'Chaos' in Bachmann camp, former NH staff says
October 24th, 2011
12:29 PM ET
2 years ago

'Chaos' in Bachmann camp, former NH staff says

Concord, New Hampshire (CNN) - The former New Hampshire staff of Rep. Michele Bachmann - all five of whom resigned their posts last week - released a stinging statement Monday, accusing some of the congresswoman's national campaign staff of being "rude, unprofessional, dishonest, and at times cruel."

The open letter gives a lengthy and forceful critique of Bachmann's national staff, saying the team was not responsive to communications from New Hampshire, and had requested in September that New Hampshire staffers temporarily "go off payroll" then never clarified their employment status.

The statement also accuses the national team of being dogged by "chaos" and "shifting strategies" and treating the New Hampshire staffers as "second-class citizens."

"Sadly, they were deceived, constantly left out of the loop regarding key decisions, and relegated to second-class citizens within a campaign in which they were the original members," the statement said.

A former member of the staff confirmed the statement, released by the state account of "Team NH for Bachmann 2012," was crafted by the campaign's former New Hampshire staffers.

CNN attempted to contact members of Bachmann's national campaign for comment. There was no response to several emails, and the voice mailbox for Bachmann's press spokeswoman was full and not accepting messages.

The statement comes after media reports Friday that Bachmann's New Hampshire staff had quit - reports that were denied by Bachmann's national campaign manager Keith Nahigian.

"We have a great team in New Hampshire and we have not been notified that anyone is leaving the campaign," Nahigian said Friday.

Nahigian said Bachmann planned to return to New Hampshire to campaign, but acknowledged she would focus most of her energies on Iowa's first-in-the-nation caucus.

The statement by the former New Hampshire team said frustrations with the campaign had been building since June, but came to a head after Bachmann visited the state in early October. The letter does not divulge the reasons but calls them "serious" enough to prompt the state campaign manager Jeff Chidester to email his resignation to someone connected with the campaign.

The statement is careful to clarify the New Hampshire team still supports Rep. Bachmann.

"It saddens this team to see a dedicated patriot - a person so desperately needed in the White House - sequestered behind a wall of pretense, guarded by political operatives consumed by their own egos," the statement said.

Bachmann has been plagued by campaign staff upheaval both at her congressional office and on her campaign. Several key advisers left her campaign in early September.

But campaign staff hit back late Monday in a statement given to Politico.

"The unauthorized news release was sent by a person who doesn't even work for the campaign and has never had authority to speak on behalf of the campaign," said Bachmann campaign manager, Keith Nahigian. "We are not responding to comments made by a person who was not even a staff member in New Hampshire. Our focus is on Iowa."

Also see:

Sununu set to back Romney

Forbes endorses Perry


Filed under: 2012 • Michele Bachmann • New Hampshire
soundoff (231 Responses)
  1. demogal

    When has anything associated with Bachmann NOT been chaos?

    October 24, 2011 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  2. Max Lowe

    Don't feel bad, that's how the whole country gets treated by the republican party.. If you're not a large donor you don't count..

    October 24, 2011 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  3. William

    Looks like the national campaign staff of Bachmann takes after her with such empathy and courtesy.

    October 24, 2011 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  4. Weasley

    So Bachmann's minions kept her "sequestered behind a wall of pretense, guarded by political operatives consumed by their own egos."

    As President, do we have any reason to believe that Bachmann wouldn't create a cabinet that keeps her "sequestered behind a wall of pretense, guarded by political operatives consumed by their own egos?"

    October 24, 2011 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  5. George

    Michele, please don't give up on us. We love you even if your staff doesn't. You are our only hope of survival and we need you in the White House. My mom is homeless and you will help her find a place to live. Remember mom please and vote for Michele.

    October 24, 2011 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  6. ljjm

    I would think such a Christian woman would insist on more Christian-like behavior from her staff.

    October 24, 2011 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  7. Kay

    Bachmann's campaign ended when she said the east coast was being punished by God with earthquakes and hurricanes. Who wants a President who tells suffering Americans that they deserve their anguish?

    Her campaign is dead, it just hasn't had the sense to fall over yet.

    October 24, 2011 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  8. Loren

    If she can't manage her own campaign, how is she supposed to manage a nation?

    October 24, 2011 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  9. Canuck

    "rude, unprofessional, dishonest, and at times cruel."

    I think this could apply to many members of the GOP.

    October 24, 2011 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  10. ThinkAgain

    This is not surprising, given Bachmann frequently speaks without vetting the source and has an extreme, divisive agenda that isn't based on reality.

    October 24, 2011 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  11. Rudy NYC

    I've said this many a time, but it bears repeating. How a poltical candidate runs his campaign is a *very* good measurement of how that candidate would conduct and run that elected office.

