May 29th, 2013
07:45 AM ET
1 year 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. ThinkAgain

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

    Passion for America? Is that why she became a citizen of Switzerland?
    Or was that a savvy move to set up bank accounts there to which she'll funnel all the money she'll make from speaking and "consulting" after she leaves Congress?

    May 29, 2013 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  2. jb1963

    she is not running because she knows she is going to get trounced so why not give someone with a chance to win

    May 29, 2013 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  3. mark

    can you say "purged"? GOP is taking no chances with that seat.

    May 29, 2013 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  4. Russ

    Oh great, another Sarah Palin, irrelevant but won't go away.

    May 29, 2013 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  5. ActionJackson

    The Lord works in Mysterious Ways........

    May 29, 2013 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  6. ghostriter

    YES! Congress may get just a lil bit less dumb. Not holding my breath, though.

    The only way this gets better is if she announces that she's forming an exploratory committee.

    May 29, 2013 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  7. Lizzy

    She's an embarassment to our country thinking she and her dumb ass husband can pray gayness away LOL! You can't fix stupid.

    May 29, 2013 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  8. chris

    good riddance to bad garbage. now if we can get the rest of the filth out of congress we might have a chance at greatness again...

    May 29, 2013 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  9. eric

    Let's hope this is another nail in the tea party coffin.

    May 29, 2013 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  10. ActionJackson

    REAL GOOD NEWS, "Free at last, Free at last, Thank God Almighty Were Free At last"

    May 29, 2013 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  11. rosethornne

    Suuuuure it's not because of ethics investigations or the fear of losing.....

    Buy bye. Hop back onto that train to Crazytown.

    May 29, 2013 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  12. Hamburger Jones

    Great, now I've got that old country song "I'm Crazy" running through my head.

    May 29, 2013 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  13. Mike

    Congrats to Minnesota and all of the U.S. for her retirement. One less unethical pig with no meaningful grasp on the issues of our day. Truly one of the unqualified ones. Presumably she'll take the palin route and make the rounds of the echo chamber her party has so carefully crafted for the sole point of lining her pockets.

    May 29, 2013 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  14. flagt

    Insult her all you want. She was a CONGRESSWOMAN. What have you done with YOUR life???

    May 29, 2013 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  15. Kevin

    Its amazing how the media will viciously attack all conservative women.

    May 29, 2013 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  16. Becky

    Backman accused Obama of making BP pay for the cleanup in the Golf after the huge leakage of oil.
    She thought that the american people should pay for it. Thank God she is getting out.

    May 29, 2013 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  17. scaredofpandas

    Anyone else watch the whole video and catch the part where she calls the whole Middle East "evil"? What a piece of work.

    May 29, 2013 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  18. Loathstheright

    The people who voted in Bachmann should be embarrassed that they were just being used by this piece of trash.

    May 29, 2013 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  19. Michael

    In my lifetime I have pretty consistently voted against extremism and looneys be they from the right or the left. My one flirtation with craziness was supporting Ross Perot.....who I still kinda like. But Bachmann and her right-wing extremist ilk are killing this country. True and lasting progress comes from the middle through taking the best ideas from the right and left and forging a compromise.........something that is entirely lost on the Tea Party and other wackos from the right and left. Good riddance........I hope her replacement is more open to compromise and actually getting something meaninful done instead of having the country fall on a pile of tea bags.

    May 29, 2013 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  20. b10mtrk

    As a Tea Party darling was she commissioned to deliver the first stanza of the Tea Party's inevitable Swan Song.

    May 29, 2013 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  21. Jesse

    I'm sure she will soon have her own show on Fox soon.

    May 29, 2013 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  22. aCriticalEye

    Wow, reading all the posts.....she is truely NOT liked.

    May 29, 2013 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  23. Alfranken

    So she wants to follow Sarah Palin into oblivion - she's so ignorant/arrogant to think enough people are going to read her book or correspond on FOX - I don't know what's worse listening to her whiny voice, or scratching a chalk board.

    May 29, 2013 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  24. GOP witch hunt is not over yet

    fox news reported she is moving to Mexico ,something to do with a donkey show?

    May 29, 2013 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  25. Ella Mae

    Ahhhh.....the republicans lost a favorite fascist member. And we are all better off for it. I wonder, too, who made her an offer she couldn't refuse. It will be interesting to see where the Kochs put her.

    May 29, 2013 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
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