Bachmann targets 'frugal socialists' in Republican Party
November 7th, 2011
12:17 PM ET
3 years ago

Bachmann targets 'frugal socialists' in Republican Party

Washington (CNN) - Seeking to recover her once-impressive standing in the polls, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann on Monday continued to position herself as the most conservative candidate in the Republican presidential race.

Speaking to about 50 Republicans and more than a dozen reporters at the socially conservative Family Research Council in Washington, Bachmann targeted unnamed GOP opponents in terms she usually reserves for Democrats.

"Unfortunately for too many Republicans, they also aspire to be frugal socialists," she said, apparently targeting GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney. "The reason President Obama and some Republicans can get behind socialized medicine is because they share the same core political philosophy about the purpose of government."

"We cannot preserve liberty for ourselves and our posterity if the choice in next November is between a frugal socialist and an out-of-control socialist," she added, the latter phrase a reference to Obama.

Bachmann called for a full repeal of Obama's health care reform law and claimed that Romney and Texas Gov. Rick Perry do not understand how to roll back the legislation.

Romney says he will grant waivers to states wanting to opt out of the law, while Perry says that he would overturn the law by executive order. Bachmann called both plans naive and said a "full scale repeal" of the law can only happen through Congressional action.

On a host of issues abortion, taxes, same-sex marriage, foreign aid and the federal judiciary Bachmann portrayed herself as "the candidate you can trust in office."

Bachmann is eager for a second look, especially in the must-win caucus state of Iowa, from the social conservatives and tea party activists who fled her campaign in September and moved to Perry, businessman Herman Cain or former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

After winning the closely watched Ames Straw Poll in August, Bachmann sunk in the polls when Perry joined the race and captured the imagination of Republican primary voters. After Perry's similar collapse a month later, Cain moved into the void and soared to the top of the polls.

And with Cain now facing allegations of sexual harassment, Bachmann is trying to remind conservatives of her consistently conservative bona fides and full-throated opposition to all-things-Obama.

Bachmann is mired around 3% in national GOP polls, although her numbers are slightly higher in Iowa, where she is staking her campaign.

"This election season has been full of surprises," Bachmann said. "I can assure you there are no policy surprises with me. I am far from a perfect person, as all of you know too well, but I know who I am and I will never deviate from the principles that I have fought for all of my life."

She drew one of the sharpest lines in the sand on the matter of abortion, appearing to jab Romney and Cain, both of whom have faced questions about their pro-life principles.

Cain recently said that women and families should be able to choose abortion in cases of rape and incest, remarks that drew swift criticism from staunch abortion rights foes. Romney, meanwhile, said that abortion should be "safe and legal" when he ran against Ted Kennedy for the U.S. Senate in Massachusetts in 2004, but he has since moved to the right on the issue.

"I am both personally and publicly pro-life and our candidate has to do more than just check the box on the issues of life," Bachmann said. "They have to have a proven record on standing up for life. I believe it is the role of government to protect life from conception to death. I'll never be confused about that issue and you won't find YouTube clips with me advocating anything else."


Filed under: 2012 • GOP • Michele Bachmann • Mitt Romney • Rick Perry
soundoff (121 Responses)
  1. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I wonder why Michele did not include the spendful fascists in the republican party who drove our economy in the ditch in order to help the elitist aristocracy of the wealthy.

    November 7, 2011 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  2. Al-NY,NY

    are you still here? Why bother. Go back to MN and pack your bags because the people in your district will hopefully boot you from the office you've held

    November 7, 2011 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  3. Mike

    When all else fails, turn on your own kind. You can talk about being pro-life all you want but that won't create 1 job. You've aslo said you can get gas prices to $2 a gallon. You must be running for the president of fantasy land. You have no control over gas prices. If you did, then why did one of your own, George Bush, allow it to soar above $5. You have no credibility what so ever.

    November 7, 2011 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  4. Joe The Plumber

    I guess if Bachmann is calling the Prez a socialist, then it is fair play to call her a GOP reactionary.

    November 7, 2011 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  5. Voice of Reason

    Wait – what? Michelle Bachmann associating with KNOWN SOCIALISTS??! Isn't that the same as 'Palling around with terrorists' ? Black is white, night is day, Bachmann 'courting socialists' ??

    First of all, the average GOP presidential contender (and believe me, calling them 'average' is being kind), wouldnt know what a socialist was if one bit them on the posterior. If I had a nickel for every time I heard some ignorant apologetic for the GOP/TP call the president a 'socialist', i could pay off the national debt, and have change to spare. Secondly, How many socialists are there in the Republican party? I mean, Really? That is like saying 'Michael moore's ultraconservative fan base' or 'Bill O'reilly's gay pride parade'. It simply makes no sense.

    So of course it makes sense that it came from Michelle Bachmann.

    November 7, 2011 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  6. GI Joe

    That's right, missy, bring them in to the world so they can starve or serve in wars.

    November 7, 2011 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  7. da

    So at what point will she just drop out of this race and go do the job (which she really struggles to do) she was elected for? I mean seriously, she knows she will not get the nomination yet she is out here trying to sell herself!! I think a law should be enacted that if you are a sitting Politician in the US Congress and you seek the Office of the President you should resign your seat immediately!!!

    November 7, 2011 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  8. Rick McDaniel

    That can be read another way........that Bachmann is an extremist, who has zero interest in the human condition of our citizens.........which is how I have viewed her, all along.

    She makes some good points, but her driving force, is not government, but rather religion, and I oppose ALL of the religious agenda of the GOP party, 100%. If they can't leave the church issues, in the church, then they can't get my support, no matter what religion they espouse.

