May 29th, 2013
07:45 AM ET
11 months 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. Sniffit

    "There is something about this woman that just screams incompetence."

    Yeah, her mouth.

    May 29, 2013 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  2. rs

    One very, very positive step in the "de-kookification" of the GOP.

    May 29, 2013 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  3. asdrel

    Hallelujah! U guess she has been right all along; there is a God.

    May 29, 2013 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  4. Woodman

    Thank God!!! This woman is weird.

    May 29, 2013 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  5. mfp53

    The average IQ of the house will go up 10 points when she retires!

    May 29, 2013 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  6. Mitch

    Never met a Minnesotan that liked this lady, she is done cause she can't win and doesn't want to fully destroy her "brand," even though that already happened. Bye bye Bachman.

    May 29, 2013 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  7. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    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.
    -------------------------------------------------
    Uh-huh.
    I'm sure neither one of these ONGOING investigations played a role in her decision.

    May 29, 2013 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  8. rl

    If were her I wouldn't look to embarrass yslef like she will surely do. But she do doubt has another job lined up on FauxNoise.

    May 29, 2013 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  9. Joe

    And there was much rejoicing...

    May 29, 2013 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  10. columbus

    The fall of the Tea Party.

    May 29, 2013 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  11. richard

    Gee, she's a lot smarter than I thought. Getting out when the hand writing is on the wall. She squeezed by last election, the next one probably not.

    May 29, 2013 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  12. emskadittle

    so is she going to hang around living off republican party, like sarah?

    May 29, 2013 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  13. Dan I

    My guess, given the closeness of her defeat last time, is that the GOP establishment informed her that, should she run, the "party" would give it's support to another candidate in the primary.

    May 29, 2013 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  14. IMPEACH OBAMA

    Nothing personal against Bachmann. But I think its appropriate. Once you become a media sensation. Once a politician becomes wholly absorbed as a media sensation.. I wonder how well they can they still represent their local community over managing their national persona. Case in point, Hillary Clinton, as Senator of New York. Did she really spend her time representing New York or was her quest for President her main activity. Same with John Edwards. A Senator always campaigning for higher office and media recognition.

    I'd rather they retire like Buchmann or resign like Palin and go off and do the thing that occupies their time most.

    Our representatives and public servants need to be just that and not professional politicians.

    There are many capable citizens out there to step up.

    May 29, 2013 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  15. Melody

    Great news! After her threatening to leave after MN passes the same-sex marriage bill, she needs to get out of politics. If you don't support what the people you represent want it is time to move on. No loss at all here!

    May 29, 2013 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  16. Rich

    Looks like Bachmann fancies herself as the next Sarah Palin.

    May 29, 2013 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  17. roro

    Hooray and alleluia, she has it coming to her! Goody goody for her. Goody goody for us. I hope you're satisfied, you rascal you.

    May 29, 2013 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  18. Mike

    the fact that this woman was elected to any office really bothers me when thinking about our society :-( how, how could anyone believe a single word from her mouth ??????

    May 29, 2013 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  19. Pete

    Bachmanns smart knowing she'll be defeated in midterms like most republicans and why put money down betting on a bad hand in her and Bachmann never amounting to much while there won't leave anyone teary eyed either thank God!!

    May 29, 2013 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  20. Winston Smith_1984

    Glad she is going

    May 29, 2013 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  21. Cassidy

    Good riddance to someone who represents everything that is wrong with the Republican party. It's because of clowns like her that we're losing to dems all over the place. We need more moderates and less loonies!!!!

    May 29, 2013 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  22. jonp

    This woman was such a bizarre character. I'm actually going to miss her antics.

    May 29, 2013 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  23. DarqueSide

    Goodbye, Queen of Crazy! Go forth and make yourself rich, support lost causes, and huddle with your friends who believe the Dark Ages were the 'good old days'.

    May 29, 2013 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  24. Larry L

    Americans are starting to rid themselves of the Tea Party plague that has all but destroyed our Congress. Maybe Republicans can find some voters beyond the fearful, bigoted, xenophobic right-wing radicals now running the GOP.

    May 29, 2013 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  25. pink hase

    Waking up to news like this has put a very big smile :) on my face!!!!!

    May 29, 2013 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
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