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. Ryan

    @Doug

    Sure you are pro-choice with your 5 posts.

    republicans are so good at finding one case of an exception and getting people to believe that is the norm.

    It's funny because the norm republican is a repressed homosexual like Larry Craig, etc.

    April 13, 2011 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  2. ThinkAgain

    Brian Hartman: "I can understand LensCrafters wanting to be left out of the controversy, but I don't think it's her fault that Trombley used LensCrafters. And while he might have said "family planning" rather than "abortion" (we'll have to take his word on that, I guess), "

    You DON'T have to take his word on that; look it up on the Internet and HEAR IT FOR YOURSELF!

    April 13, 2011 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  3. Rickster

    "The Associated Press-GfK poll showed that support for Obama's health-insurance expansion has slipped to 35 per cent. Among seniors, support has dipped below 30 percent for the first time."
    -----------------------
    lol...Obama's "signature" accomplishment has an approval of 35%. Sorry, Barry but you've FAILED again.

    April 13, 2011 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  4. Mr. Moderate

    Planned Parenthood has prevented more abortions than any pro-life group ever has.

    April 13, 2011 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  5. Dan

    @Bill- Don't been purposely obtuse just to make the same false claims that Bachmann makes.

    Steve Trombley said it once, in a positive light of making *family planning resources* more accessible to people.

    Bachmann is LYING first of all, when she says she's repeating what Trombley said, she's using it to be devisive, negative, and to encourage removing the accessibility of services people need.

    Big difference.

    April 13, 2011 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  6. Rick

    When oh when will the American people realize that the right wing of the Republican party (and a large right wing it is) is only a hair away from being N A Z I s?? And the only reason they aren't full fledged is they know the country is not ready for that.

    April 13, 2011 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  7. Ron

    Are people like Bachmann and Palin the best women the republicans can find to represent them? Come on, there's got to be a lot of smart republican women who can step up. These women are an embarassment, not just to republicans, but possibly to humans.

    April 13, 2011 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  8. BIRTHER FAIL

    Another t/bagger FAIL.

    April 13, 2011 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  9. MiddleOfTheRoad

    Bachmann, Palin, Trump..........just a big conspiracy. It's a way of checking the American Stupid Index.

    April 13, 2011 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  10. kyle

    Forgive her, she's an idiot!

    April 13, 2011 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  11. Diane

    She's not even TRYING to get her facts right; she is flipping lying. She and that John Kyl with his "not-factual" statistics. I swear to god, who ARE these people??!!

    April 13, 2011 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  12. insert sarcastic remark here

    @ Brian Hartman,

    Government employees get their income from tax dollars. Some Government employees will get pregnant and have an abortion. That is tax payer money being spent on abortions indirectly. Should Government employees be told how to spend their tax payer funded incomes?

    April 13, 2011 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  13. pkfops

    She's no friend of the Veterans.

    April 13, 2011 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  14. a6102658

    Sh e is an embarrassment.
    She will go the same way as Glen Beck, and Palin....up in flames.
    How you noticed how Palin is so quiet?...she over extended her stay.

    April 13, 2011 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  15. Cloosdoosch

    Bachmann is the lenscrafters of stupid.

    She has a devoted follower in Doug.

    April 13, 2011 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  16. Darron R. Brown, M.D.

    Michele Bachmann needs to get her facts straight. Planned Parenthood is an organization that helps prevent unwanted pregnancies, and therefore helps prevent abortions. None of us are “for abortions”, but realize that this safe and legal procedure is a constitutional right of women. Bachmann’s hysterical statements against Planned Parenthood cloud the real issues of importance: how can we prevent cervical cancer, STDs, unwanted pregnancies, and yes, even reduce the number of abortions.

    April 13, 2011 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  17. EZRA

    Just when I thought Palin was the dumbest, most ignorant, annoying, in the world and now she may be number 2

    April 13, 2011 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  18. gino

    As someone once said "Every word this woman says is a lie–including "the," "a" and "an."

