Bachmann's Response to State of the Union
January 25th, 2011
10:10 PM ET
10 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. labman57

    Bachmann's vision is very one-dimensional: help the richest Americans become even richer and provide the corporate world free reign to garner even higher profits - all at the expense of the economic viability of the middle class while destroying the spirit of those struggling near the poverty line.

    January 25, 2011 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  2. ArooMadazda

    Funny, but the iconic image of those men raising the flag at Iwo Jima was a FAKE, staged for the cameras well after the real flag raising ceremony. It was all show, just like her proposals. Politicians are politicians, all of them beholding to special interests.

    January 25, 2011 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  3. Dave Michael

    "..the cost of gasoline is skyrocketing".
    That happens in an economic recovery and who supported the oil companies?
    Bush and Cheney! More lies from this cult.

    January 25, 2011 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  4. ChiTownArkie

    This woman is an idiot. Great job by the t baggers by having this goof give ANY kind of speech. Did she even listen to the SOTU? If Bachmann is the leader of that group of nutbags, the rest of the country can rest easy. She is going nowhere but back to the other nuts in MN that continue to vote her back into office.

    January 25, 2011 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  5. James Kinsey

    It's totally unrealistic to believe one can undo all the harm done to our economy after 8 years of Bush's war agenda, in just 2 years. Unemployment was going to rise as the recession set in no matter who was president. I think he saved our financial system when it was really on the brink of collaspe. Overall he's done a good job , especially in bringing an end to the wars in Iraq & Afganistan. I disagree with you entirely over healthcare reform. I think it was an amazing achievement & ultimately will bring American healthcare to the level it's supposed to be. I do agree with you that he has not focused enough on saving existing jobs & creating new ones. In the end it's the American worker who will repair our economy & if we don't help & protect them then we no chance of fully recovering.

    January 25, 2011 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  6. Mike - Las Vegas

    Short on facts, long on distortions & outright lies. Who's next, the Klan? The John Birch Society? NAMBLA? Extraordinarily stupid on CNN's part to broadcast the garbage spewing from Bachmann's mouth.

    January 25, 2011 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  7. K. Eberhart

    Bachmann's response to the state of the union speech was great. It contained the facts and numbers of the problems America is facing and it listed several steps we can take to reduce our country's debt and bring America back from all the reckless spending and government growing that this currect administration has forced upon us. I was very disappointed that the other networks didn't carry her speech-yet they had plenty of time to criticize her. Why not just let her talk? I had to hunt it up here; that's not right.

    January 25, 2011 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  8. Nate

    The speech is not really worth mentioning except for one tiny bit that stands out.
    Hmm, interesting out-of-the blue analogy from Bachmann:

    The perilous battle in the pacific (anyone born there we know)... incursion against the Japanese (aka foreign, non-American) ... all of America coming together to beat back a totalitarian aggressor (I wonder whom she meant here...)

    January 25, 2011 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  9. Michelle (the good one)

    Since this lady is also a republican and her message does not coincide with the official republican response (and totally lacks sustenance), I am hopeful the republicans can control her.

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

    She stood firm with the T party. Give her credit to those who voted her in. I think she is on the right tract.

    January 25, 2011 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  11. Torrey Spencer

    We need ALL Republicans thinking the way you do. If they did I would register as a Republican, once again.


    January 25, 2011 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  12. Jonathan Cymberknopf

    Ijust want to thank CNN for airing Michele bachmann's speech. i could not believe FoxNews did not cover it. WOW. I will be honest I have not watched CNN in a long long time and so i just wanted to say: RESPECT !!! It is clear the old guard Republicans feel threatened and FoxNews sold out to them. Bachmann's speech was the Speech of the night clearly, hands down. She eloquently explained how we got here, the reality of today and made suggestions to the President. A speech of Substance , it made Paul Ryan's speech look so lame , so Republicans business as usual, same ole same ole. Very impressed withMs. Bachmann and G-d bless the Tea party, it looks like they are the only ones that really care about this country.

    January 25, 2011 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  13. asdf

    "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."

