Bachmann targets Michelle Obama
February 16th, 2011
08:50 AM ET
4 years ago

Bachmann targets Michelle Obama

Washington (CNN) - Rep. Michele Bachmann, a potential Republican presidential candidate, is taking issue with Michelle Obama over the first lady's recent promotion of breast-feeding.

Speaking to conservative talk radio host Laura Ingraham Tuesday, the Minnesota Republican said Obama's efforts to promote breast-feeding and the IRS's announcement that nursing supplies that aide in the practice can be deducted from tax returns amounts to a "new definition [of] the nanny state."

"This is very consistent with where the hard left is coming from," Bachmann told Ingraham. "For them, government is the answer to every problem."

"I've given birth to five babies and I breast fed every single one of these babies," she added. "To think that government has to go out and buy my breast pump for my babies? You wanna talk about the nanny state, I think you just got a new definition."

The comments come on the heels of Obama's recent contention that breast-feeding can play a key role in reducing childhood obesity.

"We also want to focus on the important touch points in a child's life. And what we're learning now is that early intervention is key. Breastfeeding. Kids who are breastfed longer have a lower tendency to be obese," Obama told a group of reporters last week, according to Politics Daily.

"Breastfeeding is a very personal choice for every woman," Kristina Schake, a spokeswoman for Obama, later said. "We are trying to make it easier for those who choose to do it."

It's not the first time Obama has faced ire from the right when it comes to childhood nutrition. Sarah Palin told Ingraham last fall that "the first lady cannot trust parents to make decisions for their own children, for their own families in what we should eat."


Filed under: Michele Bachmann • Michelle Obama
soundoff (299 Responses)
  1. Alex

    Who cares what Bachmann has to say. This woman is a crazed lunatic. She spews nothing but lies and fabricated "facts". I am sick of the republicans attacking Michelle O.!

    February 16, 2011 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  2. GonzoinHouston

    Go ahead, Bachman, take a potshot at one of the most popular First Ladies ever. Let me know how that works out for you.

    February 16, 2011 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  3. Bigge

    The Repub's are talking about everything but jobs, oh wait they did mention jobs yesterday...(If job are lost so be it)...This is great for the unemployment rate....I knew the Repub's would turn on you all but just not that fast... Lower tax for the wealthy, 360 billion for Exxon and now laying off Gov. workers.......I love it.....

    February 16, 2011 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  4. M- AZ

    I am so sick of these clowns!

    Obama 2012!!!!!!Obama2012!!!!!!Obama2012!!!!Obama2012...Yes we can!

    February 16, 2011 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  5. JD

    This is absolutely ridiculous

    February 16, 2011 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  6. Dave

    Good God, what is with these women? Can no one give a suggestion these days? Michele Obama is just trying to combat childhood obesity. NOTHING ELSE! Palin and Bachmann need to get off their horse about this matter. Mrs. Obama didn't suggest that the IRS have a deduction for breast feeding supplies (if this is true it is a bit looney but being a CPA I know there are a lot of looney deductions in the IRS code) so stop blaming that one on her.

    I ride the train with a lot of people every day to work and I would say that at least 80 percent of them are overweight. I would bet that their children also are overweight. If Mrs. Obama can shed some light on this massive health problem good for her. We all pay higher health care premiums due to this problem so it will save money in the long run.

    February 16, 2011 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  7. rose

    Breastfeeding is better for kids, and they have less weight issues. Many studies have shown it, so why not give a break on the supplies. also with the satah pailin cooment. most parents do not know how to feed their children. There were never this many fat kids in the 60's and 70's. Some kids are so fat and unhealthy the parents should be charged with child abuse. Too many parents feed their kids junk and park them in front of the TV as a baby sitter. As a nurse it is sad to see such obese kids, and the parents are just as fat. Very sad

    February 16, 2011 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  8. Paul1st

    Congratulations to Michele Bachmann through her personal choice to breast feed 5 children for AGREEING with MIchelle Obama about the benefits of breast feeding. By the way, Michele, Michelle also wears clothes, eats food, can drive a car, spends money, pays taxes and does many, many things we all do. Do you want to criticize her for those things too?

    February 16, 2011 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  9. Jeff in Ohio

    Typical Right Wingnut response. Why is it that any attempt at helping the less fortunate is a mortal sin to the Republicans, but the thought of keeping their respective tax cuts makes them warm and fuzzy? The GOP has totally lost touch with reality and the problems faced by Middle Class America. They won't be happy until we become a Third World country where the very few "have – it – alls" can enslave the massive amount of "have – nots". Elections should be held twice as often so that the politicians can have a "probationary period" to be graded on their performance. That way the voters can put boot – to – ass sooner and bounce these people out at the first sign of stupidity.

    February 16, 2011 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  10. deb

    God forbid we should promote anything healthy for our kids and country! This ship is sinking and it's not just because of the economy–IT'S BECAUSE WE ARE A VERY FAT NATION!!! Ms. Bachman–Please find something more important to b*&#h about!! Your wasting my time and money.

    February 16, 2011 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  11. jboh

    Why do you report this idiots verbal flatulence. She is nuts, and you keep giving this publicity whore the attention she wants. Ignore the fool, or risk becoming a bigger fool than she is.

    February 16, 2011 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  12. Karen

    I bet Bachman wishes she could deduct a breast lift from her taxes, 5 babies?
    I very much doubt that a woman's decision to breast feed her baby would be dependent on whether or not she could deduct a $50.00 breast pump from her taxes. -Bachman, you're an idiot.

    February 16, 2011 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  13. Priya

    Bachmann is out of touch and does not know what a nanny state is. Pathetic.

