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. Cal Offert

    I watched both videos. If Lemon was the one in the yellow shirt, it looked like he was doing the pushing. And anyway, what's the point of the post? He should be embarrassed for reporting on such trivia.

    August 12, 2011 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  2. Aaron

    That heifer only takes questions from Fox reporters....they're the only ones who will believe and sensationalize her attempted kidnapping stories. The reporter that got touched by the husband should feel special....he was likely getting felt us by the fella.

    August 12, 2011 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  3. Goober

    If they are having such a pressing security problem, why not just put her in a plexiglass cage?

    August 12, 2011 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  4. jackie roberts

    What's the big deal about shoving in a crowd, and from "a female staffer"? I don't get it.

    August 12, 2011 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  5. runner305

    Typical extreme right wing behavior! Anyone remember when Rand Paul's henchmen stepped on that woman several months ago??

    August 13, 2011 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  6. PhonyMichele

    Well, this is certainly a change of events. Now is this the way the Bachmann's are going to play?
    Get out of my way!

    August 13, 2011 12:27 am at 12:27 am |
  7. LNB

    Because he is gay. A prelude to civil rights to come if this family rules. I LOVE you DON!!!!

    August 13, 2011 12:36 am at 12:36 am |
  8. ChrisZey

    Why are you the story?

    August 13, 2011 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  9. Gerard Weimer

    Oh Don poor baby! Did you hurt your little head and pea brain on that mean ol golf cart? Ahhh let uncle Barack kiss it and make it better ok? Hey Pal....I seem to recall an interview you did with Rand Paul about 2 weeks ago where YOU were very rude to him and all he did was stay and TRY to answer your stupid questions, all the while you insisted that he was trying to avoid them. So now as I see it, what happened to you in Iowa is sort of a small payback of sorts and in my opinion....it wasn't actually enough. You need to go work for M'left"NBC, you'd find right in over there.

    August 13, 2011 01:24 am at 1:24 am |
  10. Andy

    I can see both sides of this, if you watch the video. It seemed like both parties were being pushed from behind and they had a narrow walking space. Still, it would have been perhaps better to say "no questions right now" or something?

    August 13, 2011 01:31 am at 1:31 am |
  11. logic in LA

    I never use this term- not even regarding Palin or Bush- but I HATE this woman and everything she stands for. She and her family are a danger to this country.
    I hope Republicans wake up before it's too late.

    August 13, 2011 02:03 am at 2:03 am |
  12. Zach Braff

    They elbowed you and you weren't asking any gotcha questions? How about you all start asking some real questions. Instead of 'how do you think you did in the debate?' try 'how do you think you would be able to achieve consensus in Washington if you are unwilling to ever compromise'?
    The real travesty here isn't getting pushed into a golf cart, it's you touting the fact you lobbed her softball questions.

    August 13, 2011 02:28 am at 2:28 am |
  13. stevetall

    Pathetic amateurs. What do you expect?

    August 13, 2011 03:23 am at 3:23 am |
  14. Republicans are stupid

    Hey,why don't you try to keep us safe and secure from her...ding-bat dumb....I would sue their nasty behinds...

    August 13, 2011 03:40 am at 3:40 am |
  15. Donkey Party

    What a fucking joke you are helping to make of the political scene, CNN. Why you would even lend any credibility to ANY of the GOP candidates is beyond rational thought.

    August 13, 2011 05:04 am at 5:04 am |
  16. Bob Ramos

    A candidate can never intentionally make an enemy of the press. Michelle's handlers did just that.

    August 13, 2011 05:13 am at 5:13 am |
  17. Rudy NYC

    I guess they do not wish to admit to anything.

    They should have used that "Pan B" stunt that Michael Jackson once pulled in London to move through a tight crowd a decade ago or ago. It wasn't too long after that hanging the baby out the window incident. Jackson "fainted" and fell flat on his back to the ground, which momentarily created space. He was immediately surrounded by 6-8 bodyguards.

    With 3 bodyguards on either side of him, they lifted him up as if he were on an invisible stretcher. Each guard wrapped an over his body as he were carrying a football. With a guard in front, they exited the crowd like linebackers carrying Jackson within their midst still flat on his back as if on an invisible stretcher. Exit from disruptive crowd, Plan B.

    August 13, 2011 06:18 am at 6:18 am |
  18. jakee308

    Man, the media sure doesn't like being treated like the plebes, does it?

    Can anyone say Gabriel Giffords? I'll bet that HER security wishes THEY'D been a little more aggressive with the crowd. A little more watchful. A little more PROACTIVE.

    'At issue'. The only issue is that this person wasn't recognized by security as someone to defer to and not one of the common (and potentially unknown and therefore dangerous) people.

    That's the issue. Hmm, I wonder what the Secret Service does in situations like this?

    Take a step back lady and put your own ego aside for a moment.

    August 13, 2011 06:47 am at 6:47 am |
  19. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    Sharon Angle ran away too. Bachmann will fall just like Angle did. Snooki Palin is waiting like a vulture to swoop in.

    August 13, 2011 07:16 am at 7:16 am |
  20. DALE

    Sarah Palin Playbook-Speak only from prepares speaches or tweets and never, absolutely never answer media questions. This will keep you from saying anything stupid and they public has no right to know anything other than what I want them to know.

    August 13, 2011 07:33 am at 7:33 am |
  21. Debra

    Already pushing blacks out of her way it's the Tea Party way!!!! and apparently Ms Bachman's hubby does't like blacks either?????

    August 13, 2011 07:37 am at 7:37 am |
  22. wallybob

    teabaggers are notorious for pushing and shoving. there was a lot of that and trampling, spitting, kicking, etc. in the midterms. expect more leading up to 2012.

    August 13, 2011 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  23. Clwyd

    the protectors just thought that someone was going to try to have her committed!

    August 13, 2011 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  24. Masterpiece Conspirator

    Dear Mr. Don Lemon is is obvious that you were targeted by Bachmann's staff. You were the only african american with a camera and a microphone in the crowd. They also see you as a threat. You should look into allegations of ritualistic abuse of the 23 foster children they have had contact with over the years. They were all female.

    August 13, 2011 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  25. John Wright

    If it were my wife Don Lemon would talking through braces right now! Who does he think he is? It was a mob scene and he was part of it!

    August 13, 2011 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
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