Former half-term Gov. Sarah Palin joined Rep. Michele Bachmann in taking shots at First Lady Michelle Obama for promoting breastfeeding, joking that it could be a way for mothers to save money since the price of milk has gotten so high.
“No wonder Michelle Obama is telling everybody ‘you’d better breastfeed your baby,’” Palin said, after she suggested that prices for commodities and gasoline went up due to her husband’s policies, according to Politico. “Yeah, you’d better, because the price of milk is so high right now.”
But Palin herself promoted breastfeeding back when she was governor, as Media Matters points out. Palin declared October 2007 as Breastfeeding Awareness Month because, she said in a proclamation, “breastfeeding is recognized as an unequalled means of providing food for infants.”
Breastfeeding, Palin’s declaration said, “can offer children protection against serious health conditions, including obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Breastfeeding also saves lives by reducing the incidence of life-threatening cancers in women and preventing premature death in infants.”
It also “forms the most basic bond between mother and baby and is a foundation for lifelong health and wellness,” Palin’s declaration said.
As the crowd broke into laughter at her breastfeeding joke on Thursday, she added, “And may that not be the takeaway, please, of this speech,” according to the New York Times.
For sure, Palin’s joke didn’t appear to knock breastfeeding itself or even Obama’s effort to promote it to mothers. She didn’t appear to take a position on whether the government should buy breast pumps, which Bachmann slammed as “the new definition of the nanny state.”