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Fox News to Michele Bachmann: 'Are You A Flake?'

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Just before boarding an Iowa-bound plane to kick off her presidential campaign, Michele Bachmann was asked a surprisingly blunt question: "Are you a flake?"

"I think that would be insulting to say something like that because I'm a serious person," Bachmann told Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace.

Bachmann, R-Minnesota, is a three-term congresswoman now neck-and-neck with Mitt Romney at the top of the most recent Iowa poll, but she has a reputation for making provocative statements and sometimes gaffes.

Wallace did not ask about any of those statements specifically and Bachmann, who has stayed consistently on message since a CNN debate two weeks prior, used the question to repeat her biography.

"I'm 55 years old. I've been married 33 years," she said. "I'm not only a lawyer, I have a post-doctorate degree in federal tax law from William and Mary. I've worked in serious scholarship…my husband and I have raised five kids, we've raised 23 foster children. We've applied ourselves to education reform. We started a charter school for at-risk kids. I've also been a state senator and member of the United States Congress for five years."

"Do you recognize that now that you are in the spotlight in a way that you weren't before that you have to be careful," he said, following up.

"Of course a person has to be careful with the statements they make," replied Bachmann. "I think now will be an opportunity to speak fully on the issues. I look forward to that."

Asked if the campaign believed Wallace's question was sexist, or if the same line of inquiry would be put to one of the male candidate's, Bachmann spokeswoman Alice Stewart told ABC News "it was an insulting question all around."

Wallace later posted a video statement on the Fox News Sunday website, during which he apologized for asking such a question.

“I messed up,” Wallace said. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean any disrespect…”

Bachmann arrives on Sunday in Waterloo, Iowa, the town of her birth. She officially kicks off her campaign form there Monday.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio