Bachmann lauds seniors' 'safety net'
September 9th, 2011
07:21 PM ET
7 years ago

Bachmann lauds seniors' 'safety net'

Washington (CNN) - Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minnesota, defended Social Security on Friday, continuing what has become a steady drumbeat of Republican presidential hopefuls differentiating themselves from Texas Gov. Rick Perry's position on the program.

In an interview with CNN's John King, Bachmann characterized the program as "a safety net that many Americans have paid into their whole life."

"I think that America needs to keep its promise to senior citizens," Bachmann said. "I talk with them all the time. I love senior citizens. I care about them. My mom is 80 years old. My dad is 87. And I know right now we have trouble."

On Monday, Sept. 12th, CNN will broadcast the "Tea Party Republican Debate," live from Tampa, Florida at 8 p.m. ET. Follow all the issues and campaign news leading up to the debate on and @cnnpolitics on Twitter.

Social Security ignited as a hot topic in the Republican presidential race this week when Perry referred to it as a "Ponzi scheme" at the GOP debate in California on Wednesday.

While Bachmann didn't directly comment on Perry's statement, she said the program needs to be protected and reformed.

The presidential candidate also took the opportunity to slam President Barack Obama on Medicare. Bachmann frequently campaigns against the president's sweeping health care reform, arguing that it steals money from Medicare.

"This is at a time when Medicare is grossly short on money coming in, because we know that nine years from now, that possible trust fund for Medicare could be flat broke," Bachmann said.

Since Perry entered the race in mid-August, Bachmann has seen her poll numbers dropping and her campaign struggling to keep up with two front-runners in the race: Perry and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

Earlier in the week, Bachmann's team experienced a shake-up when her campaign manager, Ed Rollins, stepped down into an advisory role, while her deputy campaign manager left altogether.

But Bachmann maintained that her campaign is a "lean, mean machine moving forward with gusto," while Rollins still serves as her "chief champion."

She added that poll numbers don't indicate much this early on, noting that 2008 presidential candidates Fred Thompson and Rudy Giuliani were early front-runners who dropped out in the early primaries.

But Bachmann highlighted her first-place finish in the Ames Straw Poll in Iowa, a test of organizational strength in the state.

"And it was a stunning victory - even more than people realize because I had been in that race a shorter period of time than any of the other participants in that race," Bachmann said. "Campaigns aren't settled in one day. This is a marathon."

Filed under: 2012 • Michele Bachmann • Rick Perry • Social Security • TV-John King U.S.A.
soundoff (60 Responses)
  1. BIll

    This woman is a psycho, plain and simple.

    September 9, 2011 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  2. Lobo Joe

    Poor Mrs. Bachmann, she is lost in the fantasy world thinking somebody cares. Well, it looks like it will be another redneck vs. another bland millionare ( courtesy of his father's wealth) planning to take on President Obama. Or as the President might say, " The Republigoon Party, the gift that keeps on giving."

    September 9, 2011 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  3. jean

    Is Michele flip-flopping? This was not her stance just a few weeks ago. Why the change?

    September 9, 2011 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  4. Reggie from LA

    So what is it you wanna cut? Just..government in general? I think Romney gave them all a lesson in the way he defended social security. It appears that if they continue on the Tea Party "hell-no brick road", they will continue to further marginalize themselves. Rhetoric fed to the ignorant is beginning to lose traction. An apparent fear has spread about taking away entitlement programs (socialist?) form VOTING seniors. Don't get weak kneed now!. Keep running that trap about cutting away things hard working Americans need and earned, then whine about Obama as a vehicle to the White House. Good luck with that. Do or will your parents use this Social-ist Security program?

    September 9, 2011 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  5. Rick McDaniel

    It isn't supposed to be about a safety isn't welfare.......we paid taxes all our lives, to receive payments when we retired. That is NOT a "safety net". We earned it.

    September 9, 2011 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  6. John

    You have to watch Michele Bachmann she LIES a lot.

    September 9, 2011 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  7. Zulu

    Ask her about the Dept Of Edumacation or $2 gas or what day is elvis birthday an see what she comes up with lol

    September 9, 2011 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  8. Cella

    If her parents are anything like her, I bet they have their hand out taking that Social Security and Medicare and loving it!!!!! Say it ain't so Michelle.....Do as i say, not as i do. Michelle has sticky fingers and has been living off the government dole her whole life. And when she retires she will have a slew of government pensions.

