Bachmann draws big crowd in South Carolina debut
Bachmann announces her intention to seek the 2012 GOP nomination for president.
June 28th, 2011
08:34 PM ET
7 years ago

Bachmann draws big crowd in South Carolina debut

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina (CNN) - Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann’s debut in South Carolina as a presidential candidate drew what was unquestionably the largest crowd of the political season to date in the key early primary state.

Nearly 400 people showed up to get their first glimpse of the newly minted candidate, far surpassing crowd sizes at campaign appearances in South Carolina by Republicans like former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.

If enthusiasm alone wins elections, Bachmann might not have much to worry about in the coming months.

Bachmann was a late arrival to the rally, held outside an aquarium in Myrtle Beach, after flying in from a morning stop in New Hampshire. But her tardiness did little to dampen the enthusiasm of the crowd.

She stepped off a brand-new campaign bus to find an audience peppered with supporters waving Gadsden flags and other emblems of the Tea Party movement.

“The disaster that began four years ago will end right here, November 6, 2012,” Bachmann said, vowing to make President Barack Obama a one-term president. It was the first of several red-meat one-liners.

Bachmann said she plans to win decisive early victories in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina on her way to the White House. She promised to follow that with a national campaign – even in the heavily Democratic state of Hawaii.

“We want to win Hawaii,” she said. “And we think that there is a certain Hawaiian president who should go back to Hawaii!”

Pacing a small dais with her husband Marcus at her side, Bachmann rattled off a familiar list of criticisms against “Obamacare” and other regulations coming out of Washington.

She pointed specifically to the National Labor Relations Board complaint against Boeing, which is trying to open a new plant in North Charleston, as an example of how the Obama administration does not understand job creation.

The crowd jeered when she recounted recent House testimony from Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, accusing him of wanting to hike taxes on small businesses in order to maintain the size of government programs.

Citing her experience as a “former federal tax lawyer,” she said she understands the “the devastation of high taxes” on small businesses.

Several South Carolina voters told CNN before and after the speech that while they had not yet picked a candidate, Bachmann was already a favorite thanks to her charisma and unabashed conservatism.

“I think it’s time for a woman to get into office,” said Carmine Greco, a retiree originally from New York. “She is right with the people. She is authentic. She is sincere in what she says.”

Tim Jacobson, who manages an OfficeMax in Myrtle Beach, said he is choosing between Bachmann, Romney and businessman Herman Cain. He said he might like to see a Romney-Bachmann ticket.

“I think Michele brings so much energy to the ticket and Romney has huge business experience,” he said. “They could balance each other out.”

South Carolina state Rep. Thad Viers, an ally of Gov. Nikki Haley in the state legislature, introduced Bachmann at the rally and later said he was likely to endorse her presidential bid.

“I am a Tea Party candidate and none of the candidates right now are Tea Party,” Viers told CNN. “She is the only one who walks the walk and talks the talk.”

After the event, Bachmann told reporters that she would not be distracted by the media’s focus on some of her recent verbal miscues, like her mistaken claim Monday that actor John Wayne was from Waterloo, Iowa.

“I think that it just goes with territory,” she said of the media attention. “I think you need to be ready with what the media brings.”

Bachmann has four more stops planned across in South Carolina, culminating with a town hall in Rock Hill on Wednesday.

Filed under: 2012 • Michele Bachmann • South Carolina
soundoff (40 Responses)
  1. roscoe

    Bachman and a big crowd in South Carolina......what a surprise.

    June 28, 2011 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  2. Dave in Silver Springs

    Well it is S Carolina after all. What else did you expect. It's like tea bagger central.

    June 28, 2011 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  3. Proud member of "Global Zero"

    Wow! Four hundred. Just Google "Senator Obama announces his run for the 2008 Presidential election" and add the word PICTURE. Start counting baby because he out numbers you by the tens of thousands.

    June 28, 2011 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  4. MarineVet

    In South Carolina, they love train wrecks, NASCAR, moonshine and politicians who cheat on their spouses on the way to church. Welcome to the big time Bachmann.

    June 28, 2011 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  5. SecedingfromTexas

    Wonder if her "verbal miscues" would include:
    1. The new fact that her husband has received $137,000 of medicaid funds for his "clinc", or
    2. The new fact that her claim the $24,000 went for "training", actually went to the clinic, not to trainees, or
    3. The old fact that she and her husband share ownership of the farm that received $260,000 "sudsidies",
    so liar, liar, or fraud. In any case, not my cup of tea.

