Bachmann warns of 'dictator' Obama
July 28th, 2011
08:11 AM ET
3 years ago

Bachmann warns of 'dictator' Obama

(CNN) - Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann said President Obama would be a "dictator" if he raised the debt ceiling by executive order, using the 14th amendment of the U.S. Constitution as justification.

"It's Congress that does the spending. The president is prohibited to do that. If he had the power to do that he would effectively be a dictator," the Minnesota Congresswoman said Thursday on CNN's "American Morning." "There would be no reason for Congress to even come to Washington, D.C. He would be making the spending decisions … Clearly that's unconstitutional."


With the looming August 2 deadline and no agreement reached to raise the debt ceiling, some have suggested the president sign an executive order to raise the borrowing limit without Congressional approval. A section of the 14th amendment states "the validity of the public debt of the United States … shall not be questioned."

Bachmann also leveled increased criticism on the president, giving him a "big 'f' on his economic report card."

"What President Obama has failed to do is properly understand the issues. On every measure this president has failed," Bachmann said.


Filed under: 2012 • Congress • Debt • Deficit • Michele Bachmann • President Obama
soundoff (83 Responses)
  1. Sandy

    Bachman is so clueless. She'll never be elected President.

    July 28, 2011 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  2. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Gee, where were her protests when W used signing statements to basically ignore bills presented to him by Congress, even when it was Republican controlled? What this comes down to is she is mad at the President because Congress is negligent in doing its job.

    July 28, 2011 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  3. a in austin

    How's that Freddie and Fannie mortgage doing for ya? I guess you would stand tall and let the economy tank as well as the credit rating for the USA. What a patriot you are! Looney tunes begin...

    July 28, 2011 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  4. Rudy NYC

    Surprise. Someone on the right finally figured it out what I have been saying all along. That in the end, the President has the power to break the stalemate in any way he sees fit.

    Article II, Section 3 reads:
    ....he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper; he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, ....

    While Rep. Bachmann's choice of words are intended to be shocking, her meaning that the President could take any action he sees fit. But, she is wrong to claim that it is unlawful because he would also have the 14th Amendment to back him up.

    July 28, 2011 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  5. GEORGIA TEE

    The meaning of the words, understanding, truth, reality, honesty, are words not one teapublican knows the meaning of....All while telling the world about their faith in GOD...

    July 28, 2011 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  6. Wait, what?

    "It's Congress that does the spending. The president is prohibited to do that. If he had the power to do that he would effectively be a dictator."

    Okay...well, if this is the case, why are we blaming Obama himself, or Bush for that matter, for anything that has happened?

    July 28, 2011 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  7. Dale

    So she provides hollow criticism with no real constructive suggestions, rigid, uncompromising extreme views, and generally exudes hatred towards anyone that isn't an extreme-right white evangelical Republican. I didn't ever thing I would say this, but I think I prefered Palin.

    July 28, 2011 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  8. Fed Up

    This is what Obama wants. He can spend the country into oblivion. He has a great start!

    July 28, 2011 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  9. Dale

    Call me crazy, but I suspect she would criticize Obama no matter what he did or did not do.

    July 28, 2011 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  10. coy4one

    I'm already tired of this woman!

    July 28, 2011 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  11. GaBoy90

    How is it unconstitutional if an amendment says that he can do it?

    July 28, 2011 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  12. doolindalton

    I would suggest the President use the 14th Amendment to adjust the tax withholding tables rather than borrow more money. Yes, the Congress has the power of taxation, but the Tea Party Hobbits have refused to exercise their responsibilities as legislators. If the President has to raise taxes to preserve the integrity of the United States fiscal policy, so be it.

    July 28, 2011 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  13. Vigla

    THe debt limit is NOT spending! NOT SPENDING!!! It is authorization to pay for things your body (the House) passed when they passed the budget! If anything was to show us how much of a neophyte you are Michele, this is it! The time to debate reductions is during budget time. Not now!

    Quit lying to the public!

    July 28, 2011 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  14. saganhill

    I truely wish this woman would go away. She is an embarassment to the American people, along with all the other fundies she represents. She has no clue how the constitution works nor has any idea the history of this country.

