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. Rickapolis

    And America ia a richer place today for her leaving.

    May 29, 2013 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  2. Boomer in Mo

    She won't disappear. Her husband will force her to get another high paying job just like he forced her to become a tax attorney even though she hated it. Why does she put up with him?

    May 29, 2013 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  3. Alan2236

    It seems the Tea Party is waning. One can only hope!

    May 29, 2013 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  4. VEW2012

    Translation..."I can't take this intense scrutiny."

    May 29, 2013 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  5. pkfops

    I wonder if she knows that her husband is gay.

    May 29, 2013 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  6. Robert

    I'm still not sure how she was elected in the first place. But I suppose even insane people deserve to be placed in public service every once-in-a-while. Or something.

    May 29, 2013 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  7. DemFromSC

    Now if we could just convince all of her Republican colleagues in the House to do the same, we could get this country moving again!

    May 29, 2013 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  8. Shawn Barney

    Good riddance!

    May 29, 2013 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  9. asm_ith

    If she can do so much more outside of Congress "to fight to protect innocent human life, traditional marriage, family values, religious liberty, and academic excellence," she should quit immediately. Otherwise, she is saying that it's okay to accomplish less for these things over the next 18 months than she otherwise could accomplish. Obviously, she is just throwing out sound-bites and has nothing to offer.

    May 29, 2013 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  10. Michael

    Wants to sell corn dogs full time.

    May 29, 2013 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  11. Randy Barker

    Why not take a page from her friend Palin and quit early!!!!!

    May 29, 2013 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  12. muri

    Do GOP women think that quitting is somehow more classy then being defeated, taking it in stride, and being ok with a good effort. Pro tip – For more than half this country it's considered weak.

    How, exactly, is quitting outright the new platform for pulling up one's bootstraps?

    May 29, 2013 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  13. Guy

    I like the comments from the conservative folks on here. Conservatives mistake aping some Fox commentator for "thinking" and assume if anybody comes to a different conclusion somehow someone is manipulatied, "drinking the coolaid" or letting the government tell them how to think. The other popular conservative thing these days is to think that any disagreement is hate. Liberals don't hold a different opinion from you, they just "hate" you. That might hold sway on an elementary school playground, but grown-ups learn that disagreement does not equal hate. If that were the case then all my family reunions would be hate-fests. Maybe for conservatives they are....

    May 29, 2013 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  14. Expat American

    Bachmann rambled on and on about standing up and fighting for what she believed in...until it was time to actually stand up and fight for what she believed in...and then all of a sudden Michelle Bachmann became a victim of the MSM. Just like her beer goggles weekend college girl crush Sarah Palin.

    May 29, 2013 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  15. Pat

    About time that battle axe got off the tax payers' dole.

    May 29, 2013 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  16. Terry Vann

    Bye bye Bachman! However, we still have Cruz, Lee, Rubio, and some others to carry on your fine tradition of saying absolutley nothing revelent, let alone accurate.

    May 29, 2013 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  17. Richard F. Kessler

    Michelle Bachman has decided not to run for re-election. Her absence will not be missed. She remains what she always was, a controversial celebrity. Her need for publicity and attention alienated her colleagues in Congress and disqualified her from admission to the leadership. Her irresponsible, unsupported but inflammatory allegations attract a substantial audience. Her star political status, although diminished, remains significant. She will remain what she always has been a rabble rousing, rock throwing political entertainer on the extreme right. For Bachman, polarizing controversy and irresponsible allegations remain the sure pathway to fame and prosperity. She will have an ardent following among those who already idolize Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh and the ditzy blond, Ann Coulter, all originators of the imaginary fears and foes bedeviling the American body politic.

    May 29, 2013 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    She's a complete idiot; and do you what's really scary; the state that allows her to adopt childern!!!!!

    May 29, 2013 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    im doing back flips

    May 29, 2013 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  20. Anonymous

    now u can take back your country even though you never told us who took it

    May 29, 2013 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  21. Lct1119

    But she will run for al franken's seat probably. However the governor's seat is comfy too.
    Not as much splash tho.
    Please disapear and quit embarrassing minnesota

    May 29, 2013 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  22. chiz3914

    One less insane member in the US Congress

    May 29, 2013 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  23. Ruth

    Comedians like Bill Maher must be upset over this. Where will they get material now? She will make more money now going on speaking engagements or being a commentator or anchor for Fox News. She would be perfect for that job.

    May 29, 2013 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  24. EP

    Another FOX Commentator in waiting… I believe she is Palin’s replacement…

    May 29, 2013 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  25. ajit

    knowing what she has done so far...I am so scared !!! . .what will she do in her "limitless future" !!,

    May 29, 2013 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
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