    September 9, 2011 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  9. Aaron

    Strange that she failed to mention her support for dismantling social security and medicare under Ryan's plan. I doubt she'll want to dismantle medicaid since it helps pay for the gay conversion treatments at her clinic.

    September 9, 2011 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  10. beevee

    My advice to Bachmann – You have no chance of getting GOP nomination. May be a few teaparty nuts support you. Give up and go home. Yor ideas are outdated and they wont help regain the country's economic growth.

    September 9, 2011 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  11. Drinking that Tea

    Why should my tax-dollars be spent on old people who failed to take the responsibility to save for their own retirement???

    September 9, 2011 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  12. Minnie's Pearls

    Bachmann is sensing she can gain ground with folks if she takes the opposite approach of Perry. It's the first smart thing I think she's ever done.

    September 9, 2011 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |
  13. professorjoe

    Do my eyes deceive me? Is this the same Bachmann that voted for the Ryan Budget giving55 year olds discount coupons instead of medicare? Next thing ya know the woman who wants to put oil wells in the Everglades will tell us shes a Conservationist.

    September 10, 2011 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  14. Spock500

    Minnesota, I think you have a winner here.

    September 10, 2011 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  15. Jen

    The fact that America is even discussing it is sad. Here in Australia, it would be political suicide for a politician to attack the aged pension, and rightly so.

    September 10, 2011 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
  16. LNB

    Changing tunes to keep afloat. Medicare This...

    September 10, 2011 01:56 am at 1:56 am |
  17. tom s.

    Hannity was spreading his propaganda agenda, he had a supposed "american panel" where 9 out of 10 raised their hand when asked if Social Security was a ponzi scheme ? What a farce, paid off sheep to promote the koch bros theology.
    Faux News is a propaganda machine just like the cnn channel has become. No truth just propaganda and paid bull.
    Journalism has really gone into the sewer.

    September 10, 2011 02:14 am at 2:14 am |
  18. sal paradise

    Bachmann is like Palin, except that Bachmann has actually read an entire book.

    September 10, 2011 02:15 am at 2:15 am |
  19. Squigman

    Why pander to the elderly. Every person above the age of two, recognizes you'll never be elected president. All except you, and that in itself is proof that you are stark starring nuts.

    September 10, 2011 02:50 am at 2:50 am |

    Crazy lady Bachmann was the early leader and she is on her way to be the early dropout. It's clear that the GOPer's have caught on to her crazyness, something that the rest of country saw a long time ago. The right wing nuts are a little slower than the rest of the country, after all when you have a group of people who don't believe in science, still think the sun revolves around the earth or even still think that the earth flat you can't expect them to see the truth as fast as the rest of the country. Bachmann should fold up her tent now and go home. But you know she won't, she's even slower than the right wing nuts she preaches to, so she'll hang on as long as possible, making more and more stupid statements. The only plus is the great entertainment and comedy that she will provide for us.

    September 10, 2011 04:20 am at 4:20 am |
  21. Carol Wolfendale

    Be careful of the unknown. Better to go with what we know. President Barrack Obama. These people will say just about anything to try to win the nomination. Be very afraid of the GOP and their lies.

    September 10, 2011 07:02 am at 7:02 am |

    Bachmann is on the ropes so now Social Security is okay with her. We all know that the wingnuts can't wait to turn Social Security over to their Wall Street masters.

    September 10, 2011 07:27 am at 7:27 am |
  23. The Greedy Old Pigs have lost their minds!

    Wow, Michele wants MORE money for Medicare?!? Are pigs flying now?

    September 10, 2011 07:39 am at 7:39 am |
  24. Clwyd

    Bachmann is pulling a "Slick Willy!" She is a real mental case trying to come across as sane! She will say and do anything to get elected and then watch out! she needs a straight jacket before she hurts herself and America1

    September 10, 2011 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  25. Republicans Are The American Taliban

    What Republicans say, and what Republicans do, are two different things. They will defend even Social Security until they are elected, then say "the American people" told them to change their minds and to destroy it. Remember Jobs Jobs Jobs morphed into attacks on Social Security, Medicare, Planned Parenthood, and government unions. I can't understand how any thinking American could forget what they have done in the past. Anyone who would vote Republican would be the same person to hire Casey Anthony to watch their kids. The Republican mantra is: LIES...HATE...FEAR!!!

    September 10, 2011 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
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