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. Rob Zamites

    Quoting 'mike':

    "Did you ever wonder why we still have homeless children in this country when we have all these pro lifers running around forcing women to have children and when it comes time to adopt them they are no where to be found I am a taxpayer and I don't want to be paying for unwanted children in this country to all you pro life idiots when you start taking responsibility for every child that doesn't have a home in this country including there medical needs then I will listen"

    You sir, are the example I cited when I stated that the collective intelligence of the U.S.population was declining. Your lack of grammar, run-on sentence and lack of critical thought are glaringly obvious. Please, stay out of the adults' converstaion.

    April 13, 2011 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  2. Arun

    The republican way, distort what others have said for their gain. Why don't these idiots cut subsidies to big business and especially the oil an gas companies. Oh, I forgot, these are the same companies that are funding the republican pockets.

    April 13, 2011 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  3. ThinkAgain

    Planned Parenthood provides a valuable service to so many women, myself included.

    When I was in my mid-twenties, I went to Planned Parenthood for my annual gynecological exam. And a good thing, too: I have a history of cervical cancer on my mother's side (her mother died of it and she had a full hysterectomy at 45 because she was diagnosed with pre-cancer cells).

    Because of Planned Parenthood and its affordable PAP screening, they discovered I had severe dysplasia, which, if left untreated, can develop into cervical cancer.

    Given my history with this disease, there's a good chance that if I hadn't had the screening, it would have gone undetected and I probably would have died from it. I'm very thankful Planned Parenthood found it – as are my husband and three wonderful children.

    People like Bachmann should be ashamed of themselves running around lying about an organization that helps so many women lead healthier lives.

    April 13, 2011 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  4. Dave

    What I love is that The Tea Baggers that Post hear either didnt read , Can't read or ignore facts. If Im not mistaken he said Family Planning. But some how that only means abortion. That's what happens when there is no sex ed in school. FYI Family planning means Birth control ( that would reduce abortions ) Health screening ( Celvic Cancer etc ). In closing the Hyde ammendment states no Fed money for abortion and PP follows that law . Fact try using Them Tea Baggers

    April 13, 2011 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  5. e01938

    Who in Minnesota is voting for her? Did the long winters freeze their brains?

    April 13, 2011 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  6. Wally Balloo

    She's making a spectacle of herself....

    April 13, 2011 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  7. Doug

    If it can't or wont vote Democrat than it is a life that has no value and murder is justifiable. Every Dem thinks this, read the comments.

    April 13, 2011 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  8. Eddie B

    Everything is wrong about this woman and she should be no where near any position that impacts our lives. She is completely disingenious, inflammatory, and wrong about issues all of the time. No wonder she is the leader of the Congressional Tea Party Caucus. What an embarrassment!?!?!?!

    April 13, 2011 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  9. The Real Tom Paine

    One can only assume she was absent that day in Law School when they covered libel. In all seriousness, when will Conservatives start practicing what they preach, especially in the area of personal responsibility? She must have known better, but chose to ignore the full statement. Its utterly irresponsible for her to make these statements when they can be fact-checked and debunked within hours.

    April 13, 2011 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  10. Doug

    Planned Parenthood is a great example of why the klan supported the great society.

    April 13, 2011 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  11. RealTruth

    Planned Parenthood has received federal funding since 1970, when President Richard Nixon signed into law the Family Planning Services and Population Research Act, amending the Public Health Service Act. Title X of that law provides funding for family planning services, including contraception and family planning information. The law enjoyed bipartisan support from liberals who saw contraception access as increasing families' control over their lives, and conservatives who saw it as a way to keep people off welfare.

    April 13, 2011 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  12. Ralph in Orange Park, FL

    It would be equally fair to compare pandering political candidates to prostitutes.

    April 13, 2011 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  13. SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    No wonder the idea of a female president is still mocked. Bachmann is an embarrassment to intelligent women everywhere.

    April 13, 2011 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  14. Moe NY

    I believe this woman equates to toxic waste...pure poison.

    April 13, 2011 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  15. Ryan

    Is anyone ever surprised when republicans lie or distort the facts? She faked a quote.

    You know I heard Bachmman said "I like Nazis". Here original quote was "I like Ice cream" but I can put anything I want in the quote because I'm a republican.

    April 13, 2011 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  16. rusty155

    Michele Backmann how many time that you got to be told that using Government money for Abortion. You Tea PARTY are nothing more than Corporate drones , and you are out to do away with the Poor and The OLD. Michele Bachmann you either don't know what you are taking about or you are just Lie. What American people need to do Is get away with the TEA PARTY. The Tea Party Isn't nothing but Corporate Drones. American people don't get rid of the TEA PARTY the Middle Class , the POOR and the Old will end up with nothing and be on the Street. How can a woman stand up there and lie about something that help woman. Michele Backmann has no business running for President. what I been reading on these posting she wouldn't win if she run again for congress of MINN. That right there should say something about her.

    April 13, 2011 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  17. Joe citizen abroad

    Evil, evil woman.

    April 13, 2011 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  18. goodnight, goodluck

    Dude looks like a lady.

    April 13, 2011 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  19. Rudy NYC

    Ever play chess? Are you familiar with how the pieces are used to distract and feint? Other pieces are used to shape and define the attack, while others are used in fall back defensive positions. One of those pieces is a knight. It's moves are designed to be unpredictable and too haphazard to fully account for. It is primarily used for feints and disguised strategies.

    Michele Bachman is a knight.

    April 13, 2011 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  20. Dave

    Since when did the GOP care about being factually accurate? There is no accountibility for what you say anymore..unless you are a dem or NPR member then the Repubs will have your head.

    April 13, 2011 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  21. The Real Tom Paine

    @ Brian Hartman:

    The point is, why was Bachman using the metaphor at all, unless its another attempt by her to sound cute? The use of it by Planned Parenthood was questionable enough, but Bachman has a habit of spewing these things out enough times until she gets into the CNN Ticker again, or she gets free time on FOX. Its red meat for her mouth-breathing supporters, who don't want to think, only react.

    April 13, 2011 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  22. Peggy

    The guy from Planned Parenthood said it once in a newspaper interview and talked about family planning. Michele "I never met a fact" uses it over and over, changing the words to abortion. That's why Lens Crafters asked her to cease and desist.

    April 13, 2011 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  23. ThinkAgain

    To all those posters who object to federal money going to Planned Parenthood because it provides abortions (no federal money is used for that and, contrary to what Senator Kyl would have you believe, 3% of its funds go towards abortion services):

    Abortion is legal in our country (Roe v Wade). Your tax dollars aren't going towards it; by law, Planned Parenthood is not allowed to use the money it gets from the federal government for that (it uses private contributions from donors – who are exercising their rights in supporting those causes they deem worthy).

    If you want to impose your religious beliefs on others, I suggest you move to a theocracy (and don't bother coming back).

    April 13, 2011 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  24. Jim

    The ugly, loud, liberal mob raises its head again. The liberal media loves to stoke the fire and the mob can always be counted on to turn nothing into hate-filled rhetoric. Here's an idea. Why not go get a job and do something constructive.

    April 13, 2011 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  25. ConservaFascists/FUBAR

    So let me get this str8. You Pro-Life nutjobs are hellbent on stopping on abortions but have no problem sending my fellow brothers and sisters in arms to go fight a meaningless and warrantless war. For all of you pro-lifers in congress who voted for the Iraq War, the blood of American troops are on YOUR hands. So don't give me this pro-life nonsense. I only suppose you're pro-life so that you can send more young Americans into war to fight your stupid crusades.

    April 13, 2011 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
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