    June 28, 2011 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  6. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Bachmann has 3 strikes against her, 1) she's a tea bagger, 2) no solutions just complaints, 3) she's believes in isolationism, oh, I forgot one more, she's a liar that accepted and used government funds to enrich herself but it's wrong for government to help you.

    June 28, 2011 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  7. Jake

    “And we think that there is a certain Hawaiian president who should go back to Hawaii!” clever way to stir up that Tea Party crowd! at least they've come to acknowledge he's from Hawaii! but they can still banish him back to that tiny group of exotic islands in the middle of the ocean. She knows what she's doing!

    June 28, 2011 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  8. Progressive Mike

    Same old, same old. No plan of action, no proposed solutions, no explanation about why any of her ideas will work better than others (without simply resorting to platitudes, that is). Just, "Obama is horrible". That seems to be the platform. No discussion of why. No attempt to appeal to rational voters, only to those who are already drunk on the Kool-Aid. She'll be toast after three primaries.

    June 28, 2011 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  9. EddyL

    fools rush in.....

    June 28, 2011 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  10. logic in LA

    Did Madam Tea Party mention to them that her family accepted farm subsidies of 260K ? How about her husband's Medicaid payments of 113K? ( And why is it we are giving government funds for religious counseling? Read his advertising!)Or the pork she fought for for her district?
    But you keep cheering her conservatives. she's the perfect poster child for the movements hypocrisy.

    June 28, 2011 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  11. Jared

    Not sure how much the liberal media likes having a woman and an African American in the GOP candidate mix. It shows that the Democrats don't have a monopoly on diversity.

    June 28, 2011 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  12. Leonid Brezhnev

    I wouldn't call 400 people a big turnout....besides, Goofy was in one of the reddest of the red states. The rednecks there would drive their pick-ups anywhere to see a repugnantcan.

    June 28, 2011 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  13. Marie MD

    BIG crowd. Please do your math. I did. Have the koch brothers taken over cnn like they did faux news?
    The current population of Myrtle Beach, SC is approximately 31,968. This means that if 400 right wing nuts showed up to listen to the queen of mean only 1.3% of those crazy people in SC showed up for her. That's is one BIG crowd. Where I work that's roughly one and a half floor of employees!
    Yes, carmine, she IS authentic alright, an authentic flake! I have this little tin foil hat that I can sell you! Call me.

    June 28, 2011 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  14. JR

    Freak shows have always been big draws at the carnival.

    June 28, 2011 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  15. Larry King

    No one can take their eyes off a train wreck, car crash, or a Bachmann speech. Hey, I'm a democrat and I'd stop by if she were giving a talk in my neighborhood, just to bear witness to the carnage, lies, and hypocrisy!

    June 28, 2011 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  16. Stewart - Las Vegas

    Peter Hamby is a clown..... 1st he was in the Palin groupie of CNN, Now he is turning in to a Bachmann groupie. Dude just because they are good looking women, and you but out some lame story "LARGE CROWDS" woo woo 400 friggin people. They still aren't going to give you any. If you know what I mean....

    June 28, 2011 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  17. here we go again

    400? Obama smallest crowds is a couple of thousnds!

    June 28, 2011 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  18. Joe

    My goodness, she actually admitted that Obama was born in Hawaii. I wonder if that was just another of her slips of the tongue, or did the media invent it?

    June 28, 2011 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  19. DJ

    Umm. She gets 400 in SC and its news and over a thousand or more shows up for Palin in Iowa on a 4 day notice and it is not news????

    June 28, 2011 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  20. Stefani

    Several South Carolina voters told CNN before and after the speech that while they had not yet picked a candidate, Bachmann was already a favorite thanks to her charisma and unabashed conservatism.

    Yep; and that's why Bachmann will not be POTUS. She's just too extreme for America.

    June 28, 2011 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  21. B

    South Carolina, capital of right wing extremism.

    June 28, 2011 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  22. greg

    Ms. Bachmann denigrates Medicaire and all forms of "socialized" medicine yet her husband's clinic has, for the past 6 years, accepted well over 120,000.00 each year in Medicaid funding. Her father-in-law's farm has taken over 250,000.00 in farm subsidies just this year. Seems like the height of hyprocisy to me...Why is CNN news not reporting this???

    June 28, 2011 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  23. AmFem

    400? Is that really a large crowd? Hmmm.

    June 28, 2011 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  24. thomas

    This country is loosing it's marbles !

    June 28, 2011 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  25. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I guess Bachmann isn't following the news. Obama doesn't call Hawaii home. He does have family there, but he goes home to Chicago. I guess she didn't follow the acceptance speech when he won in 2008.

    June 28, 2011 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
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