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. Michael

    This woman is a joke. Obama has not once threatened to do this, in fact he's hinted several times he's very much against this idea. Bachmann would be a dictator if she were elected, with her stupid ideas of running government like it's a theocracy.

    July 28, 2011 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  2. Kentucky Democrat

    Really? Using a power given to him by an Amendment to the Constitution is unconstitutional? I fail to see her logic

    July 28, 2011 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  3. Anothermuse

    So that will be the new catch phrase for the far right, that Obama is a dictator? Well if so he should follow Ceasar's approach to a corrupt and dysfunctional senate and simply replace the entire senate..Granted you probably can't have them all executed as Caesar did, but still....Actually might have been Augustus, but hey the point is still valid..

    July 28, 2011 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  4. Terry

    I cannot let this article pass without comment. This is a case Bachmann's quote is not an accidental case of "foot in mouth diseaes"

    Regardless of whether you are conservative or liberal, the quote from Bachman raised another red flag in my mind.
    'If heraised the debt ceiling by executive order, using the 14th amendment of the U.S. Constitution as justification"
    cannot be
    "Clearly that's unconstitutional.".

    Should a president use executive order to make an emergency economic choice, it will be up to the courts to decide the intent of the 14th amendment. The intent is not clear since I doubt anyone could have predicted any government body could act so insanely

    This is just one example of many where rhetoric and posturing takes the place of logic an common sense. The problem with this quote is that it represents the polorization in this country.

    I cannot recall who stated this but I am borrowing it. "patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundral"
    Our so called leaders (Democrat and republicans) are out for power, not to lead our nation.

    July 28, 2011 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  5. Louisiana Man

    Bachman has gorged at the trough of social programs and entitlements of BIG GOVERNMENT for decades-
    Worked for the IRS-is a congressman-receives her cheap health care thru government-accepts Medicaid payments at her husband's 'small business' clinic as payment to cure the barbaric gays, accepts hugh farm subsidies, and has borrowed money from gov backed Freddie Mac for a mortgage-H Y P O C R I T E!!!!!!!

    July 28, 2011 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  6. Lolo

    Besides she does not even know what the word dictator means.

    July 28, 2011 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  7. Publius Novus

    Bachmann says that spending is the Congress' perogative. Okay. How does that square with Boehner's statement that "Obama has been on a spending spree in Washington?" Who is in charge here?

    July 28, 2011 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  8. Laverne

    It is these kinds of statements that will keep Michele Bachman from EVER becoming president! President Obama may be a lot of things, but a dictator he is not. As a matter of fact, he is a centrist at best and he is definitely not as liberal as his opponents have tried to make him out to be. At the rate she is going, she's going to give herself another migraine!

    July 28, 2011 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  9. Julie

    I love that Bachmann says that President Obama doesn't understand the issues. This is the person who will vote against raising the debt ceiling because nothing bad will happen. I think it is Bachmann that is totally clueless on the issues and the fact that somebody like Ed Rollins is working for her – well, that says a lot about that man, too.

    July 28, 2011 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  10. Larry L

    It's sad we'd even be considering having the President do the job of the Congress. However, the Congress has been totally broken for over two years, with the filibusters of the Republicans in the Senate, defections of cowardly Deomcrats from the "red" states, and the crazy group of radicals elected by the Tea Party dead-set on destroying America. Republicans have been totally dedicated to the failure of President Obama's administration – at any cost. Now the bills are due – thanks to the dysfunctional and dishonest weasels we call "The US Congress". It's recall time!

    July 28, 2011 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  11. Ed

    prof we do not want this crazy lady as president If Obama uses the 14th amenment he would be doing the country a favor. And showing he is incharge.

    July 28, 2011 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  12. jdwpmo

    Michele voted several time for raising the debt ceiling, during the biggest spending of the Bush's administration, Prescription care for seniors that he put on the credit card and we are paying for it today ( a failure) and 2 wars (another failure). Where was all this confusion during that time...

    July 28, 2011 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  13. Paul from Tampa

    This demonstrates an incredible lack of understanding of what is going on. Congress has already approved the spending that requires the raising of the debt ceiling. In fact, the President is REQUIRED to spend this money by law. Now if Congress adopts an inconsistent law that says the President can't borrow the money he is required by law to spend, then he must resolve this inconsistency by following the dictates of the Constitution that orders him NOT to question the debt of the United States. And debt in the context of the Constitution is not limited to treasury bonds, but also accounts payable incurred pursuant to law.