    April 13, 2011 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  19. Keven

    Wow, a Tea bagger caught lying ! Thats as rare as seeing a bird flying.
    Did she mention that LensCrafters has death panels too?

    April 13, 2011 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  20. Radsenior

    Bachmann is worse than Palin in opening her mouth and inserting foot. These two continue to get air time just because they get in front of a microphone or camera. Both of them do not a chance in hell to make it to the nomination, yet they get to spew their nonsense. Someone needs to ask them questions of real importance like: How would you address the gross excesses in executive compensation like these listed below.
    Bank Executive Salary Total Compensation
    Bank of America Kenneth D. Lewis
    Chairman and CEO $1.5 million and $24.8 million
    Bank of America Joe L. Price
    Chief Financial Officer $800,000 and $6.5 million
    Bank of America Amy Woods Brinkley
    Global Risk Executive $800,000 and $9.3 million
    Bank of America Barbara J. Desoer
    Global Technology and Operations Executive $800,000 and $10.5 million
    Bank of America Liam E. McGee
    President Global Consumer and Small Business Banking $800,000 and $12.2 million
    Bank of America Brian T. Moynihan
    President of Global Corporate and Investment Banking $718,859 and $10.1 million
    Bank of America R. Eugene Taylor
    Former Vice Chairman and Former President, Global Corporate and Investment Banking $800,000 and $3.3 million
    Citigroup Sir Winfried Bischoff
    Chairman $373,734 and $6.1 million
    Citigroup Vikram Pandit
    CEO $250,000 and 573,813
    Citigroup Gary Crittenden
    Chief Financial Officer $403,410 and $19.4 million
    Citigroup Sallie Krawcheck
    Chair and CEO—GWM $500,000 and $7.1 million
    Citigroup Lewis Kaden
    Vice Chairman $500,000 and $6.8 million
    Citigroup Michael Klein
    CEO- Global Banking $212,500 and $7.9 million
    Citigroup Stephen Volk
    Vice Chairman $212,500 and $7.6 million
    Citigroup Charles Prince
    Former Chairman and CEO $1 million and $15.1 million
    Goldman Sachs Lloyd C. Blankfein
    Chairman and CEO $600,000 and $70.3 million
    Goldman Sachs Gary D. Cohn
    President and Chief Operating Officer $600,000 and $72.5 million
    Goldman Sachs Jon Winkelried
    President and Chief Operating Officer $600,000 and $71.5 million
    Goldman Sachs David A. Viniar
    Chief Financial Officer $600,000 and $58.5 million
    Goldman Sachs Edward C. Forst
    Chief Administrative Officer $600,000 and $49.1 million
    JP Morgan Chase James Dimon
    Chairman and CEO $1 million and $27.8 million
    JP Morgan Chase Michael J. Cavanagh
    Chief financial officer $500,000 and $8.3 million
    JP Morgan Chase Steven D. Black
    Co-CEO Investment Bank $400,000 and $20.9 million
    JP Morgan Chase James E. Staley
    CEO Asset Management $400,000 and $16.7 million
    JP Morgan Chase William T. Winters
    Co-CEO Investment Bank $564,379 and $21.2 million
    Merrill Lynch John A. Thain
    Chief Executive Officer $57,692 and $17.3 million
    Merrill Lynch Nelson Chai
    Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer $34,615 and $1.7 million
    Merrill Lynch Gregory J. Fleming
    President & Chief Operating Officer $350,000 and $27.4 million
    Merrill Lynch Robert J. McCann
    Executive Vice President $350,000 and $5 million
    Merrill Lynch Jeffrey N. Edwards
    Former Chief Financial Officer $275,000 and $2.6 million
    Merrill Lynch E. Stanley O’Neal
    Former Chief Executive Officer $584,231 and $24.3 million
    Merrill Lynch Ahmass L. Fakahany
    Former Co-President and Co-Chief Operating Officer $350,000 and $4.6 million
    Merrill Lynch Dow Kim
    Former Executive Vice President $309,615 and $14.5 million
    Morgan Stanley John J. Mack
    Chairman and CEO $800,000 and $1.6 million
    Morgan Stanley Colm Kelleher
    Chief Financial Officer $339,603 and $21 million
    Morgan Stanley David H. Sidwell
    Former Chief Financial Officer $275,000 and $14.6 million
    Morgan Stanley Robert W. Scully
    Co-President $500,000 and $15.2 million
    Morgan Stanley Gary G. Lynch
    Chief Legal Officer $300,000 and $11.9 million
    Morgan Stanley Thomas R. Nides
    Chief Administrative Officer $300,000 and $6.3 million
    New York Mellon Bank Robert P. Kelly
    Chief Executive Officer $975,000 and $20.1 million
    New York Mellon Bank Thomas A. Renyi
    Executive Chairman $1 million and $22.2 million
    New York Mellon Bank Gerald L. Hassell
    President $800,000 and $11.8 million
    New York Mellon Bank Bruce W. Van Saun
    Vice Chariman and Chief Financial Officer $650,000 and $8.9 million
    New York Mellon Bank Steven G. Elliott
    Senior Vice Chairman $675,000 and $19.7 million
    New York Mellon Bank Ronald P. O'Hanley
    Vice Chairman $675,000 and $11.5 million
    State Street Corp. Ronald E. Logue
    Chief Executive Officer $1 million and $28.3 million
    State Street Corp. Edward J. Resch
    Chief Financial Officer $650,000 and $6.6 million
    State Street Corp. Joseph L. Hooley
    Vice Chairman $725,000 and $10.3 million
    State Street Corp. Joseph C. Antonellis
    Vice Chairman $675,000 and $9 million
    State Street Corp. James S. Phalen
    Executive Vice President $480,000 and $7 million
    Wells Fargo Richard M. Kovacevich
    Chairman $995,000 and $22.9 million
    Wells Fargo John G. Stumpf
    President & Chief Executive Officer $749,615 and $12.6 million
    Wells Fargo Howard I. Atkins
    Senior Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer $600,000 and $5.1 million
    Wells Fargo David A. Hoyt
    Senior Executive Vice President, Wholesale Banking $600,000 and $6.4 million
    Wells Fargo Mark C. Oman
    Senior Executive Vice President, Home & Consumer Finance $600,000 and $6.4 million
    Wells Fargo Carrie L. Tolstedt
    Senior Executive Vice President, Community Banking $495,192 and $4 million