    February 16, 2011 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  14. Jack

    Hey Michelle, I wonder if you used any of those $250,000 in farm subsidies you received from the federal government to help pay for the breatfeeding supplies.

    February 16, 2011 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  15. raisin mountaineer

    So let me get this: Michelle Obama wants to promote breast-feeding, and that's a bad thing? Something that helps women get back in shape, promotes good health in babies and is less expensive than buying formula? I was hoping that she'd said something actually crazy.... Now, I'm not sure I support making it somehow tax-deductible, but the statement itself is kind of, well, normal. Yeah, I know, not everyone can do it, but a lot of women don't even try because a lot of hospitals (and mine was one) don't support the process, workplaces don't support it, society seems shocked by the idea that we're mammals and milk comes out of our breasts to feed our children.

    Michele Bachman and Sarah Palin are making themselves look silly and stupid by opposing these innocuous and even bland health-promoting programs that the first lady has endorsed: they could look a lot more sane, and get a little bit of bi-partisan cred if they were to say "Hey yeah, even a stopped clock is right twice a day: childhood nutrition and breast feeding– we're on board with those ideas!"

    February 16, 2011 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  16. RKN

    I am amazed that Mrs Obama wants to fight for better health for children and is the target of the conservatives.
    Do conservatives want fat, sickly kids? Since the conservatives want to make health care more expensive or impossible to afford we need to make sure that people have some chance to live a healthy life.

    February 16, 2011 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  17. lgny

    And the Tea Party would object if Michelle Obama announced that the sun rises in the east.

    No one is forcing breast feeding nor is the govt buying the equipment for people. They are just permitting it to be considered medical supplies that can be considered deductible expenses (or paid via medical spending accts.)

    Much of this is just tossing red meat to their followers, but it also prevents the tea party from growing beyond its core of angry bitter conservatives.

    February 16, 2011 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  18. kds562

    Enough Bachmann, Mrs. Obama is doing the correct thing, you are not. Glad you breast feed your babies, she is only promoting the good practice to others. Michelle, where are the jobs. The Repubs have been in office a month now. WHERE ARE THEY?

    February 16, 2011 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  19. Dan A

    I can't help but wonder to myself what the state of mind of the people of Minnesota was and is when they elected this ' whack job'" Michelle Bachman to office . This chick operates with only one battery in her flashlight !!!

    February 16, 2011 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  20. maine liberal

    IRS's announcement that nursing supplies that aide in the practice can be deducted from tax returns

    IT is a deduction not a handout. MIchele do you want to eliminate all itemizations.
    Are you ready to eliminate your tax credits, how about your travel expenses and reimbursements to go to your job get treated as the rest of us. Commutung expenses are not deductible and reimbursements are treated as income.

    This woman is an idiot.

    February 16, 2011 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  21. king

    whats up with these right wing nuts, they want to past law on what and how a woman choose to do with their own body, yet they want to get frantic about a suggestion from the first lady about the future of american health, doctors will tell you that one of the best thing to do is breast feed a kid when they are young, that will promote a healthy brain and body. they bitch bitch about government 24 hours a day, and when government intervene they bitch some more. what can the president and his family and staff say that these repugs will take as positive. i would be skeptical if one thing they say out of their mouth was positive, but their is no brainer when every thing they do is negative this means there is a conspiracy to discredit this president at any cost necessary. just like they threatened to hold the government hostage if they didnt give their rich bodies 700 billion dollars tax cuts. then a month later bitching like their no tomorow that the country is going bankrupt. then they call themselves fiscal hawks. then why you want the working class and the poor to take hit on this budget by themselves.

    February 16, 2011 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  22. lori

    Michelle Pachman is an even stupider version of Sarah Palin- but without the charisma. She is Palin version -2.0! Five kids-again like Palin? It is amazing that stupidity seems to breed and reproduce at an alarming rate

    February 16, 2011 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  23. indyreader

    The hard right is so fatuous. Anything that they can stick a label of "nanny state" to is automatically subject to contempt and used to whip up the ignorant base. They have no concept of a GOOD INVESTMENT – one which will pay off larger returns in the short term. Short-sighted, over-simplifying, destructive, Guaranteed Obstructionist Partisans. There's nowhere to go for balanced, well-reasoned, thoughtful conservatism any more – the hard-line ideologues and religious Dominionists have polluted the whole political system.

    February 16, 2011 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  24. sad it's come to this

    So Michelle Obama is promoting breastfeeding by citing studies that show breastfeeding can help combat obesity later in life and then the IRS said nursing supplies will be tax deductable. No where in the article does it say Obama or the government is trying to require everyone to breastfeed. And they are not taxing formula or making it harder or more epensive to formula feed. Basically, they are promoting a healthy practice and making it easier for people to do so... This doesn't seem like a nanny state or government interference to me. It seems like Mrs. Obama is continuing her dialogue about obesity and the IRS just added some tax deductions which should make everyone happy. I am about as neutral as they come, politically, but I am really sick of either side fishing for insults just to make their speeches more interesting. If you are running for president talk about something that really needs attention in this country. There would not be a shortage of topics. I hardly think tax breaks on nursing supplies is going to get you elected. Arguing it makes you look petty.

    February 16, 2011 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  25. Michael

    I am failing to understand the connection between what Mrs. Obama said and the picture that Bachmann is trying to paint. Mrs. Obama is an "advocate" for decreasing child obesity, so it is annoying that critics have to make this a political stance and state that it's government control. How can anyone of what Mrs. Obama has advocated be misconstrued as a negative thing. Mrs. Bachmann breast-fed everyone of her 5 children for for obvious beneficial reasons, but Mrs. Obama cannot advocate breast-feeding. What am I missing here?

    February 16, 2011 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
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