Bachmann talks about potential 2012 coattails, deflects Pawlenty slams
July 23rd, 2011
07:50 PM ET
3 years ago

Bachmann talks about potential 2012 coattails, deflects Pawlenty slams

Marshalltown, Iowa (CNN) – Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann appears to be basking in the glow that comes with rising popularity and front-of-the-pack status in Iowa.

On Saturday, the three-term Minnesota congresswoman assumed the role of Republican presidential nominee - with Senate candidates potentially riding her coattails to victory. She answered questions about what kind of cabinet secretaries she’d pick, and she employed a tactic used previously by many a front-runner candidate: deflect political attacks from opponents who are running behind.

Bachmann spoke to a small but packed room of voters at a public library in Marshalltown.

A large chunk of her speech was devoted to blasting President Barack Obama’s economic policies. To help do that, the congresswoman did arithmetic on a dry-erase board – teacher-to-student style – to tell the crowd about specifics of government spending, borrowing and debt.

The president is "refusing to make cuts,” she said at one point. “And I just got off the phone with John Boehner who's the speaker of the House. And John walked away from the fight today.”

During a question-and-answer session, the candidate was asked how she’d get Congress to go along with a potential Bachmann administration.

"As the nominee of the Republican Party, I will make it my goal to elect another 13 senators who are like minded," she responded.

“I will campaign for them, raise money for them," she added.

"This isn't about me and vanity and I want to be president of the United States. This is about making the country better."

The congresswoman was also asked: how would she pick a cabinet and advisers?

"Number one will be competence on the issues. And experience on the issues. And I will have a preference for people in the private sector," she said. Among her other criteria: officials who love the Constitution and practical people “who figured out how to make something work.”

"They are there ...to let me know what their advice is," Bachmann said.

Meanwhile, the candidate is avoiding direct political combat with fellow GOP contender Tim Pawlenty.

The former Minnesota governor has repeatedly attacked Bachmann as not having any executive experience, and having a record of “failed amendments” in Congress.

After her speech, CNN asked Bachmann about Pawlenty’s slams. Bachmann would not take them on directly –- or address Pawlenty by name.

“Well I’ve been very proud of the record I that I’ve had in Washington, D.C. And also during my time in Minnesota,” she said. “What I have focused on is going against the agenda of growing big government in Washington. I’ve been very effective. I’ve brought the voice of the people that I serve in Minnesota to the halls of Congress.”

Bachmann continued: “I know how to deal with turning the economy around because I’ve dealt with that as a federal tax lawyer. I understand the devastation of high taxes on employers. And I also, from the point of view, of being a small business employer myself, I’ve created jobs.”

Follow Shannon Travis on Twitter: @ShanTravisCNN


Filed under: 2012 • Michele Bachmann • Tim Pawlenty
soundoff (42 Responses)
  1. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Bachmann has got to bring some meat to the table, that's just not good enough unless she wants to sound more like Palin who offers nothing but hate which is the only thing anyone can understand when she talks, the rest is just jibber jabber and incoherent.

    July 23, 2011 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  2. roscoe

    My God, is this what the republican party has become? The grand old party seems pretty well spent if Bachmann is the standard bearer.

    July 23, 2011 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  3. hooped

    How many jobs has Sara Jr created? Maybe 2 or 3? And she knows how to turn the economy around because he was a tax lawyer? Sigh

    July 23, 2011 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  4. MrManhattan

    Bachmann vs. the guy who got Bin Laden?

    I can't wait for the election!!!

    July 23, 2011 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  5. kyle

    Did she mention tax cuts for the rich, two unpaid for wars, and GOP greed cause this huge debt, I bet not.

    July 23, 2011 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  6. Marjee123

    This is so funny. Just goes to show that the current crop of the media are as stupid as Bachmann.

    July 23, 2011 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  7. GI Joe

    All beauty - no brains. She memorizes what that old white man tells her to memorize. Pre-screened questions and practiced sound-bites.

    We won't forget the crazies that go on in her head.

    July 23, 2011 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  8. GOP = Greed Over People

    “I know how to deal with turning the economy around because I’ve dealt with that as a federal tax lawyer. I understand the devastation of high taxes on employers. And I also, from the point of view, of being a small business employer myself, I’ve created jobs.”

    Botox Bachmann fails to mention that her "turning the economy around" experience as a tax lawyer was all about COLLECTING taxes for the Treasury Department.

    Her only private practice employer was the Federal government, that fact never seems to make into her "stupid as a stump" speeches

    Those jobs you created, was that the first counselor who attempted to "pray away the gay" from your "butch husband"?

