Bachmann touts Washington experience while stressing 'outsider' status
December 28th, 2011
05:58 PM ET
3 years ago

Bachmann touts Washington experience while stressing 'outsider' status

Creston, Iowa (CNN) - Michele Bachmann stressed her national security credentials Wednesday, as she offered sharp criticisms of her opponents over that issue and the issue of foreign policy in general.

The three term Republican congresswoman from Minnesota touted her Washington credentials but at the same stop repeated her mantra that she's as an outsider and "doesn't even know how to be" a politician.

"I'm a member of the House Intelligence Committee and I deal regularly with our nations national security threats," Bachmann told supporters and press outside her campaign bus.

She used that as a means to attack two of her Republican opponents – former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

"It's important to have a commander in chief who's decisive, not a commander in chief who second guesses, such as a Newt-Romney and their changing positions on Libya. They just don't get it."

Then she turned her focus onto Texas Governor Rick Perry.

"(Perry) doesn't understand the situation in Syria or that there's a difference in security assistance and foreign aid," she said.

"I'll understand how to ensure that the Iranians never obtain a nuclear weapon. I'll understand how to deal with the Chinese and their commercial and military espionage that is threatening our national security. I'll understand how to win the war on terror and radical Islam."

She used the topic of Iran, as she has repeatedly, to single out Texas Rep. Ron Paul for "ignoring the warning signs." She said she is "appalled" that Paul would be "fine if the Iranians obtained nuclear weapons."

At an earlier stop in Fairfield, a woman at a diner asked Bachmann what she plans to do about the rise of dictators in Africa, specifically people like Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe.

Bachmann acknowledged the woman's premise that it was a "huge issue" but cautioned that the US has "limitations" on what it can do in other nations. She said the hostility in Africa is an indirect result of President Obama's policies.

"I think one of the biggest problems that has happened in recent times. Since President Obama came in, he put distance between the United States and Israel, and when that happened it let all of Israel's 22 hostile neighbors know that there was an opening. That's why you saw a rise in hostilities."

Bachmann wrapped up by adding that the US has been a "force of good" in the region in terms of the AIDS crisis.

But the woman asked a follow up, asking specifically whether the US should do something about people like former Ugandan President General Idi Amin or the current Mugabe or if Bachmann just sees it as a "blanket issue."

"We can't go in and solve every problem. That's part of the problem. We have limited resources and I think that's just part of recognizing working with other nations that we can be a force for good but we have limitations."

"I don't want to be overly aggressive either."

At a press conference later, Bachmann was also asked her opinion about the news that Newt Gingrich would not vote for Ron Paul should be become the nominee.

She wouldn't answer whether she'd support Paul or not, just that Paul "won't be the nominee–I will."

She also would not answer two questions relating to how well she has to place in Iowa in order to continue her campaign.

"What we intend to do is very well in Iowa."


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

    FACT CHECK:
    Let’s summarize Rep. Bachmann’s actual record in the 110th, 111th and 112th Congresses:
    In the 112th Congress, Michele Bachmann introduced 7 bills. None passed.
    In the 111th Congress, Michele Bachmann introduced 20 bills and 2 amendments. Two measures passed:
    1. H.Res.373: Expressing support for the designation of September as “National Hydrocephalus Awareness Month.” Passed by Voice Vote.
    2. H.Amdt.634: Requiring the Department of Energy Inspector General to report to Congress on waste, fraud and abuse within the Department. Passed by Voice Vote.

    In the 110th Congress, Michele Bachmann introduced 16 bills and 1 amendment. Two measures passed:

    1. H.Res.789: Honoring public child welfare agencies. Passed by roll call vote.
    2. H.Res.923: Recognizing the State of Minnesota’s 150th Anniversary. Passed by roll call vote.

    Nominally speaking, Tim Pawlenty is wrong. Michele Bachmann does have a record of accomplishment after all; it’s just a record of weak accomplishment. Bachmann has passed three rhetorical bills with no force of law, and one amendment that asks an Inspector General to conduct inspections. That’s a record. It’s four accomplishments. Whether these are four accomplishments to be proud of is another matter.

    December 28, 2011 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    Bachmann really doesn't want to tout her "experience" in Washington. She has one of the worst voting records in the entire House. The three people who have voted less than her roughly 50% have good reason. Rep. Giffords, who was shot in Arizona earlier this year. A Republican whose name escapes me had open heart surgery. Finally, John Boehner has cast fewer votes by fact of circumstance. The Speaker usually casts the last vote of anyone, and usually the issue is already long decided by the time the last vote needs to be cast.

    While an altruistic argument can be made that she has been on the campaign trail, this pattern of missed votes has plagued her entire career in DC. Remember, folks. She has spent a *lot* of time being the Tea Party darling since 2008.

    December 28, 2011 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  3. Beverly - NYC

    Washington experience really , this coming from someone who has not written or sponsored a major piece of legislation while in Congress, all the while collecting tax payer benefits and a fat pay check. Oh well whatever you need to tell yourself Michelle to keep this farce of a campaign going.

