Bachmann: I don’t compromise my principles
August 14th, 2011
09:40 AM ET
3 years ago

Bachmann: I don’t compromise my principles

(CNN) – Fresh off a win at the Iowa straw poll, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann stood by her principles Sunday, saying in an interview with CNN’s “State of the Union” that she won’t compromise her values on “big issues.”

Facing criticism that tea party members resisted compromise to reach an agreement on the debt ceiling, the Republican presidential candidate was asked to identify legislation that represented a compromise between herself and lawmakers of an opposing or alternate view. “I stand on a core set of principles but you want to continue to move in a positive direction,” Bachmann told Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley. “I’ve done that throughout my legislative career.”

“On big issues, I don’t compromise my core sets of principles.”

And in her experience, the public doesn’t favor a compromise between spending cuts and raising revenue through tax increases as a method of battling the deficit.

“I haven’t gone one place in Iowa or South Carolina or New Hampshire where anyone said, ‘Please raise my taxes,’” she argued. “Never happened.”

“People are not saying yes, raise the debt ceiling, we want you to borrow more money - it doesn’t happen…people are very upset and nervous about where the economy’s at right now.”

And for Bachmann, a win at the straw poll in Ames, a contest that measures candidate strength and organization in Iowa, also communicated a bigger message.

“People sent a message to President Obama. They said, ‘We are done with your policies, we want something very different.’”

Bachmann believes that the 2012 election will be an “economic selection,” in which she will fare well because “people want to know who can turn the country around.”

“People want job creation,” she stated. “They want the economy to turn around and [they want to] work. I have that background.”

And if she reaches the White House, Bachmann said she would revisit the policy that prevented gay service members from openly serving in the military known as “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

“The ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy has worked very well,” she said. “I would be in consultation with our commanders but yes, I probably will [reinstate the policy].”

Though she hasn’t yet decided whether to end the gas tax when it expires in September, Bachmann did say that on the matter of gay marriage she thought it imperative that judges refrain from “legislating from the bench.”

“I think it’s more important that people have a right to weigh in on the laws that they choose to live under,” she asserted. “That was the problem here in Iowa.”

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.


Filed under: 2012 • Content Partner • Iowa • Michele Bachmann • TV-State of the Union
soundoff (425 Responses)
  1. Annie, Atlanta

    It's obvious she won't compromise when she voted against the increase in our debt ceiling. She would rather have destroyed our economy. And she thinks she should be our President? S&P downrated us because of people unyielding in their ideology and the craziness they espouse.

    August 14, 2011 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  2. Kevin

    In the immortal words of Forest Gump; "Stupid is as stupid does." What else can really be said? I mean, really.

    August 14, 2011 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  3. Tom

    How does the Iowa straw poll in any way represent the mood of the country? It is comprised of right wing, GOP activists. Granted that is where her core principles are, but still there are a lot of voters out there, not represented in Iowa.

    August 14, 2011 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  4. Chris

    We know, Bachman, that's the problem. Our political system is BASED on compromise. What exactly do you think they were all summer long in Independence Hall in 1776? It's a good thing you weren't there. And if I can say that about you, you probably should not be president.

    August 14, 2011 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  5. John

    Won't compromise....Hmmmm... Perhaps that is why she has not authored any significant legislation as a Congressperson. She just stands on the sidelines, criticizing and demeaning those that have different ideas and "core set of principles". Americans will surely shy away from voting for that type of strident politician..

    August 14, 2011 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  6. James

    Translation: I woud like to be elected to a position where I represent all of the people of the US but get to force them all to adhere to the same values and prinicples that I have.

    August 14, 2011 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  7. Westgrl

    The Republican party really should be embarrassed that this is the best they can do. She isn't a Republican, she belongs to the Tea Party who just likes to disguise themselves as Republicans. And after everything we just went through with the Debt Ceiling crisis, to say you will not compromise, is just total ignorance. People are sick of the games in DC and she will just make it worse. Even if Democrats & Republicans can learn to play nice in the House & Senate, anything they work together on will get shot down by her if she doesn't like it. This is NOT what this country needs right now.

    August 14, 2011 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  8. Robert In Alabama

    If Michelle Bachmann is thinking of becoming President I would recommend that she learn how the government works. She cannot re-institute DADT herself. It was originally passed by the Congress. The courts later ruled it unconstitutional. The Congress repealed it and set a timetable for it to end. If she would tell the truth, she you say "I, as President, would ask Congress to re-institute DADT, A President can do little without the OK of Congress. When will, not just Bachmann, but all political candidates be truthful. Oops, I'm sorry. I forgot, their politicians. They don't know the truth from a campaign contribution.

    August 14, 2011 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  9. APF

    We have the option of not compromising with you. Closing a few tax loopholes will not affect 99% of us and the money being saved by these loopholes is obviously not creating jobs. Every economist that is worth listening to states that a balanced approach to the deficit is the only way to go, but without dealing with the jobs issue first we are just spinning our wheels. The Tea Party is an angry uninformed mob which is being controlled by a powerful few through soundbites and information taken out of context. We need to save the Tea Party from themselves on behalf of all of us.

