Bachmann told a news outlet that actor John Wayne was from her hometown of Waterloo, Iowa and the two have a similar spirit.
But John Wayne was born in an Iowa town 150 miles away from Waterloo and moved to California as a child.
It was John Wayne Gacy who lived in Waterloo. He was convicted of his first sex crimes there prior to becoming a notorious serial killer in Chicago.
The Republican congresswoman told CNN on Tuesday that she misspoke and that her main intent was to show she identified with Wayne's patriotism.
"I wish I could be perfect," Bachmann said. "I'm a substantive, serious person" who has "good sense on how to turn the economy around" as president.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.