    Or - from Wikipedia - Despite heavy fighting and casualties on both sides, Japanese defeat was assured from the start. The Americans possessed an overwhelming superiority in arms and numbers—this, coupled with the impossibility of Japanese retreat or reinforcement and their troops' exhaustion, starvation, and lack of training, ensured that there was no plausible scenario in which the United States could have lost the battle.

    January 25, 2011 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  14. P

    Why bother responding when you don't offer anything meaningful? Can a connection be made on why this plan, if we can call this a plan, would lead to a better result?

    January 25, 2011 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  15. PalmReader

    Apparently Michele Bachmann has forgotten the Great Recession started in 2007, which under the circumstances isn't so very surprising, she living in an alternative reality as she does. Beyond that, to comment is a pointless as her rebuttal ...

    January 25, 2011 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  16. Jon schmidt

    Too bad, she could have done so much more. And the inaccuracies in her speech were stunning. Doesn't she realize that TARP was a W program? She placed the responsibility for jobs on Obama and the Fed govt, but then said that the govt should get out of the way? Does she want to say that the govt is or is not able to manage the economy? Laissez faire got us into this mess.

    I desperately hope for bipartisanship going forward.

    January 25, 2011 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  17. James

    The charts displayed by Bachmann were interesting. The bars are displayed for every other year. One uses odd years while the other uses even years. This maximises the false impression that both the unemployment rate and deficits began their upward leap after Obama took office. In reality, unemployment rates were rapidly increasing well before GWB left office. Deficits were rapidly rising before the end of 2008 and on into 2009 because of falling revenue and the Bush bail outs.

    January 25, 2011 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  18. Maine

    Shes the New Palin ....There plan is too make palin seem more sane lol

    January 25, 2011 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  19. SJC2

    "The President could support a Balanced Budget Amendment"

    Wasn't that one of Newt's Contract On America items? What ever happened to that and term limits?

    January 25, 2011 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  20. john

    are you kidding me.
    that unemployment is fabricated. october is not in the spring, as she wants us to believe about the bush years. jan 08 to jan 09, which is when obama took office, unemployment went from under 5% to close to 8%. bush's last year in office saw a close to 3% increase. what a liar. and not a good one.

    January 25, 2011 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  21. Ayala

    I am still waiting for the change I voted for 2 years ago. Only thing I have seen is more spending and a health care bill that most americans reject because it should have helped those with no health care, but instead corralled all of us into the program. Still not talking to Iran, when he promised he would. Still in Afghanistan in a no win situation. He should be working hard to work more cooperatively with other allies, trim defense spending by 50%, pull our military from overseas bases and get to replacements for our oil hunger. Still waiting for change I can believe in!

    January 25, 2011 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  22. Charles Glaize

    Great speech, and you speak for millions of us Americans, disenfranchised from our government. We can only hope this message is heard and we can all help to set our ship of state out of these perilous waters and chart a new course in the open waters of freedom and liberty!

    January 25, 2011 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  23. roboto

    Putting Ms. Bachmann on the podium must be a signal to all Americans that Sarah Palin has destroyed the last threads of her credibility, even among people for whom she had some to begin with. Since the Tea Party is built on maudlin fiction, left-field lies, and generally regressive thoughts, it's inevitable that Bachmann will do the same. Let's hope that day comes soon.

    January 25, 2011 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  24. Jon

    In a time where conservatives are ascending and starting to make their mark in government, I think conservatives should start fearlessly articulating the philosophy. If they did, I think many who think they aren't conservative would find they have much in common with them.

    Check out Gut Feeling by Jon Friesch, a book about who conservatives are and why they believe what they do. You can read excerpts at gutfeelingbook [dot] com. It describes conservatism in a way you've never heard before, but that will make complete sense.

    January 25, 2011 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  25. Katiedidit1

    26 states are suing over Obamacare. There was no transparency when the democrats rammed this massive piece of govt legislation down the throats of the American people..there was NO pibartisanship. Obama and the leftwingers are destroying America. Obama wants a windmill in every yard, an electric car in every garage and free college scholarships for illegals...that will solve our problems..NOT Thank God ...Obama will be a one termer.

    January 25, 2011 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
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