    October 24, 2011 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  12. jnpa

    I am not surprised. The entire republican party is in chaos. They are all rude, obnoxious and unprofessional!

    October 24, 2011 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  13. Kenneth the VI of Minneapolis

    It appears that a good majority of the folks do not understand the culture of politics at the campaign (local) level. The same can be said for all parties that campaigns, especially when it comes to paid staff. Also, some paid staffers treat their volunteers like crap.

    October 24, 2011 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  14. TM

    So Bachmann's "national" team was "rude, unprofessional, dishonest, and at times cruel." Sounds like they acted just like their candidate.

    October 24, 2011 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  15. Robert

    "It saddens this team to see a dedicated patriot – a person so desperately needed in the White House – sequestered behind a wall of pretense, guarded by political operatives consumed by their own egos," the statement said.

    After reading this article, I have two things:

    Dear NH Staffers,

    That's how the GOP acts. Suck it up, stop your whining, and deal.

    Sincerely, the GOP.

    P.S. "Off the payroll" means you work for free. Don't you want to donate to the future President of the United States? Then step up and do it!!

    Dear GOP Field,

    These guys did a great job describing you to the public. This could be trouble. Best to start putting in false statements into their employee records

    Sincerely,

    R. Nixon

    October 24, 2011 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  16. John

    Michele Bachbann shouldn't be running for President ,and she even shouldn't be In congress.

    October 24, 2011 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  17. Jersey George

    Ed Sutterfield

    Not much of a leader. I cannot believe that anyone could view her as a serious candidate.

    Iowa did. So much for the intelligence level of Iowans.

    October 24, 2011 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  18. Kenny

    "Rude, unprofessional, dishonest, and at times cruel" are some of the words used to describe the way the NH campaign has been treated by her Nationaal Staff. It sounds more to me like the way Republicans think of it's people. There has been more unrest in the congressional office of Michele Bachmann than there has been in the Middle East.

    October 24, 2011 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  19. Larry L

    @George "Michele, please don't give up on us. We love you even if your staff doesn't. You are our only hope of survival and we need you in the White House. My mom is homeless and you will help her find a place to live. Remember mom please and vote for Michele."

    ------------------------------------------------

    If this comment is sincere, and I doubt it is... I'd advise you to rely on the other political party to get your Mom a job. The Republicans have obstructed every initiative and blocked the President's job bill. If you're not wealthy or easily manipulated with hot-button social issues, Republicans don't care a thing about you!

    October 24, 2011 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  20. John Ellis

    And they still support her? Then they deserve what they got. We don't deserve a Bachmann administration, imagine the chaos.

    October 24, 2011 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  21. cf

    "rude, unprofessional, dishonest, and at times cruel."

    Sounds just like Bachmann's entire campaign, in a nutshell. All she does is bash Obama and lie about Obama. At the last debate, she interrupted other candidates just to get in her snide remarks.

    October 24, 2011 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  22. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Sadly, they were deceived, constantly left out of the loop regarding key decisions, and relegated to second-class citizens within a campaign in which they were the original members," the statement said."

    One has to ask what these folks thought they would be gaining by supporting Michele Bachmann to begin with. A bit of research on how she's treated the people within her MN 6th District ought to have opened eyes long before this that Michele is only campaigning for her own glory. Hopefully, those here in MN will eventually open their eyes as well. Surely there are others within Minnesota's 6th who would be more inclined to work FOR them ... if only they'd look further than the bickering shrill Bachmann has become.

    October 24, 2011 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  23. Frank A NYC

    "rude, unprofessional, dishonest, and at times cruel." Welcome to political campaigning. They honestly thought Bachman was different kind of candidate?

    October 24, 2011 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  24. Casual

    "so desperatly needed in the White House"

    Are they kdding? This woman would be awful for this country. She is in her own little bubble, and just becasue she has some supporters, by no means makes her good for America....good only if you gay bash, hate brown people, don't mind having a dim-wit in the chair of president, and are a pro-life Jesus Freak.

    She is toast. She should just cut herself from the group befores she spends her cash and wastes it....her poll numbers are a joke, but, she is still hanging on, I just hope she isn't the next Sarah Failin' Palin.....look how long we have had to listen to her now.....she still won't go away.

    October 24, 2011 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  25. Dazed and Confused

    @ Rudy NYC
    "I've said this many a time, but it bears repeating. How a poltical candidate runs his campaign is a *very* good measurement of how that candidate would conduct and run that elected office."

    I thought I would never aggree with Rudy on anything, but truer words have nevr been spoken.! Obama is running this country exactly how he ran his campaign. Using teleprompter speeches, using slight of hand, hate speech, and mostly filled with lies and deception.

    October 24, 2011 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
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