    August 14, 2011 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  10. Xdog

    "I don't compromise." Didn't that attitude just cost this country a downgrade in it's financial status of the world? Political policy views should not be confused with principles as Bachmann has done. No one politcal view is 'better' than the other. Rather, it is knowing when to apply the policies of one party's view at the right time. Then, as the world changes, apply the other party's views at another time. Policy in politics is like a pendulum. This is due to media coverage and the fact we have only a two party system. Going too far with one policy until it creates an issue and then the next vote will bring in the party of power. The cycle just repeats. Anyone not willing to compromise is bad for this country and will drive our nation to the murky depths in their own self-righteousness. Especially when they are religious zealots like Bachmann and Perry. I just do not understand how people like Bachmann and Perry go to sleep at night with a clear conscious as to their politcal careers.

    August 14, 2011 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  11. Joe

    Just what we need is a child in the top seat. If we don't play by the rules I make up then I will take my ball and go home.

    August 14, 2011 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  12. Julie

    LOL!
    She doesn't compromise? Dear Lord, anyone who votes for this woman is just plain stupid. Just stupid. Even more stupid thanshe is. Because if youvote forher, it says you are incapable of learning anything. Worse than a chimpanzee. If voters haven't learned from the past few weeks how important it is to compromise and the consequences of not doing so – how it makes us look to the rest of the world, the financial institutions upon which our prosperity is dependent – then you will deserve all the misery you'll get if you vote this self-righteous dope will bring you.
    It's those of us who are smart enough to see her for what she is that I worry about. May there be enough of us to keep her at home with the babies that seem to be her only real accomplishment – (and I doubt THAT very much. I dunno who took care of the kiddies, but little Miss I-went-to-law-school-and-ran-for-Congress sure didn't unless she has a clone somewhere).

    August 14, 2011 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  13. Kevin

    "I don’t compromise my core sets of principles.”

    THAT IS NOT A VIRTUE, Mrs. Bachmann! You're saying that you've got it all figured out. You're not open to new evidence. You're not willing to accept the possibility that some of your long held beliefs might be wrong. You're not a critical thinker. You're not going to contemplate the truth because to do so would be to invite compromise which you won't allow.

    August 14, 2011 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  14. Tony

    No compromise? Well there goes democracy. I will ram my ideals down on others, too bad if you disagree. It's either my way or no way. A true leader indeed. NOT !

    August 14, 2011 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  15. McGuffin

    "I will not compromise my principles" means "I do not care what the majority of American people want" and "I do not belong in American government."

    August 14, 2011 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  16. Aaron

    Why? Why can't I have someone who is fiscally conservative and socially liberal? How in the world can someone claim to be in favor of smaller government, but at the same time demand more social regulation? Why can't people keep their personal religion to themselves? Why must the codify it and make it law? Why must I live according to the rules of their religion? The last thing I want is Michele Bachmann telling me how to lead my moral life. I don't care how fiscally conservative she is, I don't want her if she thinks we should shape the laws of the land to jive with her religion.

    August 14, 2011 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  17. joe

    She is dynamic and honest. Have to give her that but the Republicn Party better wake up if they want to defeat Obama in 2012. He would defeat her in a lindslide as bad as he is. Do not let her win the nomination.....

    August 14, 2011 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  18. bobcat2u

    Ms. Bachman says she won't compromise on her " principles ". If I remember correctly, she is against anyone receiving government benefits such as subsidies for small business, which by the way she receives, subsidies for being a foster parent, which she receives, subsidies for farm ing interests, which she receives. I guess it just depends on which side of the fence you are standing. If that's not a double standard, I've never seen one in my life. Dear lord, it seems it's time to do some smiting. And she is the one you need to start with for being such a hypocrite.

    August 14, 2011 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  19. telemander

    I don't understand why people like Bachmann stand on "moral grounds", but then want to institute big government laws that force people to live a lie (don't ask, don't tell) and be treated as second-class citizens. I don't remember the stories of Jesus as a bigot.

    August 14, 2011 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  20. Kenneth the VI of Minneapolis

    I hope Republicans vote for Michele Bachmann early and often to ensure her nomination........Obama 2012.

    August 14, 2011 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  21. Don

    I always resisted calling political candidates fascists, no matter how much I disagreed with them. I believe Rep. Bachmann may fit the bill. I find her very un-American.

    August 14, 2011 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  22. cregis

    Just curious is she going to return all that farm subsidy money she's collected? Is she going to give up her salary for life pension and other government benefits? When she had the foster children, did she and her husband get government money and/ or Medicaid for them. She stands by her principles all right. Let me eat from the government trough and no body else. I understand that Republicans/Tea Partiers hate President Obama so much they are willing to stomach Bachmann's hypocracy. I still hate Bush, not to mention Nixon and Ronald Reagan.

    August 14, 2011 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  23. ric

    can't wait to see who plays her on saturday night live...

    August 14, 2011 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  24. Qualified?

    Repubs used to complain that Obama wasnt qualified for Prez...but what makes Bachmann qualified to run this country? Didnt she just get elected in Nov? Sounds like someone is overly ambitious.

    August 14, 2011 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  25. telemander

    I don't understand why people like Bachmann who stand on "moral grounds" want to institutionalize Big Government laws like Don't Ask, Don't Tell that force people to lie (breaking a commandment) and force people to become second-class citizens. Seems immoral to me.

    August 14, 2011 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
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