Bachmann: Campaign 'alive and well' after former manager says she won't last beyond Iowa
September 19th, 2011
07:41 PM ET
7 years ago

Bachmann: Campaign 'alive and well' after former manager says she won't last beyond Iowa

Waterloo, Iowa (CNN) - For at least the second time in less than one week, one of Michele Bachmann's former staffers have criticized her political abilities.

On Monday, the Republican presidential candidate directly responded to one of them: Former campaign manager Ed Rollins. Bachmann said her campaign is "alive and well" after Rollins said in a cable television news interview that Bachmann doesn't have enough political mojo to make it beyond Iowa.

This comes five days after a former Bachmann chief of staff said she sometimes makes "impulsive statements."

Bachmann toured a business, based in Waterloo, that manufactures portable, solar-powered traffic signals. After bashing President Barack Obama's plan to reduce the deficit, the Minnesota congresswoman spoke with employees, then took questions from reporters.

Bachmann was asked about the criticism from Rollins, who just weeks ago helped her win Iowa's all-important Ames Straw poll but today questions her chances beyond Iowa. Rollins stepped down from the campaign earlier this month.

"Well, our campaign is alive and well and doing very, very well," Bachmann said. "And we're thrilled with how we're doing. We are the only campaign that won the very important Iowa straw poll."

Bachmann was pressed on the substance of Rollins' words.

"No other candidate has been in Iowa as much as I have. We've been here 70-75 days. We'll continue to be here because we intend to win the all-important Iowa caucuses," Bachmann said.

It was earlier Monday, during an appearance on MSNBC, that Rollins questioned his former boss' abilities.

"I think Michele (Bachmann), which always was the game plan, if she for somehow, for some reason can win Iowa, then she can get another look," Rollins said. "Right now, she's competing hard in Iowa. She doesn't have the ability or the resources to go beyond Iowa at this point in time where Perry and Romney - with lots of money - can go on to South Carolina, Arizona, Florida and other places."

Bachmann was also asked about her sagging poll fortunes since Texas Gov. Rick Perry entered the GOP presidential race.

"It’s not unexpected that when another candidate comes into the race that the dynamic changes," Bachmann said. "But again - we're doing exactly what we need to be doing: That's being here in Iowa, seeing how important the state of Iowa is, listening to Iowans and that's how you win a state - state by state."

Last week, Bachmann's former chief of staff - Ron Carey - told CNN's Anderson Cooper his former boss is "impulsive" after Bachmann linked an HPV vaccine to mental retardation.

“Well, Michele (Bachmann) is very impulsive from a personality standpoint. And, to her credit, she reads an awful lot of information. But sometimes I'm afraid that she reads maybe 80 or 90% and leaves out or forgets the 10 or 20% that can change the outcome," Carey told Cooper.

"So her impulsive nature - coupled with the fact that she sometimes doesn't digest information as carefully as she should - leads to these kinds of impulsive statements that sometimes are just off the mark enough that it makes her into more of a provocative, controversial figure."

Follow Shannon Travis on Twitter: @ShanTravisCNN

Filed under: 2012 • Iowa • Michele Bachmann
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. Henry Kissingerini

    Irrelevant is as irrelevant does.

    September 19, 2011 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  2. FedUpWithLife

    If her campaign is alive and well, America isn't.

    September 19, 2011 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  3. Jake

    she must prove she's a reasonable human being to able to lead, so she will NOT make it past Iowa!

    September 19, 2011 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  4. Yeah sure

    If my students were passing their exams at 7%....I'd be considered a failing teacher. How is BACHMAN scoring in the SINGLE and LOW double digits (if she's even gotten that high) considered a success? Maybe in HER world.

    September 19, 2011 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  5. Jesse

    The last two paragraphs say it all, and this statement from a former staff member. Not the qualities we need in a president, much less a U.S. representative.

    September 19, 2011 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  6. Cogito

    The campaign may be alive and well, but her actual chances of winning are dead as a doornail.

    September 19, 2011 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  7. David

    She is done!!!!

    September 19, 2011 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  8. David

    She would make a wonderful President...

    September 19, 2011 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  9. Bill in Florida

    "For at least the second time in less than one week, one of Michele Bachmann's former staffers have [should be has] criticized her political abilities."

    Gee, this is SO not surprising ...

    September 19, 2011 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  10. Hair bear

    I think she should run as a third party candidate. They all want to be on the republican ticket, It wouldn't surprise me if Palin decides to do it.Michelle should beat her to the punch..

    September 19, 2011 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  11. xRedfoxx

    Very uncool for former staffers to blast their boss. Almost like they were plants.

    September 20, 2011 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  12. Drogo, who bit the dust

    The cosmetics industry must be booming. This woman packs enough cake on for twenty women. The real point is she is not qualified to be president of the local PTA let alone president. of the US.

    September 20, 2011 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  13. Jay Kay, Minneapolis

    We have to wait until the Iowa primary for her to become irrelevant? Drat!

    September 20, 2011 01:06 am at 1:06 am |
  14. Spock500

    I wonder if the voters in Ms. Bachmann's district are proud of this woman . . .

    September 20, 2011 01:10 am at 1:10 am |
  15. bigwilliestyles

    So Bachmann's former employees are publicly saying what they've always known privately: that Bachmann's a nut case. Glad you people are finally getting to the point where the rest of the world was when she made the 'black children better off during slavery' remark. Try to keep up from here on in, ok? Where black people are now is wondering how she continued to draw any support after a boner like that in our oh so race, religion, and creed tolerant society. Quite frankly, I'm both shocked and appalled.

    September 20, 2011 03:12 am at 3:12 am |
  16. Steve

    At least her campaign is spending money. It's the most she's done to benefit this country since she's been in congress.

    September 20, 2011 04:42 am at 4:42 am |
  17. Den

    I'm still laughing that she won the straw poll in Iowa- that is soooo funny.

    September 20, 2011 06:05 am at 6:05 am |
  18. Republicans Are The American Taliban

    It's sad that an entire political party would be based on lies, hate, and fear.

    September 20, 2011 06:05 am at 6:05 am |
  19. Bernard Webb

    This reminds me of Bill Clinton being reduced to saying that he was "still relevant" in his second term. When you have to TELL people that your campaign is "alive and well", it's not.

    September 20, 2011 06:28 am at 6:28 am |
  20. George

    We love you Michele, but you just can't beat the oil boys and they have chosen Rick. He raised 30 million for his election campaign but not a dime for the homeless or unemployed.

    September 20, 2011 06:33 am at 6:33 am |
  21. MAngeline

    "Impulsive"...not exactly a good description of what I would want our next President to be. Enough said's.time to go.

    September 20, 2011 06:52 am at 6:52 am |
  22. chuckwagon

    Michelle never makes suggestions on her own-has only been quoted as a critic of others. Eventually she will have to stand on her own feet and propose programs and solutions directly from her experience and ability, this is where this bible thumping, evangelical bone head will reveal that she has a room temperature IQ (although she does demonstrate this daily). She frequently makes statements (and misstatements) off the cuff, will not follow directions or script from her staff. Difficult to envision her in a situation with her finger on the button!!

    September 20, 2011 07:01 am at 7:01 am |
  23. vikingslost

    What's up with the ruffled collar? She won't last long, once hardball is played.

    September 20, 2011 07:08 am at 7:08 am |
  24. bob lloyd

    Her running mate it she gets nominated probably would be Palin. Lord have mercy!!!!

    September 20, 2011 07:37 am at 7:37 am |
  25. blf83

    Dead candidacy walking. She has NO chance of winning, nor should she.

    September 20, 2011 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
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