Bachmann's Response to State of the Union
January 25th, 2011
10:10 PM ET
9 years ago

Bachmann's Response to State of the Union

As prepared for delivery:

Good evening, my name is Congresswoman Michele Bachmann from Minnesota’s 6th District.

Two years ago, when Barack Obama became our President, unemployment was 7.8 percent and our national debt stood at what seemed like a staggering $10.6 trillion dollars.

We wondered whether the President would cut spending, reduce the deficit and implement real job-creating policies.

Unfortunately, the President’s strategy for recovery was to spend a trillion dollars on a failed stimulus program, fueled by borrowed money.

The White House promised us that all the spending would keep unemployment under 8 percent.

Not only did that plan fail to deliver, but within three months the national jobless rate spiked to 9.4 percent. And sadly, it hasn’t been lower for 20 straight months. While the government grew, we lost more than 2 million jobs.

Let me show you a chart. [CHART]

Here are unemployment rates over the past ten years. In October 2001, our national unemployment rate was at 5.3 percent. In 2008 it was at 6.6 percent. But, just eight months after President Obama promised lower unemployment, that rate spiked to a staggering 10.1 percent.

Today, unemployment is at 9.4 percent with about 400,000 new claims every week.

After the $700 billion bailout, the trillion-dollar stimulus, and the $410 billion spending bill with over 9,000 earmarks, many of you implored Washington to please stop spending money we don’t have.

But, instead of cutting, we saw an unprecedented explosion of government spending and debt, unlike anything we have seen in the history of our country.


Deficits were unacceptably high under President Bush, but they exploded under President Obama’s direction, growing the national debt by an astounding $3.1 trillion-dollars.

What did we buy?

Instead of a leaner, smarter government, we bought a bureaucracy that tells us which light bulbs to buy, and which will put 16,500 IRS agents in charge of policing President Obama’s healthcare bill.

ObamaCare mandates and penalties will force many job creators to stop offering health insurance altogether, unless yours is one of the more-than-222 privileged companies or unions that has received a government waiver.

In the end, unless we fully repeal ObamaCare, a nation that currently enjoys the world’s best healthcare may be forced to rely on government-run coverage that will have a devastating impact on our national debt for generations to come.

For two years President Obama made promises just like the ones we heard him make tonight. Yet still we have high unemployment, devalued housing prices and the cost of gasoline is skyrocketing.

Here are a few suggestions for fixing our economy:

The President could stop the EPA from imposing a job-destroying cap-and-trade system.

The President could support a Balanced Budget Amendment.

The President could agree to an energy policy that increases American energy production and reduces our dependence on foreign oil.

The President could also turn back some of the 132 regulations put in place in the last two years, many of which will cost our economy $100 million or more.

And, the President should repeal ObamaCare and support free market solutions like medical malpractice reform and allow all Americans to buy any healthcare policy they like anywhere in the United States.

We need to start making things again in this country, and we can do that by reducing the tax and regulatory burdens on job creators.

America will have the highest corporate tax rate in the world. Look no further to see why jobs are moving overseas.

But, thanks to you, there’s reason to hope that real spending cuts are coming. Last November you went to the polls and voted out big-spending politicians and you put in their place men and women with a commitment to follow the Constitution and cut the size of government.

I believe that we are in the early days of a history-making turn.

Please know how important your calls, visits, and letters are to the maintenance of our liberties. Because of you, Congress responded and we are starting to undo the damage that’s been done.

We believe in lower taxes, a limited view of government and the exceptionalism of America. And I believe America is the indispensible nation.

Just the creation of this nation was a miracle. Who’s to say that we can’t see a miracle again?

The perilous battle that was fought in the pacific, at Iwo Jima, was a battle against all odds, and yet the image of the young G.I.s in the incursion against the Japanese immortalizes their victory. These six young men raising the flag came to symbolize all of America coming together to beat back a totalitarian aggressor.

Our current debt crisis we face today is different, but we still need all of us to pull together. We can do this.

And that’s the hope we hold tonight as Americans. We will push forward to reclaim the greatness of our country and to proclaim the liberty upon which we were founded.

And we will do so because we the people will never give up on this great nation.

God bless you, and God bless America.

Filed under: SOTU 2011
soundoff (150 Responses)
  1. tdub

    Intellectually taking out a crayon instead of a pen. Simplistic analysis, skewed conclusions, this speech plays out on a 7th grade level.

    January 25, 2011 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  2. josh

    Ai ai ai, I hope people realize that the charts are in favor of president Obama. As the economy and job market always respond with a significant lag to government policy, it would be hard to reason that the first statistics during the Obama administration can be the result of his policies.

    January 25, 2011 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  3. Shelly

    How dumb can Americans be? Have Ms Bachman and her TP forgotten that the DERegulated finacial market got us into t he economic mess! Does she want our children to consume dirty water and polluted air. Is she that naive to believe that private companies care for the welfare of the people over their profits. The Republicans and TP want us to return to the 18th/19th century America???
    We need the government and private companies to work together and keep a balance.

    January 25, 2011 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  4. NameEllie

    Bachman just proved how IGNORANT Republicans truly are!!! They are NOT focused on doing the People's work, they are more focused on bashing the President rather than solving the issues facing our country!!!

