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. Jay

    I thought it was inappropriate for M. Bochmann to but in on the evening but why am I not surprised...that seems to be her way of doing things. Reminds me of crashing the party when not invited. Kind of wierd!!

    January 26, 2011 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  2. perseus317

    I was disappointed that neither the president, nor the two Republican responders paid any significant attention to what is going on in the rest of the world. Since Obama became president, North Korea has become more belligerent, Iran is closer to developing a nuclear bomb, China has increased its military spending by something like 400%, Mexico is becoming less stable by the day, and allies like Israel and Great Britain are repeatedly dissed. It appears that both parties have decided that, if they can't say anything good about our foreign policy, then don't say anything at all. If the Islamic militants in Pakistan are able to take over the government there – which is a definite possibility – then we will have a nuclear-armed country which is run by religious extremists, who believe in destroying the infidels. Certainly, we have economic challenges at home, but we can't ignore what is happening in the rest of the world, and we need to develop policies to address those areas which could pose a threat to the U.S. or our interests abroad.

    January 26, 2011 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  3. Marc Terebelo

    Ignorant of the issues, Ms Bachmann continues to lie and distort.

    January 26, 2011 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  4. denise parsons

    Bachmann for president!

    January 26, 2011 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  5. Miles Monroe

    Bravo Rep. Bachman. I'm a JFK Democrat and support you fully. When you run for president I'll be there to walk the streets in support of the America I can now only dream of.

    January 26, 2011 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  6. Jason Morse

    Best response/speech made 2nite. Move over GOP establishment! We the people are coming!!!

    January 26, 2011 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  7. One American

    God bless Michelle Bachmann, and all those who resist the Socialist expansion of a corrupt, self-serving government.

    January 26, 2011 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  8. drdugger

    is guess she forgot that all hell broke loose at the end of the Bush era and left Obama with a huge financial system crisis. seriously getting sick of this crap being shoveled just to make the other side look bad. And what really blows my mind is how during the entire GW Bush era and all the spending he did, the Republican party kept voting for tax cuts. That's right, spending went out the window and the plan was to cut the income, taxes. Seriously, were they really trying to blow up the country just to make it look like a mess for the next Presidency or what?

    And talk about the government getting it's fingers into the lives of American Citizens, what was up with that Patriot Act? Talk about the pot calling the kettle black, enough already and show you actually work for American Citizens and not for your Party because it is obvious that your Party is not representing the citizens.

    January 26, 2011 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  9. peter klika

    Obama inheirited two wars and a nose dive in the stock ,arket and housing prices from George Bush. You are wrongfully expecting him to fiz 8 years of Bush's useless wars, tax breaks for wealthy friends. and a failure to enforce our regulatory laws ( i.e Madoff, Enron, WorldCom, Tyco, etc). Bill Clinton (a Democrat) left the U..S. Treasury with a positive balance. Geoge Bush gave it away to fat cat cronies and the idle rich. Don't blame Obama for not turning this overweight ship of state fast enough. All you are promising is more tax cuts for the wealthy and spending cuts that hurt the average American. I don't really see a plan here, just more "voodoo" economic policies that made our government the bigest debtor/ beggar in the world.

    January 26, 2011 01:04 am at 1:04 am |
  10. Chris

    A bunch of right wing misinformation and regurgitated talking points. Started with blaming Obama for the high unemployment and bad economy that he *inhereited* but did not create. And he should be credited for stopping the downward spiral, stabilizing everything and helping the present recovery.

    January 26, 2011 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
  11. Steve

    As a minnesota resident who's been out of state because of the military the last 7 years. All I can say is, I am SO sorry. I dont know whats going on in my home state but obviously people don't think there anymore. I am sorry for foisting Michelle Bachmann on America AGAIN.