    December 28, 2011 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  4. Bill

    Goodbye Michelle. Let's hope your are removed from office in 2012 by a clearer thinking electorate in the MN 6th.

    December 28, 2011 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  5. ARMYCSM

    Go Home lady.

    December 28, 2011 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  6. DumbasRocks [R]s

    Aren't the people of Minn. embarrassed by this fruitcake yet? She is now a 3-termer. One *might* be able to excuse the first vote for her. But after seeing her non-productivity in office and her rabid, uberpartisan rhetoric which contributed to the gridlock, the dumbfoundingly stupid voters in Minn. elected this useless nitwit back into office two more times?????

    I'll make it a point to not travel to Minn. anytime soon. Don't want to catch whatever desease is eroding the brain matter in Minn.

    December 28, 2011 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  7. GI Joe

    WHAT? She sure knows how to get a Freddie Mac Mortgage backing, subsidies for her family's farms, subsidies for the pray-away-the-gay clinic her husband runs, and collect that salary and all benefits. Not a politician? Not a GOOD politician. Not a decent person.

    Liar, Hypocrit, Thief - all things despicable.

    December 28, 2011 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  8. bobcat2u

    How did you ever get into the "intelligence committee ?

    December 28, 2011 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  9. REG in AZ

    Loud, obnoxious, self-centered, arrogant and seeks to excite emotionally without fact or real substance. Neither presidential nor trust worthy, in fact, scary.

    December 28, 2011 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  10. Russ

    Boy there's an oxymoron, serves on the intelligence committee? Deals with all of our national security threats? I'm sure the rest of the committee really listens to her. More like they let her ride the bus every day but they don't let her drive. Obviously she's not a politician. Look at her poll numbers. Can anyone say loser?

    December 28, 2011 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  11. Hank

    She's an outsider b'gosh. Outside reality.

    December 28, 2011 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  12. SafeJourney

    Bachmann, you're done. pack it up and go home. You wont get the nomination and you sure wont get the national vote.

    December 28, 2011 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  13. Judith

    "I'm a member of the House Intelligence Committee...," Bachmann said. Now there is one heck of an oxymoron!

    December 28, 2011 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  14. WhereIsPalin

    Bachmann is at the peak of desperation. Please give it up.

    December 28, 2011 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  15. Grog Says

    *** Bachmann touts Washington experience while stressing 'outsider' status

    So, is she in or is she out ?
    Only her husband knows for shure.

    December 28, 2011 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  16. cigarman

    She is an outsider allright, OUTSIDE THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE.

    December 28, 2011 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  17. chrisnot

    Just when does enthusiasm, focus, commitment and desire turn into self delusion? Perhaps there is a psychologist or a psychiatrist out there who would like to comment. Then again, there would be separate answers.., one answer from the Republican mental health professional and one entirely different answer from the Democratic mental health professional. And, so it goes.

    December 28, 2011 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  18. ed fl

    It just goes to show how the misnomer of the INTELLIGENCE Committee has prevailed. The one sure thing about this aspect of the campaign is the lack of intelligence the fact of the matter is that Bachmann doesn't have a chance at being the nominee and if being on the Intelligence committee means you are intelligent it is another government mistake. the greatest benefactor of her running will be that the people of Minnesota can see what a mistake they made and she will lose her present seat in the house.

    December 28, 2011 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  19. gg

    i would not let this woman any where near national security

    December 28, 2011 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  20. bill

    How in the world did this person get on the House Intelligence Committee ? That is the most incredible thing I have heard in 2011. Her views are so out of touch and her knowledge is so limited it bothers me that she has anything to do with domestic and international intelligence issues. Well I guess that's why congress has the lowest rating of any congress in modern history. The only thing I can hope for is that intelligent people will go to the polls and fix the situation.

    December 28, 2011 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  21. Jilli

    What planet is this woman living on?

    December 28, 2011 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  22. Indy

    "I'll understand how to ensure that the Iranians never obtain a nuclear weapon. I'll understand how to deal with the Chinese and their commercial and military espionage that is threatening our national security. I'll understand how to win the war on terror and radical Islam."

    So what she is saying is she does not understand it now, but if everyone votes for her she will try her best to learn on the job. I'll understand.........when ? It is a disgrace that she actually sits on the House Intellegence Committee and she has to be one of the highest security risks to the country.

    December 28, 2011 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  23. Kenneth the VI of Minneapolis

    hummmm...I can have my cake and eat it to.....all the while, starting a Tea Party Caucus....sure, I'm not A politician because I have not mastered the act of talking out of both sides of my mouth....give me a BREAK!

    December 28, 2011 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  24. Ed 1

    Go home you will not win save the tax payers some money.

    December 28, 2011 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  25. The Unsub

    (lookin at my watch) is she still here?

    December 28, 2011 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
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