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. maximusvad

    DC will be a little cleaner without her.

    May 29, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  2. hender1123

    Running for office is like mud wrestling with a pig. The better financed you opponent is the deeper the mud will be. Because of this we are deprived of the services of a lot of qualified potential candidates.

    May 29, 2013 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  3. Say Da Truth

    R U SERIOUS???? oh well, Comedy Central won't have anything to talk about without her I guess.

    May 29, 2013 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  4. john4carter

    She was HORRIBLE. Every time a news reporter asked her a question, she would immediately dribble out some bla bla bla pre-memorized slogans. Example - Reporter – "Michele, what do you think of illegal immigration?" Michele – Clearly the people want me to represent their ideal values of family. Reporter – "What do you think of the budget deficit?" Michele – My constituents want me to support thier conservative views... Reporter "What do you think about taxing turtle eggs?" Michele – Clearly the people want me to represent them in congress... Reporter "Should we reprint the constitution in Ancient Hebrew?" Michele – I am so happy to embrace all good ideas for everyone."

    May 29, 2013 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  5. Guester

    Finally some good news.

    May 29, 2013 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  6. Percy Shaddock

    Best news I've since the DEATH of Bin Ladin

    May 29, 2013 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  7. asm_ith

    Has she explained why she decided not to run? She says that it isn't because of the investigations or out of fear that she would lose the election. She says that she "will continue to fight to protect innocent human life, traditional marriage, family values, religious liberty, and academic excellence." So she must feel that she can do this more effectively outside of Congress, without saying where or how. Anyone who believes her is as delusional as she is.

    May 29, 2013 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  8. bill

    "good news for the people of Minnesota and our nation." "Bachmann voluntarily removing herself from Congress is a victory we can all celebrate today," AMEN!!!!

    May 29, 2013 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  9. Anthony

    this is why she is not seeking re-election.
    "Peter Waldron, who served as Bachmann’s national field coordinator in the 2012 presidential race, has filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission alleging that the lawmaker’s campaign improperly used leadership PAC funds to pay presidential campaign staff. Consultant Guy Short, he alleges, was paid with MichelePAC funds. He also charges that payments to Bachmann’s Iowa campaign chairman, state Sen. Kent Sorenson, were concealed due to ethics rules that bar legislators from being employed by campaigns." this is from the WashPost

    May 29, 2013 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  10. Anthony

    Peter Waldron, who served as Bachmann’s national field coordinator in the 2012 presidential race, has filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission alleging that the lawmaker’s campaign improperly used leadership PAC funds to pay presidential campaign staff. Consultant Guy Short, he alleges, was paid with MichelePAC funds. He also charges that payments to Bachmann’s Iowa campaign chairman, state Sen. Kent Sorenson, were concealed due to ethics rules that bar legislators from being employed by campaigns. from the washpost

    May 29, 2013 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  11. Mark

    Do you believe in miracles? YES!!!!

    May 29, 2013 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  12. Percy Shaddock

    Best news I've heard since the DEATH of Bin Ladin

    May 29, 2013 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  13. hey

    Now I know how the munchkin's felt after Dorothy's house landed.

    May 29, 2013 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  14. tammyleg

    Best news I've heard in months...

    May 29, 2013 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  15. Mike

    Santorum's next running mate.

    May 29, 2013 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  16. Morty

    I'm actually going to miss her. She made the politics section of this website a lot more entertaining.

    May 29, 2013 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  17. WMesser58

    How is it a nut job is considered influential. How Inane.

    May 29, 2013 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  18. Bubba

    Rush Limbaugh's nubmers are dropping, Cheney had returned to the corporate underworld, and now Bachmann has seen her undeniably self made shadow. I believe that spring has arrived. I look forward to the flowers.

    May 29, 2013 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  19. WMesser58

    How is it a nut job considered influential. How Inane.

    May 29, 2013 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  20. JohnW

    I wish I could have a job where I essentially accomplish nothing for eight years and get the kind of paycheck she was getting. It's the American dream!

    May 29, 2013 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  21. Karl

    Now if we can only convince Pelosi, Boxer, Feinstein et al to do the same

    May 29, 2013 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  22. Michael

    She and Sarah can do a show!!!""

    May 29, 2013 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  23. anne112

    She and Sarah Palin can trot out a dog-and-pony show to stay in the limelight.

    May 29, 2013 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  24. mark

    Her congressional work was getting in the way of her television appearances and book writing.

    May 29, 2013 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  25. Daniel

    Honey, you left a loooooooong time ago. Bye!

    May 29, 2013 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
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