Bachmann involved in unusual campaign moment
August 12th, 2011
08:43 PM ET
3 years ago

Bachmann involved in unusual campaign moment

Des Moines, Iowa (CNN) – Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann was at the center of an unusual campaign moment on Friday that involved reporters trying to ask her questions - and the Republican presidential candidate essentially being cocooned by a ring of protectors.

The Bachmann campaign insists they were only trying to keep the congresswoman safe and secure.

At issue: a scene that unfolded after the Republican presidential candidate briefly spoke at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines.

After talking for about three minutes, Bachmann waded into the crowd filled with adoring supporters.

Moments later, as she tried to exit the area back to a waiting drive cart, Bachmann found herself in the middle of a mob of people: among them many supporters and members of the press including this reporter and CNN anchor Don Lemon.

As both CNN staffers tried to question Bachmann, Lemon said he was pushed by two members of Bachmann’s staff. Lemon also said that Marcus Bachmann, the congresswoman’s husband, pushed him.

“She came out, after speaking for just a couple minutes,” Lemon said. “There were other reporters and cameras there. And I asked her very respectful questions: ‘How do you think you did in the debate last night?’ and ‘How do you think you’re going to end up in the Ames Straw Poll?’ And her two campaign aides started elbowing me.”

Lemon continued: “I told them, asked them not to elbow me. And then her husband Marcus started doing the same thing. And then he elbowed me into the cart. And I said, ‘You just pushed me into the cart.’ And he goes, ‘No, you did it yourself.’

“It was just, I don’t know, why they would choose to do that. We weren’t asking any ‘gotcha’ questions,” Lemon added.

It’s typical for presidential candidates, especially ones as popular as Bachmann, to wind up in a crush of supporters and reporters at campaign events. But Friday’s episode was unusual.

Bachmann Press Secretary Alice Stewart was asked if she, or Marcus Bachmann, pushed Lemon.

Stewart repeated that, “Our number one priority is the safety and protection of Michele Bachmann.”

“It was just too crowded,” Stewart continued. “We were just trying to get her out in order for her to go to other events at the fair and that’s what we were doing.”

Bachmann hopes for a strong showing in Iowa’s all-important Ames Straw Poll on Saturday.


Filed under: 2012 • Iowa • Michele Bachmann
soundoff (91 Responses)
  1. valli

    geez! Don Lemon is a bit of a crybaby, isn't he?

    August 12, 2011 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  2. Doug

    Did anyone think her husband would tell the truth ? They are right wing liars !

    August 12, 2011 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  3. redjujube

    Lemon says he didn't ask Bachmann any "gotcha" questions. For a Repuglican, "What's your name?" is a gotcha question. It'll befuddle the brightest ones for hours. The elbowing is just typical greasy Repuglican behavior they use on anybody who isn't rich and greedy.

    August 12, 2011 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  4. Carol Smythe

    The videotape does not back up Don Lemon's claim. Unless CNN can come up with a videotape that shows what is claimed, Lennon is going to have to retract his statement

    August 12, 2011 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  5. Sarah MacDonald

    Where is the proof of Lemon's claim? It is not in the videotape.

    August 12, 2011 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  6. Ronnie Smith

    I didn't see any proof of shoving in the videotape, just a tight crowd. Why does CNN make such outlandish claims? I know you guys hate Bachmann.

    August 12, 2011 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  7. Mary Ellen Forbes

    The video tape is unclear. It just looks like a packed crowd. CNN shouldn't point fingers. Old Chinese saying: "When you point one finger at me, you point 2 fingers at yourself".

    August 12, 2011 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  8. Frank Altshuler

    I didn't see what CNN is claiming in the videotape. The claim is pretty far fetched.

    August 12, 2011 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  9. Jose Sanchez

    CNN might be right about the security guards but the videotape doesn't show it.

    August 12, 2011 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  10. Simon Alipio

    After all the lynching of Michele and especially Marcus Bachmann that gay activists have done over the last month, Don Lemon should not be surprised why she would not want to talk to him. American voters know what is going on and who CNN is trying to hurt. Don Lemon is not innocent in all of this.

    August 12, 2011 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  11. Jodie Newell

    Don, we got similar treatment at a public event in Indianola today. We were asked to show credentials by a media handler who was pushy and asked us to "switch off the camera please" after we said we didnt have an exact credential for the Indianola event. We found this odd as we have attended signed in & filmed Ron Paul, Tim Pawlenty and Mitt Romney events and were never asked such heavy handed or aggressive requests. We actually support the conservative side of politics and were absolutely gobsmacked by their attitude considering it's the eve of the straw poll. Whilst I understand that CNN cop it from the Republicans, we as a conservative supporting media group found Bachmanns staffers approach as unacceptable.They are looking more and more like the Nevada Republican media handlers who contributed majorly to the defeat of Sharon Angle by treating sympathetic media with utter contempt.Not surprised at today's events for you after our experience today.

    August 12, 2011 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  12. Frank Schiff

    Everyone was pushed in that video, including Bachmann. Lemon sounds like a winer.

    August 12, 2011 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  13. Gloria Ancona

    The main person being shoved was Michele Bachmann. CNN's Lemon shouldn't be complaining like a baby about shoving. That's what happens in crowds.

    August 12, 2011 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  14. Ibamaliar

    You see his twho he is don't you. No wonder he will make such comments to try and ruin her campaign. Get real folks they do pose a threat to you.

    August 12, 2011 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  15. christian

    The US is going to explode to get rid of these fascist nincompoops. What a joke these tea partiers. bring it on. time for a new civil war. these people will never, never be my leader or speak for me. who do they think they are?

    August 12, 2011 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  16. Ibamaliar

    Can you not see through the CNN news man's Lemon's video about being shoved. Why didn't the zoo man get the hell out of the way the woman was leaving. She had to be protected. Hes licky someone didn't blackjack his cocunut head. Although I doubt they could have cracked it.

    August 12, 2011 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  17. Malcolm in St Louis

    Don it is your fault. You were going to ask a question. Duhh.

    August 12, 2011 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  18. George Alapin

    What's the big deal about shoving? That's what happens in every crowd. Anyway, the videotape showed Bachmann as the one being shoved.

    August 12, 2011 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  19. Tex71

    Tea Psrty candidates have always surrounded themselves with thugs whose purpose is to intimidate the public by openly committing violence upon bystanders in the name of "protection". Straight out of the Nazi playbook, like everything else they do.

    August 12, 2011 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  20. Numyorangay

    They were trying to elbow the gay out of you Don. . .and then again, maybe Marcus was making a pass. . .we hear he is into submission.

    August 12, 2011 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  21. DENNA

    Like most GOPers, she is afraid to answer unscripted questions. Almost any questions that are asked are categorized as a 'gotcha' question. Go ahead, ask her her name and Michelle will think it's a 'gotcha' question. What are these people trying to hide?

    August 12, 2011 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  22. Carol Lamper

    Knowing Bachmann's people, that probably happened but you cannot see it in the video.

    August 12, 2011 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  23. Mary Robbins

    What a crybaby is Lemon. The video doesn't show what he claims. The whole incident is embarrassing to Lemon and CNN. This is all you can report about? No one cares about CNN's wining.

    August 12, 2011 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  24. Bruno

    "Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right of me, here I am." Stuck in the middle of this theatre of the absurd known as the GOP run for the cash in 2012. Good griief!

    August 12, 2011 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  25. GOP = Greed Over People

    Her hubby can be "butch" after all, unless he hit Lemon with his murse!

    August 12, 2011 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
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