May 29th, 2013
07:45 AM ET
2 years ago

Rep. Bachmann looks forward to 'limitless' future, but not in the House

Updated Wednesday 5/29 at 10:30 a.m. ET

(CNN) - U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, a conservative firebrand whose bid for president last year ended after the Iowa caucuses, will not seek re-election to her Minnesota congressional seat in 2014.

Making her announcement in a video posted to her campaign website early Wednesday, Bachmann stressed she had no plans to fade from public view.

"Looking forward, after the completion of my term, my future is full, it is limitless, and my passions for America will remain," she announced.

Bachmann, who's in her fourth term representing Minnesota's 6th District, promised that there "is no future option or opportunity" that she "won't be giving serious consideration if it can help save and protect our great nation for future generations."

Bachmann staved off a tougher-than-expected challenge for her seat last November against Democrat Jim Graves, winning re-election by just under 5,000 votes. Graves has announced he will seek the seat again in 2014.

In her video announcement, Bachmann said her decision was not influenced by any concerns about winning reelection.

"I've always, in the past, defeated candidates who were capable, qualified, and well-funded. And I have every confidence that if I ran, I would again defeat the individual who I defeated last year, who recently announced that he is once again running," Bachmann said.

Nor was her decision based on any concerns over an ongoing congressional ethics inquiry into the improper transfer of campaign funds, Bachmann said in her video. She is also facing a Federal Election Commission complaint about her former presidential campaign.

"This decision was not impacted in any way by the recent inquiries into the activities of my former presidential campaign or my former presidential staff," she said. "It was clearly understood that compliance with all rules and regulations was an absolute necessity for my presidential campaign. And I have no reason to believe that that was not the case."

Bachmann's run for president in 2012 reached its peak in August 2011, when she beat out a slate of other candidates to win the Ames Straw Poll in the early voting state of Iowa, where she was born. Her campaign lost steam in the fall to other conservative candidates like Rick Perry, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, and she eventually placed sixth in the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses. She ended her presidential bid the next day.

In the eight-minute long video, Bachmann, an early supporter of the Tea Party movement, touted her work on a variety of conservative issues, promising to "to work vehemently and robustly to fight back against what most in the other party want to do to transform our country into becoming, which would be a nation that our founders would hardly even recognize today."

Bachmann was one of the leading supporters of the emerging tea party movement in 2010, founding the "tea party caucus" in the House of Representatives and delivering her own "tea party response" to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address. Most recently she organized a tea party rally on Capitol Hill protesting the Internal Revenue Service's admitted targeting of conservative groups applying for tax exempt status.

In her video, she said she wouldn't let up on the causes she championed as a U.S. representative.

"I promise you I have and I will continue to fight to protect innocent human life, traditional marriage, family values, religious liberty, and academic excellence," Bachmann said.

In a polite statement, National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Rep. Greg Walden wrote Bachmann "has been a tireless advocate and dedicated Representative for the people of Minnesota’s Sixth District."

"Michele was the first Republican woman elected to represent Minnesota in the U.S. House of Representatives, and she has worked hard each day to ensure that her constituents’ voices are heard in the halls of Congress," he continued.

Democrats were less laudatory - the House Majority PAC, which works to elect Democrats to Congress, wrote Bachmann's decision was "good news for the people of Minnesota and our nation."

"Bachmann voluntarily removing herself from Congress is a victory we can all celebrate today," the group's executive director Alixandria Lapp wrote.

CNN's Kevin Liptak and Martina Stewart contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2014 • Michele Bachmann
soundoff (885 Responses)
  1. K. in Miami

    Good riddance, what an embarrassment for the state of Minnesota, this woman is flat out nuts, her supporters must be like home fans at a baseball game that show up with bags over their heads....

    May 29, 2013 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  2. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    As long as she is out of the House as a member and no longer can vote on legislation, it make Congress a little better assuming that there is a more reasonable person to take her place in the next election. She needs to be honest with what she is really able to do. I don't believe that she left to persue a "limitless future." She left because she won by a smaller margin than before; there's an investigation into her presidential campaign and she isn't advancing through the House leadership and committee assignments as fast as she would like.

    May 29, 2013 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  3. TBall

    I bet Fox news has already made an offer.

    May 29, 2013 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  4. caeser

    ....and stay out.

    May 29, 2013 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  5. Sniffit

    ""This decision was not impacted in any way by the recent inquiries into the activities of my former presidential campaign or my former presidential staff,""

    Translation: "I'm in deep doodoo and it's going to screw up my re-election."