    July 23, 2011 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  9. samsmee

    michelle gives me a migraine

    July 23, 2011 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  10. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    And the rich republicans continue to dance while the middle class pays the band.

    July 23, 2011 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  11. Derek Wain

    An excellent, on point, and fair minded report by CNN producer Shannon Travis.

    July 23, 2011 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  12. Marie MD

    Another 13 senators who are like minded???? Yeah, right, just what we need a bunch of crazies running the government who hate gays, seniors, the poor, who have "visions", who think slavery wasn't that bad, who run around with a "preacher" who thinks gays should be jailed and executed.
    And lastly, sometone who still thinks her husband's clinic helped him!!!

    July 23, 2011 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  13. Chuck

    I wonder how many jobs she created as a small business owner? Does that mean every McDonald manager is qualified for president since they hired workers?

    July 23, 2011 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  14. bellablue

    I remember a guy by the name of Howard Dean (Democrat), who thought he had the nomination all sewed up after the Iowa Caucus, and we ALL know what happened to him!! AND he was much more electable than Michelle Bachmann could ever be!! As time goes by, Michelle Bachmann will have her very own "Rev. Wright" experience! AND if Sarah Palin jumps into the swirling river of NO return, things could get more interesting!! SO, Mrs. Bachmann, please don't count your chickens before they hatch!! You will indeed be very disappointed!!!

    July 23, 2011 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  15. A disillusioned Republican

    Talking about cabinet choices before you win the teatard nomination much less the Presidential election seems a bit presumptious, don't you think? I don't think Michele is playing with a full deck.

    July 23, 2011 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  16. Squigman

    Why? Who really cares what this person thinks or says? If any person reading this article thinks for one nano-second that she has a chance at the highest office in the nation, have yourself, and any other that agrees with you commited to a facility with high concrete walls, and padded cells. You need help..

    July 23, 2011 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  17. John Browning

    If she is a representative, shoudn't she be in DC? Isn't Congress in session? Isn't this her job, not scouring Iowa 24X7 for rightwing nutjob votes?

    July 23, 2011 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  18. PROUD, FEMALE DEM IN NC

    Cabinet positions? Not so fast there, Michelle!! You don't have a Chinamans chance of getting the nomination, you airhead. She's the front runner for the GOP.? I love it. Obama in a landslide!

    July 23, 2011 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  19. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I am glad that she didn't say people like her because that would be a whole cabinet of nuts. She doesn't know the Constitution. Just because people served in the private sector doesn't mean that they know things better and could get things done better in a governmental set up. She truly doesn't fully understand what it is to work in the government. I don't think that she truly understands the scope of the current federal govenment and seems to care less of those people who survive on government assistance... Because the private sector does care about these people, she doesn't seem to either.

    July 23, 2011 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  20. Coach Lew

    Well Michelle I hear what you are saying and you are sounding exactly like all of the others that are in the mix or have run for President. It's all a bunch of rhetoric and promises. When you say selecting Senators it sounds like you want those guys in ties and sharkskin suits again. Why not go after a guy in levi's, a sweat shirt and tennis shoes. America has had enough of the Lawyers as those all powerful Senators. You will lose the election if you agree on cutting social security/medicare/military pensions/and disability pensions. I haven't heard one of you so called candidates propose no cuts in those areas. Why, because you all are what is commonly called "Chicken Sheets". I know my vote doesn't count much but I think I can get together a few million voters within a year and have them get a few themselves to vote every person running for office OUT if needed plus vote a useless nobody in as President. This will do nothing for the country but will give us self satisfaction that the regular cronies are no longer in charge.

    July 23, 2011 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  21. Shannon

    It's a sad statement about what America has become, when a woman who signs a pledge just a few short weeks ago, saying slavery is a good thing for black children, actually goes up in the polls, instead of being shunned off the political stage. Anyone who says Republicans aren't racist, only has to look as far as their Presidential candidates. Really you should all be filled with shame.

    July 23, 2011 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  22. queenbee

    Hate to say it as a woman, myself–but only a female picks out her curtains and furniture, when she does not even know if she will own the house yet. LOL

    July 23, 2011 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  23. wag

    hmmmm Big Govrerment? It seemed to be all right, that the Bachman, raked in over 300,000 for the 23 foster children,
    but suppose thats ok ...what a hypocrite !

    July 23, 2011 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  24. William dodge

    I still can't get over her gay in the closet husband has he gone back in the closet

    July 23, 2011 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  25. zip

    Palin and Bachmann are the seventh sign of the apocalypse. thanks Tea party!

    July 24, 2011 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
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