    July 28, 2011 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  15. KatR

    Bachmann is wrong, as usual. If Obama were to issue an executive order based on the 14th amendment to raise the debt ceiling he would not be usurping the Constitutional power of Congress to appropriate funds. He would only be borrowing money to pay for whatever Congress has legislatively apporpriated. And the majority of these appropriations were created by legislation passed by previous Congresses. Where the Constitutional sticking point truly is is in Article II wherein it states that the President must faithfully execute the laws of the country. Laws passed by Congress and signed by the President. That includes an antiquated, unconstitutional law created 70 years ago that established a debt ceiling that can only be raised by Congress.

    July 28, 2011 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  16. Chrisg

    The symptoms of antisocial personality disorder include a longstanding pattern (after the age of 15) of disregard for the rights of others. There is a failure to conform to society's norms and expectations that often results in a history of deceitfulness where the individual attempts to con people or use trickery for personal profit. Impulsiveness is often present, including failure to consider consequences of deceitful behaviors. Some argue that a major component of this disorder is the reduced ability to feel empathy for other people. This inability to see the hurts, concerns, and other feelings of people often results in a disregard for these aspects of human interaction. Finally, irresponsible behavior often accompanies this disorder as well as a lack of remorse for wrongdoings and the failure to acknowledge the wrongdoings. Sound like Bachmann?

    July 28, 2011 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  17. TomInRochNY

    Isn't a debt ceiling unconstitutional? It limits, and therefore questions, the payment of the debt.

    July 28, 2011 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  18. Irma in North Carolina

    Its time for all of the tea party gang to get out of the picture ands that includes you. You are just trying to bring this country down, and we dont need that.

    July 28, 2011 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  19. Whistlestar57

    She is almost right that the debt limit is rather arbitrary (by action of Congress). She is absolutely wrong about the rest even if surprisingly addressing some things most in her party (i.e., tea party) aren't connecting to. She appears to have connected some frustration to the close to reality situation that if Congress fails to act, they will be "allowing" the President to assert whatever authority he can attempt under the Constitution to stave off financial disaster. Bottom line, Congress has already authorized, appropriated and even mostly obligated funds (funds we don't completely have). By denying the authority to sell more US debt instruments, the President and Secretary Geithner will be doing all kinds of electronic money manipulating and stretching lines of credit to keep us going to then end of Sept., the current fiscal year (as established by Congress), all with severe risk to our national financial stability, because Congress has obligated money that has to come from somewhere.

    July 28, 2011 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  20. Reality Check

    Knew this was coming and so did the GOP. The GOP has had a goal to ruin Obama even if it means destroying the country. Remember pundits stating they wanted to see Obama fail a couple years ago. Obama certainly has the brains and the guts to not let this party destroy the nation's economy and would use every Constitutional avenue available to avoid the nation's default.

    Let's suppose Obama did need to resort to using the 14th Amendment and the house opposed and started the impeachment process, it made it through the senate and somehow the Democratically controlled Senate (which has already formulated a strategy for the President to raise the debt ceiling) finds Obama guilty, then what? Biden becomes president, does not repeal the increase and is also impeached, and improbably so on. That is the GOP strategy for improving the economy and producing jobs?

    Clearly, Bachmann is a stuffed shirt full of hot air.

    July 28, 2011 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  21. Henry

    Blah, blah, blah. I hope the President uses the 14th Amendment. Call them on their stupid games.

    It is now up to the Independents to see what mistake they made in voting in this caustic bunch of Republicans and correct this in 1012. Do I confidence they will. Afraid not!

    July 28, 2011 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  22. Rudy NYC

    If you read Article I, Sections 7, 8, and 9, the ball is in the House. It always has been. Even if a default comes to pass, then the House must decide what and who gets paid by the Treasury.

    In fact, those same articles seem to suggest that the House is obligated to raise revenue to pay for the budget that that same House passed, or face a Constitutional Crisis like we have never seen before. At that moment (hopefully before if you ask me) the President is obligated to defend the Constitution as sworn in his oath of office. It is looking more and more like the Tea Party is going to hand the President a clean slate to do whatever he sees fit to "take Care that he Laws" and the Constitution "be faithfully executed."

    July 28, 2011 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  23. Tony Z

    What a joke! Please tell me how you promoted jobs, any legislation to help the American people and why are you talking about programs that pay you money.

    July 28, 2011 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  24. Rudy NYC

    It should be noted that Bachmann's solution is to simply default on our debts, which would be a failure rising to the level of high crime and misdemeanors.

    July 28, 2011 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  25. judy

    "It's congress that does the spending". Does she not understand the congress already did the spending and now needs to pay for what they already spent??

    July 28, 2011 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
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