    May 29, 2013 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  6. The NRA is a T e r r o r i st organisation....and MORE JOBS has been created under President Obama 2times over than under GW Bush!!! ***FACT***

    Glad this Cuckoo is going awaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay.......................

    May 29, 2013 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  7. GonzoinHouston

    Wow! Yesterday afternoon the Dow closes at a new record high. I get up this morning and we have bagged a major Taliban target with a drone strike, and now Bachmann is retiring? I don't care if it's the work of demmies, pubbers, God, Allah or Buddha. As they say in the beer commercials, "It just doesn't get any better than this".

    May 29, 2013 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  8. George

    There are some people in this great nation who are not happy to see her go. Come on people, show a little empathy and curb your glee.Jon Stewart, the cast and writers of SNL, Stephen Colbert are all shedding tears this morning.

    May 29, 2013 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  9. wm Scot

    NOT TIL 2014 ?
    Why ?
    She is an embarrassment to our great country and to the state that she is from. I would hope that the law would catch up with her before then.
    Just leave NOW !

    May 29, 2013 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  10. JD

    As a resident of her congressional district I have alway found her to be the definition of self-serving. Her claim that she cares about "our great nation" is unsupported by her record in Congress, or lack thereof. Her focus has always been and will always be on the "brand" of Michelle and nothing else. She will likely parlay her fame into a lucratvie career with Fox News. Good riddance!

    May 29, 2013 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  11. Bismarck

    Bachmann heard directly from God.

    May 29, 2013 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  12. DJ Reality

    That's' to bad. She will be missed.

    May 29, 2013 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  13. JustForMe2

    Finally... A true competition for Sarah Palin on the speaking circuits.

    May 29, 2013 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  14. Dallas

    One down – plenty more to go – but this is a start! Hopefully some more of these looney tunes will follow suit. I wish Michelle well but stay out of politics and just go away and take Sarah with you!.

    May 29, 2013 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  15. Allexy

    May we NEVER see anybody/anything like you again as a public figure!!!

    May 29, 2013 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  16. nuclear mike

    This is a scary woman...and a product by design from now dead Jerry Falwell...

    May 29, 2013 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  17. 2 Km N of G Zero

    Fox News here she comes...

    May 29, 2013 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  18. Wes Scott

    I would like to believe that the US HOuse would become a more sane institution with the departure of Bachmann, but Ted Cruz from Texas is right there positioned to take her place and keep the looney GOP driving the clown car for another generation.

    Unlike Sarah Palin, Bachmann could actually read, and read the handwriting on the wall that said she would be sounded defeated in the next election, but just like Sarah Palin she chose to cut and run. It is what Republicans do best.

    May 29, 2013 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  19. OPIE

    Good bye, and good riddance.

    May 29, 2013 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  20. Steve

    Now she can cash-in like Palin on the FOX network. Obviously, ignorance and hate are worth a LOT of money in the media world.

    May 29, 2013 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  21. Graywolf

    She's been an embarrassment for my District for far too long! Thank goodness she's out and we can finally join the SAINE again! Bye bye buffoonery, hello sanity!!! ;)

    May 29, 2013 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  22. MP in VA

    A sad day for fake news outlets and Comedy Central.

    May 29, 2013 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  23. Bob

    Good riddance to a lunatic.

    May 29, 2013 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  24. Robyn

    >> "I've always, in the past, defeated candidates who were capable, qualified, and well-funded.
    >> And I have every confidence that if I ran, I would again defeat the individual who I defeated
    >> last year, who recently announced that he is once again running," Bachmann said.

    Doesn't she sound like a complete doofus as she turns herself inside out to avoid saying Jim Graves' name?

    The TV program "The West Wing" commented on this stupid practice a decade ago.

    ASSISTANT:
    We think you should start referring to him as "my opponent" or "the other guy"?

    PRESIDENT:
    You're not afraid its going make me look like I can't remember his name?

    ASSISTANT:
    No.

    PRESIDENT:
    I am. I think it's going to make me look like I can't remember his name.
    I think it's going to make me look addled. I think it's going to make me look dotty.
    And even if it didn't make me look like those things it would remain a stupid idea.
    We're done.

    May 29, 2013 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  25. Archived

    Now taking wagers on how long after the end of her term that she becomes a regular commentator on Fox.

    May 29, 2013 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
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