    July 28, 2011 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  14. Jim

    What???? This woman is the "Poster Child for Bigotry,Oppression,and "Dictatorship" in America??? Her"Pie Hole" is Still, Racking -Up Racial Points. Us Americans "Can,t wait for "The Real Debates" coming up for you Bachmann? I hope for you and your husbands sake, "Your ready for the "Embarrasment that your going to endure??? There,s alot of History Classes for "Oldsters" Study-up????? I,d like you to run against our President "The biggest 2nd Term landslide in American History!!! Go for it,Mrs. Teaparty????

    July 28, 2011 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  15. Let's get rational now

    You are right Bachmann. With members like you in congress there is no reason to have a congress. You have done absolutely nothing since you have been there for both America and your district. All you have done is been a mouthpiece for lunacy and the tea party and tried at every turn to further your own ambitions. The only reason you are running for president is because you probably won't win re-election in your district next time. You barely won re-election the last time.

    July 28, 2011 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  16. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    "The idea seems to be that if the House GOP refuses to raise the debt ceiling, a default crisis or gradual government shutdown will ensue and the public will turn en masse against Barack Obama....Then Democrats would have no choice but to pass a balanced budget amendment and reform entitlements, and the tea party hobbits could return to Middle-earth...This is the kind of crack political thinking that turned Sharron Angle and Christine O'Donnell into GOP nominees.
    -------------------------------------------------–
    Exactly.
    This is the John McCain that I remember and recognize.

    July 28, 2011 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  17. BobAD

    Attack to Distract

    OMG this woman wants to have the sex patrol watching for possible conceptions during sex and she says Obama the dictator. Ask her about the Medicare fraud her husband is involved in by doing faith healing.

    July 28, 2011 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  18. Eric in Manhattan

    This shrill harpy needs to back to school and actually study the Constitution she claims to support so fervently. instead of keeping her mouth open, she needs to open her brain a bit more. Actually, a lot more.

    July 28, 2011 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  19. AEK

    You know, if Ms. Bachmann was actually back in Washington, D.C. doing the job she was elected to do instead of traveling around the country bad mouthing the President, possibly the Republican-controlled House of Representatives would have been able to pass more than the eight bills they've gotten to this session. At the current rate, they are on par to pass a whopping fifty new pieces of legislation. Quite a feat for the "new Republican Party." Doing the work of the People, right? Jobs bill? Not so much!

    July 28, 2011 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  20. TBSkins

    "It's Congress that does the spending."

    Finally, one scum-bag republican admits that the deficit is Congresses doing, not the President's. NOW RAISE THE GD DEBT CEILING!

    July 28, 2011 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  21. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    And where has she been? What did she propose to get things turned around? What legislation does she propose to get the jobs started here in the US? If she doesn't believe that the 14th amendment is valid, then does she propose that would ge through Congress? Please note that last part - get through Congress.

    I do believe that she is mistaken. Congress decides where the money is spent, but I don't recall where it say that Congress is the only authority that can authorize borrowing. Where does it say that?

    July 28, 2011 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  22. normalice

    um. raising the debt ceiling isn't spending. And short of stifling congress, that gives them more room to do their job. Having a debt ceiling at all is a limitation on congress.

    silly rhetoric...

    July 28, 2011 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  23. DrizzCon

    You know what i would really love to see? i would love to see Bachmann and Palin on Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader and see which one of them is more qualified to NOT be president.

    July 28, 2011 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  24. Max

    And yes; We would all still be better off with President O than you. Is he your only subject you can run on? For once, talk about what you can do to help this country, not make sure he is a one term president! I believe he knew your intentions and other republicans before he got elected, but, that did not stop him. Keep running sister, because you have no clue as to who you are. All talk, and no action. Nuff said.

    July 28, 2011 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  25. Chuck Anaheim, Ca

    Only one word can describe this lunatic...MORON. Allowing the USA to default or loose the AAA credit rating the county has would make ANY tax hike look like a bargain. Isn't it ironic that almost all Americans will raise their hand if asked to defend this country but if asked to pay 3% more in taxes to defend our country they freak out. The fascist republican party has brainwashed their members into believing that the downfall of the USA as THE super power of the world is OK as long as taxes don't go up.

    July 28, 2011 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
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