    Source: Company proxy statements for 2007. This during the lowest point of this depression.

    April 13, 2011 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  21. JLG

    Well, Michele Bachmann is the big abortion of elected representatives. Hey, this name substitution thing really works!

    April 13, 2011 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  22. hopeismyname

    uh....have any of you MEN who are supporting Bachmann's abortion comment ever actually been pregnant – willingly or not? There is such a huge difference between family planning (ie do you want your college bound daughter having a child?) and abortion and planned parenthood offers both....but not everyone (except for Bristol Palin) will make 200, 000+ a year after having an unwanted pregnancy.................most will just go on and try to do 2 jobs, hope for the best and suffer in debt or they will choose an alternative. The idea is that it's THEIR CHOICE NOT YOURS!

    April 13, 2011 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  23. DEADINSIDE

    Funny how women have come so far as to be cosidered for the position of the presidency but shouldn't have the right to make a judgment call on choices about their own bodies. I think anyone that hasn't adopted an unwanted child has no right to complain about an organization that dedicates it's self to the health of women, and in my opinion, "family values"! Please keep your religous beliefs to your self and out of my government, and be careful what you wish for.

    April 13, 2011 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  24. Truth

    Bachann is a nutjob and is not ready for prime time. Tax dollares are paying for this loon. If this woman wants to run for President she needs to resign.

    Does the woman spend anytime in her state???

    April 13, 2011 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  25. Mark

    Repubs are absolutely wrong on planned parenhood. More proof of their own personal agenda, NOT THE PEOPLE. I will never vote republican.

    April 13, 2011 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
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