Bachmann's camera blunder?
January 26th, 2011
10:42 AM ET
4 years ago

Bachmann's camera blunder?

Washington (CNN) - Was Rep. Michele Bachmann looking at the wrong camera during her Tea Party-sponsored rebuttal to President Obama Tuesday night?

Not exactly.

While it may have appeared that way to viewers watching on CNN, Bachmann was actually addressing the camera of the Tea Party Express, the group that had invited the congresswoman to deliver a response to the State of the Union. The feed from that camera was used to stream her remarks live on the organization's web site.

Still it's likely many more saw Bachmann's remarks on CNN, where it appeared the three-term Minnesota Republican was looking slightly off screen. The camera CNN took to air was actually supplied by Fox, who shot the event on behalf of all the news networks as part of the rotating network pool coverage. Fox ran Bachmann's speech at a later point Tuesday night on tape delay.

Bachmann's delivery was subsequently mocked by a number of left leaning commentators and no less than David Axelrod, a top adviser to President Barack Obama, who afterwards in an interview with MSNBC said, "Am I looking at the right camera?"

soundoff (85 Responses)
  1. rs

    I initially thought broadcasting the Republican-lite response to the SOTU was a mistake. Not! It showed America Bachmann for what she is. Someone lookin' in the wrong place!

    January 26, 2011 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  2. Hermin

    However, it was only one national news network that thought it prudent to give this clown live coverage of this insignificant attempt. Whose only miasion was to play to the most radical fringe of the GOP. Oh wait... It was you CNN!

    January 26, 2011 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  3. Katie

    Bachmann is like a hypnotized automatron – glazed eyes, and repeating the same old tripe regardless of the question or circumstance. I don't believe she has any live brain cells left, it's nothing but an audio track rolling on an endless loop. The woman is bonkers!! According to ms bachmann, the founding fathers ended slavery, and all immigrants were treated equally. She's a nutcase.

    January 26, 2011 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  4. Joe

    Snarky remarks don't make your remarks correct, Axelrod. This is why we, the people neither trust nor respect you. We're tired of the holier-than-thou attitude of you elitist smarmy liberal think-you-know-everything jerks.

    January 26, 2011 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  5. Me

    Remember, Rep. Bachmann is all about light bulbs and hers is very dim if not outright burned out.

    January 26, 2011 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  6. Jo

    If this is the best Tea Party has to offer then this country is doomed. Of course, CNN blames Fox, the real question is why any network aired this nonsense. Then again if Fox airs something everyone has to air or they are part of the liberal media.

    January 26, 2011 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  7. Realistic

    Tweeting at bachy: @bachy:Total repeal of bachy & Tparty. Radical armed militants so say "Newt gangrene"

    January 26, 2011 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  8. spike in conshohocken pa

    Can somebody explain why a non-party is given air time for a rebuttal? Doesn't this open the door to other parties, real parties, that will demand equal time?

    January 26, 2011 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  9. Lynne

    It would have been nice to know that at the time, because I found the "not looking at the camera" thing so distracting that I couldn't pay attention to anything she had to say. Fox really presented her in a bad light...it made her look ill prepared, unprofessional and not the least bit Presidential...which we all know was the real objective of her speech last night....not that I will ever vote for her. She is way to radical for me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 26, 2011 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  10. informed voter

    It doesn't matter where Bachmann was looking, her message was the same BS we have heard from her and her confused Tea Party: ignore the failed Bush years and blame all of our nation's problems on the last two years. One thing I noticed, that was quite stark: President Obama gave an uplifting, inspiring speech. He was confident, positive and very presidential. Mr. Ryan and Ms. Bachmann, by comparison, were pessimistic, negative and amateurish.

    January 26, 2011 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  11. Shane Botwin

    I hope Michelle Bachmann gives us as much comic relief as we get from the Sarah Palins and Christine O'Donnells of the Whack Job Movement.

    January 26, 2011 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  12. Steve Oehmen

    Okay, she doesn't seem like the sharpest crayon in the box, but this is not why. Let's break this one off early. There are plenty of other valid reasons to go off on Representative Bachman.

    January 26, 2011 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  13. Joe

    Outpolled by Palin? Wow, she's really got a lot going for her! NOT!

    January 26, 2011 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  14. Sandra Skelton

    Hey, Lefties! What happened to "a more civil discourse"? You are so quick to criticize; even before you have the facts. She was doing the appropriate thing – looking at the camera of the people who invited her to speak but maybe, you don't understand good manners.

    January 26, 2011 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  15. Mike

    I had to stop watching after the first minute. To hear her blame the president for all of the Republicans wrong doing was just sickening. I liken he speech to the Republicans driving a car into the ditch and the tow truck shows up and the tow tuck driver is blamed for the damage to the car as well as being blamed for not getting the car out faster all the while as the tow truck driver is pulling the car out of a difficult situation and having everyone in the car yelling at the tow truck driver rather than help.

    January 26, 2011 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  16. Richard T.

    I did not watch this self declared leader of tbaggers but ... I suspect the camera she faced was off to the far right.

    January 26, 2011 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  17. betterdays

    Yes, that was unnerving. She needs more practice with the TelePrompTer. And any advantage gained by the sobering visual aid showing deficit spending increased by a factor of 3 (and stayed there) since Obama took office was lost when the bar graph was supplanted by the image depicting WWII soldiers. That just made me shake my head.

    The spending bar graph is amazing, though. I'm glad someone finally displayed it on national TV. The most memorable distillation of the Obama administration to date, I see it in my nightmares.

    January 26, 2011 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  18. kenn eh

    No one wanted to here oneside remembers. But go back to school an learn talk

    January 26, 2011 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  19. Progressive Texan

    It wasn't a mistake, it was highly symbolic. Bachmann appeals to about 20% of the right wing fringe, while ignoring the 80% of us who think she's a first class nut job. Her message was addressed directly to her extremist base, while she couldn't look the rest of us in the eye. People avoid eye contact when they know they are not telling the truth.

    January 26, 2011 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  20. Former Republican, but never again!

    Unbelievable that this idiot is mentioned as a possible Presidential candidate!

    January 26, 2011 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  21. Mike

    Michelle Bachman - Always blindly looking to the right!

    January 26, 2011 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  22. Fiery Buddha

    Let's focus on what she said – much more heinous than what camera she was looking at. Besides, I knew she wasn't talking to me. I try to listen to reason, logic and compassion, not fear and misinformation.

    January 26, 2011 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  23. Protect and Defend Freedom of Speech in the USA

    Talk about pettiness! For God's sake Democrats, GROW UP!!

    January 26, 2011 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  24. Kristen WI

    So, since they can't criticize Bachmann for her content, they pick this as their criticism. That says a lot about the quality of the content of her speech. She was right on, and she's the first politician I've seen in a long time to use simple graphs to help people see what the problems are in this country. Best speech of the night last night.

    January 26, 2011 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  25. Adam

    What bothered me was her distortion of the facts. This was so agregous that in her bar graph of joblessness she left out 2008. I could care less about where her eyes were I was wondering where the last year of Bush's presidency went.

    January 26, 2011 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
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