptable to be our Party's nominee." 

Describing a candidate lacking "poise, experience and moral fibre," the release names Gingrich, calling him "desperately flawed."

If nothing else, the incident demonstrates that Bachmann's voice is valuable enough to counterfeit, and it marks the second time in a week that former top aides have complained her name is being misused.

On Friday, campaign manager Keith Nahigian directed a lawyer to ask South Carolina radio stations to take down an advertisement he said created the false impression she is endorsing the former House speaker.