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. The Situation

    Sorry Lenscrafters, you are talking about a walking/talking breathing bobble head. She got to be the dumbest person in America!

    April 13, 2011 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  2. Theda Bara

    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."

    Golly, Bill. I can't say for sure but I have a suspicion – based on nothing more than a gut hunch – that she may not be quoting him quite accurately. I have no way to prove that, though. I sure wish they had written a more accurate article.

    Brian Hartman

    Richard T.: "Planned Parenthood does abortions. The federal government provides money for Planned Parenthood. It doesn't matter if the money isn't spent on abortions directly. If the federal government is providing money to help keep Planned Parenthood afloat, they're supporting abortions."

    Unless you're equally as outraged at the 100% government funded bombs that we dropped on a few thousand Iraqi, Afghani, Pakistani, and Libyan children who are quite permanently dead, then I'd remind you that nowhere in our Constitution is there a guarantee that your tax dollars won't be spent on something that you find particularly distasteful. Otherwise we'd have to take a vote on every dollar spent and then you'd end up with the nightmarish possibility of living in a world where women's health, the arts, and renewable energy are treated like valuable additions to the quality of life in this country, and Big Religion, Big Military, and Big Corporate are finally held to the same withering scrutiny that the Pro-Life-Unless-They're-Foreign-And-Brown-In-Which-Case-Bombs-Away wants to apply to the 3% of Planned Parenthood's business that is abortion. Be careful what you wish for, because the day we all get to pick who pays taxes and where the money goes, the Church is going to have to open up the books and account for the millions it spent protecting pedophiles, the military will have to explain some of their more egregious "collateral damage," and maybe, just maybe, one or two of the amoral corporate greedheads who destroyed our economy might be held accountable for their actions.

    April 13, 2011 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  3. TT

    Bill, to answer your question, she's using it on the campaign trail, not just once in an interview... big difference!

    April 13, 2011 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  4. MN Voter

    Bob C:

    You confirmed that I am not being paranoid; the rest of the country thinks we are a bunch of idiots for having her represent our state. If that weren't bad enough, now our former governor, a total yutz, wants to run for president. The man always looks like he just woke up from a nap or his sleeping pills have not worn off.

    Favre + Dome + Pawlenty + Bachmann = an embarrassing 12 months for MN.

    April 13, 2011 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  5. Barry from Wisconsin

    The woman is a COMPLETE idiot. She makes a box of rocks look like a Mensa Society incumbent.

    Pathetic that people from an enlightened state like Minnesota keep reelecting her.

    April 13, 2011 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  6. Madtown

    This woman is a complete disgrace. An absolutely disgusting and dispicable person. The fact that her name is even mentioned in the same sentence as "President of the United States" is sickening, and a bold sign of how far this country has fallen. Why she even has a platform to spew her garbage is far beyond my comphrehension.

    April 13, 2011 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  7. Rudy NYC

    How many of you heard of Bachman before you heard of Obama? Hmm? I, for one, sure didn't.

    April 13, 2011 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  8. j

    I still don't understand how there are no lawsuits regarding the blatantly false information being spread about planned parenthood. PP should sue, LensCrafters should sue and every woman who has every used PP should sue Glenn Beck for defamation over his claim that PP only serves hookers.

    You know what happens to unwanted babies? They get neglected, abused, and often die anyway (note: unplanned and unwanted are different). I don't see how abusing a kid to death is worse than terminating a pregnancy before consciousness has developed. As a previous poster mentioned, these idiot anti-choicers do far more harm for their own cause than good. Unless you are actively offering to adopt a specific child then the "just put them up for adoption" argument is a pipe dream and not a solution.

    April 13, 2011 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  9. alex

    I'm sure it wasn't intended as a factual statement...

    April 13, 2011 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  10. JimBob

    We all have different political opinions and each of us is entitled to our own. Michelle Bachman here is simply lying though. She is stating that an organization said something that it didn't say. I don't vote for liars.

    April 13, 2011 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  11. Matt

    LMAO This woman is why I LOOOOOOVE the Tea Party! Bachmann and Palin together are making Obama and every other candidate look really good. Keep it up Bachmann!!! Moron.

    April 13, 2011 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  12. EminMinnesotoa

    This woman is an utter moron. She deliberately stirs up fear, hatred and bigotry whenever she opens her mouth. She obviously has no perception of how most people view her! She is a joke and has absolutely no chance of becoming president, so I don't think she has to worry about whether she would serve only one term. I'm from Minnesota (not her district, thank God!) and I cannot fathom why the people in her district elected her. She is an embarrassment to the country, women in general, and Minnesotans!

    April 13, 2011 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  13. FRANK LONGO

    Right to Lifers won't admit one fact. If many more unwanted children are born,most will be children of poor minorities. You know with absolute certainty that these children will NEVER be adopted. They will be either on the streets hungry and destitute,comitting crimes are dying. Yes RIght to Lifers have such compassion,if it's a WHITE child that's healthy that is.But the bright side is that big business will have more laborers for their future sweat shops.

    April 13, 2011 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
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