LensCrafters v. Bachmann
April 13th, 2011
11:55 AM ET
3 years ago

LensCrafters v. Bachmann

Washington (CNN) – The optics don't look great for Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann. That is, if you're talking about her relationship with LensCrafters, the one-stop shop of eye care and eyewear.

The possible GOP presidential candidate supported her belief that Planned Parenthood should lose its government funding by telling a crowd in Iowa on Monday, "The executive director of Planned Parenthood in Illinois said they want to become the LensCrafter of big abortion in Illinois."

And it's not the first time Bachmann made the comparison. She made the same claim as early as September of 2008 and has stated that the comparison first came from a Planned Parenthood director in Illinois.

But what Steve Trombley, CEO of Planned Parenthood Illinois, actually said is different than Bachmann's interpretation. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal in June 2008, he stated, "I like to think of Planned Parenthood as the LensCrafters of family planning," while speaking of making family planning services more accessible.

Bachmann has been substituting the phrase "big abortion" for "family planning," but the eye care company has asked that she leave them out of her scuffle altogether.

LensCrafters hit back at Bachmann Tuesday, telling Roll Call, "She's using our name without our knowledge or permission." Julie Maslov, communications director for Luxottica Retail, the parent company for LensCrafters, said the company contacted Bachmann's office Tuesday and asked that she stop making the comparison.

Planned Parenthood also released a statement saying, "The continued misleading attacks on Planned Parenthood expose a cynical and coldhearted willingness to further a divisive political agenda even if it will deny women access to lifesaving cancer screenings and birth control."

A Bachmann spokesman confirmed that the three-term congresswoman would avoid using the company's name in the future.

LensCrafters has not responded to CNN's request for comment.


Filed under: 2012 • Michele Bachmann • Planned Parenthood
soundoff (213 Responses)
  1. Me

    I think Michele Bachmann needs to go herself to LensCrafters and get some glasses so she finally see clearly.

    April 13, 2011 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  2. Bob Dog

    Its delightfully entertaining to see Bachmann continue to humiliate everything she represents including herself, her political party, and particularly the fools in Minnesota who continue to vote for her.

    What isn't so funny is the nasty, bigoted hatred that she spreads all over America, her destructive influence on women everywhere, and the horrific way she represents our country to the rest of the world.

    April 13, 2011 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  3. Bill

    So why isnt LensCrafter saying the same thing to Steve Trombley? Bachmann is only repeating what someone else has said which is stated in the article.

    April 13, 2011 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  4. james Miller

    She`s just a mouth for the top 2% who don`t want to pay ANY taxes. Her motto should be, " What !!!!!, the poor and middle class are hungry?!?!?!?-- Just let them eat cake."

    April 13, 2011 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  5. th

    I didn't think it was possible for her to get any dumber. Wow was I wrong

    April 13, 2011 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  6. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    Michelle Bachmann: " I never allow facts to get in the way of a good story!"

    April 13, 2011 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  7. informed voter

    Michele Bachmann is an embarrassment to American women. She is woefully ignorant and divisive and seeks to turn back the clock on all the progress women have made in the last century. The only positive thing I can say about her is that the more she speaks, the more voters will realize that President Obama is the only sane choice to continue leading our nation.

    April 13, 2011 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  8. MAngeline

    This woman is such a loose cannon...a la Palin style. There are so many smart women out there–both Republican and Democrat–so it's really a shame that a piece of work like Bachmann gets center stage.

    April 13, 2011 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  9. 26_third_street

    Nice try CNN. How is this any different than the kind of interpretations Obama, Pelosi, Reid and all the rest of the Democrats make and you NEVER call them on it. When the Obama Cabal finally gets to do what it wants to do with this country you will get the short end of the stick.

    April 13, 2011 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  10. Rick

    What is most appalling and dangerous about this is not that a politician continually lies for political gain, but that so many Americans believe her.

    April 13, 2011 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  11. Video Guy

    This lady would not know the truth if it hit her in the butt. If the GOP wants to get ahead they need to send this lady back to the 6th District of MN. They would be better off not holding that seat.

    April 13, 2011 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  12. notfooledbydistractions

    Too bad ms. bachmann and the other so-called "pro-lifers" don't see the real advantages of Planned Parenthood. If they truly were "pro-life" as they claim, and they honestly wanted to reduced the number of abortions, they'd support PP instead of denigrating it. PP predominantly provides contraception and women's health checkups for those unable to afford them – preventing abortions and promoting life through diagnosis and treatment. Seems to me the "pro-lifers" are backward in their thinking. It's too bad that truth telling isn't an important principle in ms bachmans life.

    April 13, 2011 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  13. ConservaFascists/FUBAR

    Demonization and lies. What else do you expect from the 6th District Psycho. I hope LensCrafters sues her for defamtion. I'm tired of these so called evangelical christians trying to impose their hillbilly values on me. I'm from NYC where we don't sleep with our first and second cousins.

    April 13, 2011 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  14. Russ

    I know I've said this before but it bears repeating.....this woman is an idiot!! Worse than Palin because she is actually serving in an elected office. The Democrats need to start widely publicizing this deliberate lies from Republicans.

    April 13, 2011 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  15. lynn

    Obnoxious comment. Paraphrasing is the trick of those who have no authentic ideas, simply mud slinging at it's worse.

    April 13, 2011 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  16. Florida Joe

    This woman is an absolute IDIOT......She opens her mouth and the dumbness flows out.........GO AWAY

    April 13, 2011 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  17. NJfinest2009

    Michelle I keep telling you sarah palin is smarter than you, you are the reason why our children need to stay in school!

    April 13, 2011 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  18. GrogInOhio

    in June 2008, he stated, "I like to think of Planned Parenthood as the LensCrafters of family planning,"

    In other words, just like Senator Jon Kyl, Michele Bachmann is a liar. C'mon guys. I once heard Anderson Cooper say it. You can do it too.

    April 13, 2011 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  19. TPF

    If only her brain were as big as her mouth. Which spews untruths most of the time.

    April 13, 2011 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  20. Rudy NYC

    Bachman "...would avoid using the company's name in the future." How many of you out there actually believe that?

    April 13, 2011 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  21. Pegasus

    Bachmann just continues to make a complete fool of herself with twisting and turning things around and having no clue, obviously, what Planned Parenthood is all about. Is she a woman or what?

    April 13, 2011 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  22. bobcat1a

    If Bachmann became president we would be at war with half the world within 3 months.

    April 13, 2011 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  23. Eric P

    "Neither Bachmann's office or LensCrafters has responded to CNN's request for comment on the issue." - I'm going to just go ahead and assume this incorrect grammar is the result of human error during the proofreading process...surely a news writer such as the woman who wrote this story passed English (you'd hope). If it wasn't, well, congratulations to CNN for further butchering the language.

    April 13, 2011 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  24. Jay Kay, Minneapolis

    There's no need to get worked up over Bachmann. She has gone as far as she ever will in politics. It's all down hill from here on out Bachmann!

    April 13, 2011 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  25. 21stCenturySLC

    Of course, she meant to add "Not intended as a factual statement".

    April 13, 2011 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
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