    Religion in government, in the US, is no less dangerous, than the religion in government, in Iran.

    November 7, 2011 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    When can we make it official that she never has anything reasonable, rational or even remotely worthwhile to say?

    November 7, 2011 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  10. Indy

    Speaking to about 50 Republicans and more than a dozen reporters at the socially conservative Family Research Council in Washington, Bachmann targeted unnamed GOP opponents in terms she usually reserves for Democrats.

    I am amazed that she could find 50 people that will still listen to her bash every person in any party just because she cant think of any viable soultions to the countries current problems, she was useless in congress and said no to Everything and now thinks she is experienced enough to handle the toughest job in the world.

    November 7, 2011 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  11. MTATL67

    She is not that bright. She can "position herself as the most conservative" all the way to the right just before Nazi but the majority of us are sick of these extremists. As is clearly evident extremism has not helped anyone keep a home or open a business. This short slightness and there for not serious. If she was serious she would keep an eye on the general election and by making herself "most conservative" she would lose the moderate votes and the election. Since she is not serious and as I said is quite clear she should bow out and return to Washington and complete the job the people of her district sent her there to do and stop wasting time and money.

    November 7, 2011 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  12. Tony

    Is Bachmann ready to call Medicare socialism? It is a government-run health insurance system.

    Actually, all insurance is socialism. A person buying insurance is spreading the risk that he or she may get sick, get into car accidents, and so on, to the rest of the society. Those who are well pay the premiums to cover those who are sick, with the hope it will be there when they need it.

    November 7, 2011 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  13. Orchal

    Err...a 'frugal socialist'? What does that even mean?
    Frugal: Sparing or economical with regard to money or food.
    Socialism: a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole.
    So a 'frugal socialist' in the GOP is a republican penny-pincher who advocates socialist principles?
    Interesting...I guess?

    November 7, 2011 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  14. Stop the Charade

    Representative Bachmann, please explain your remarks in view of the defintionof socialism: "a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole."

    Doesn't fit the facts huh, so stop misleading the American people for your own ends.

    November 7, 2011 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  15. FM

    Dear Michele, when a person drops from a higher height and breaks any part of the body, the recovery always becomes difficult. This applies to you too. You dropped sharply in polls and trying to revive them seems to be a dream!

    November 7, 2011 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  16. the Contenders

    Bachman, " the most conservative candidate in the Republican presidential race". Sure, but the most of this or that on the edge of political spectrums simply make you an extremist. We surely don't need (nor do voters support) an extremist, left or right. We need a capable president who understands the "middle of us", the middle class and its problems. The silent majority. Bachman's flavor of the moment has worn out, all that's left is her right wing nutcase philosophy. Puns intended.

    November 7, 2011 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  17. Randy, San Francisco

    Desperation is driving Bahmann's campaign. Her tone is getting extremely shrill.

    November 7, 2011 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  18. Phil in KC

    "frugal socialists"? Republicans? This woman is so far to the right, she can't even see the middle. When you have moderate Republicans being bashed as socialists, it's time they threw in the towel. They are outside the mainstream.

    November 7, 2011 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  19. Griffin

    "I am both personally and publicly pro-life and our candidate has to do more than just check the box on the issues of life," Bachmann said. "They have to have a proven record on standing up for life. I believe it is the role of government to protect life from conception to death. I'll never be confused about that issue and you won't find YouTube clips with me advocating anything else."

    Wait, what? She believes it is the role of government to protect life from conception to death? Just not against medical problems, then? lolol

    November 7, 2011 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  20. PJONES

    She rails against socialism yet has received farm subsidies. Typical hypocrit.

    November 7, 2011 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  21. chill

    Bachman's goal in life is to eliminate the government so there is no protection whatsoever from the multinational corporations that have but one purpose in life- making money. And that is as it should be. But they shouldn't be policing themselves because that is a clear conflict of interest and as we've seen during the Bush years- entirely unworkable. I do agree with he ron one thing though, it is very clar where she stands- somewhere in Fantasyland.

    November 7, 2011 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  22. CoJo

    If she evens wants to come close to getting back in the race, she needs to specifically lay out a jobs plan. Just saying, "cut taxes will generate jobs" doesn't cut it. All the republicans say that, so unless she can say how, in details, how many people over what time frame, she is an also-ran. Perry's job plan is no less than a ten year plan... not good enough and only for a million people?

    November 7, 2011 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  23. MnTaxpayer

    LOL. "Speaking to about 50 Republicans and more than a dozen reporters", Not going so well, is it.

    November 7, 2011 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  24. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Michelle Bachmann has done absolutely nothing in her time in Congress except oppose everything (even what has been proposed by her own party). She has proclaimed herself the head of the "Tea Party Caucus" in the House and has managed to pretty much tie Speaker Boehner's hands on everything. If a proposal isn't to her liking, she has her caucus withhold its support. If Boehner is forced to get Democrats to support it, she accuses him of pandering to the Left. The best thing for the country would be to allow her to win the nomination and lose both her House seat and the National election. Then we would be rid of her.

    November 7, 2011 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  25. FRANK - LAS VEGAS

    Bachmann never lets the facts or the truth interfere with her rants. If only she would really investigate, research a subject or even tell the truth about the polls she would be somewhat believable. However, she can not seem to bring herself to do any of these things and the American see this little un-convenient fact. Bachmann really needs to go back to MN. that's about the nicest thing I can say about her.

    November 7, 2011 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
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