    January 25, 2011 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  5. Name

    Sad, very sad indeed. People are entitled to their opinion but not to their own facts. Bachman's facts are so twisted and incomplete... it's hopeless to listen to people like that.

    January 25, 2011 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  6. Patrick Bailey

    Michelle Bachmann and the tea party – a match made in heaven. Democrats are drooling oover this love affair.

    January 25, 2011 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  7. Eric James Judson

    Amazing and utterly vapid. But at least she acknowledges that the majority of the debt was incurred PRIOR to the current administration.

    January 25, 2011 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  8. allnax

    OMG this is supposed to be a response! Who Called in the Clowns!

    January 25, 2011 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    I think CNN and other media was WRONG to give Bauchmnan and the "tea party" free time for a response to the Obama speech. There should be the President speech and the opposite party response. If this is going to be usual reporting, then anyone and everyone with a political agenda, agreeing or disagrreing with the President, should be given free media time to make their case.

    January 25, 2011 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  10. curtther

    If she just didn't twist things she would be believable the same talking points of a sore loser party. She not thinking on her own.

    January 25, 2011 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  11. Zionfulfilled

    How dare these people act like Bachmann's speech was comparable to that of Paul Ryan's. Her speech was short, powerful, and to the point. Republicans are afraid of her, and they should be.

    January 25, 2011 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  12. Carramea

    The same tired little graphs that Fox news does....... Sorry Michelle you dont have it

    January 25, 2011 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  13. Name

    Waahahaha...Please, oh please, run for Prez...

    January 25, 2011 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  14. llh

    Ridiculous, oulandish, and food for political mayhem!

    January 25, 2011 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  15. Derwood

    Is Ms. Bachmann really that unaware of how those numbers work on her helpful charts? Through the Bush years, what I see is a tragic upward trend. Starting with the Obama years, I see a responsible downward trend.

    I'm sure she wants to seem as though she sees the difference between the '08 and '09 numbers as Obama's fault, but that is just not how that works. And I think she knows that.

    January 25, 2011 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  16. Danny R.

    Did we forget when our economy take a dramatic turn for the worst? It was at the tail-end of the Bush administration with the collapse of the stock exchange. The end of the Bush administration, America was a burning building. It was left to Obama to extinguish the fire and rebuild it.

    January 25, 2011 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  17. Bryan

    What a complete ramble by Bachmann. I love the fact that she thinks the Tea Party is important. Please take more votes from the GOP, leaves an Obama reelection extremely easy. Love it.

    January 25, 2011 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  18. AmandaInTN

    There are few things funnier (in a sad way) than Michelle Bachman trying to sound like she knows what she's talking about. President Obama mentioned Sputnik and the space race, I should mention Iwo Jima... even if it kinda comes out of nowhere.

    Until I see a list of what each Republican/Tea Party candidate is willing to cut from their own district and campaign supporters, I say they can take their complaints about spending and stick them where the sun don't shine. Until they shun the top-notch health insurance my tax dollars provide for them and/or they offer a viable healthcare reform bill instead of just empty talk about making it easier to buy insurance on the free market, they can do the same with their whining about the healthcare bill (which, by the way, is unpopular with most Americans because it does not go far enough, not because it goes too far).

    January 25, 2011 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  19. George

    Yeah, you lost all credibility when you called the health care bill Fox New's "Obamacare"

    January 25, 2011 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  20. Ron , West Coast

    Michele Bachmann is a KOOK . CNN should be ashamed for having that idiot respond to the SOTU address .

    January 25, 2011 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  21. Lin

    Please, someone show this woman where the camera is and how to look directly in it! Not only was it annoying listening to her, but watching her was painful! This so-called rebuttal speech was a joke. And she really needs to learn not to omit and distort facts.

    January 25, 2011 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  22. homer

    How can anyone take this woman seriously?

    January 25, 2011 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  23. T'sah from Virginia

    Bachmann could not even find the RIGHT CAMERA to LQQK into while she was saying NOTHING MORE than what was already said!! But in her case – still the same old TONE with NO solutions!!

    January 25, 2011 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  24. tony

    There goes the party of stagnation.

    January 25, 2011 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  25. XWngLady

    The jump in the unemployment rate, from 7.6% when President Obama took over in January 2009 to its highest level of 10.1%, is 2.5%. This is still less than the 2.7% jump that we saw from Jan. 2008 to Jan. 2009 during Bush's administration. Secondly, Pres. Bush started with a budget SURPLUS. President Obama started with an already huge budget deficit, failing banks, failing industries, housing market tanking and he still managed not to increase unemployment as much as the Republicans did. So if you're going to tell it Bachmann, tell it ALL. Tell the real story, not the one that you can generate by cherry picking numbers. Why don't you show the chart that shows that from Dec. 2007 to Jan. 2009 (under Bush). we went from positive monthly job growth to losing over 700,000 jobs a month, and that since Obama took over we have steadily been decreasing the number of jobs lost monthly and are now actually adding jobs monthly. Where is that chart Bachmann?....rrright.

    January 25, 2011 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
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