    January 26, 2011 01:06 am at 1:06 am |
  12. peter klika

    And another thing: Will you penalize U.S.companies who send American jobs overseas? Note that 90% of the Ipad is assembled overseas and finally made in China. Do you get this? Or should I try again?Peter Klika, Kapaau, Hawaii

    January 26, 2011 01:07 am at 1:07 am |
  13. davek

    Is there a more ignorant person on the planet?

    January 26, 2011 01:15 am at 1:15 am |
  14. Kirt

    She nailed it! Obama needs to go in 2012 and the Republicans should put a screeching halt to Obama and the big government liberals in congress. Obama has run up massive debt in two years and ballooned the deficit with his unprecedented increase in spending. Now he wants to freeze spending at this unsustainable level for five years. If your car is speeding over a cliff, you don't put it on cruise control, you slam on the brakes!

    January 26, 2011 01:16 am at 1:16 am |
  15. Elizabeth

    CNN: What were you thinking to elevate this fringe element's spokesperson to the same level as the official Republican response? I will draw on my English husband's recount of a traditional response to reprehensible public or political behavior and cry "SHAME."

    January 26, 2011 01:21 am at 1:21 am |
  16. In the West

    Another uninformed ideologue. These selfish anti-American conservatives who wrap themselves in the flag (and the Constitution – which few of them have bothered to understand), while taking lobbyist payouts and helping the rich get richer at the expense o the rest of us are dinosaurs, and their extinction is inevitable.

    January 26, 2011 01:27 am at 1:27 am |
  17. Bill

    I went to college in Minnesota, and all I can say is: Michele Bachmann is an embarrassment. It just goes to show, not all certified are actually in an institution.

    January 26, 2011 01:30 am at 1:30 am |
  18. bobden

    It appears that she learned arithmetic from George W.

    January 26, 2011 01:36 am at 1:36 am |
  19. Francine Fostin

    Her speech was definitely "Tea Party". Who, exactly, is the "totalitarian agressor"?

    January 26, 2011 01:41 am at 1:41 am |
  20. Brian - PA

    Wow, she makes a full case for the unemployment rate other than mentioning the almost depression that hit just before Obama took office. How convenient for her to forget what really started us on this path. Lack of regulations that protect from such things. And to Fully repeal Obamacare? So you mean dumping those who have preconditions.. Dropping 25 years olds from their parents coverage. Allowing insurance to be purchased across state lines, trumping state protection laws and harboring bad insurance companies in whatever would be the weakest of the state laws. Also causing a further energy crisis and being further dependent on foreign oil and resources because you want the freedom to drive that 8MPG SUV or use incandescent light bulbs with no regard to what it does to our country and the environment to boot. Sorry, not buying it.

    January 26, 2011 01:42 am at 1:42 am |
  21. Henry Bernstein

    Spot on! Thank you and ... Onwards!

    January 26, 2011 01:54 am at 1:54 am |
  22. Brian Krinke

    Thank you Congresswoman! Your clear, concise response is exactly what our fellow citizens need to hear at this crtical juncture in our history. God bless America.

    January 26, 2011 02:08 am at 2:08 am |
  23. Pretty Lame!

    That was a really lame address! Referring to the Iwo Jima flag raising to add "substance" to her empty bag comments was right out of the clown playbook. Where was she 'educated"? Is she ANOTHER worthless law "graduate"? Are there ANY REAL leaders in politics or just the usual buffoons. I'm serious! I truly believe that we could dump the lot and randomly replace them from the bottom 10% and still be better off. I am depressed! Stupid. Stupid.

    January 26, 2011 02:17 am at 2:17 am |
  24. D-NICE

    Why was CNN the only network to think this woman was creditable enough to give air time to? Maybe because she isn't...

    January 26, 2011 02:18 am at 2:18 am |
  25. tim

    I find this speach sad! Tonight I had 10 of my neigbors over to watch the state of union...7 republican 3 democrats. We watched adn then watch the congresswomans address. We all felt she miss the mark and tone of tonight and seemed like she wanted another 2 more years of not working together. Also if you look at indepedant poles major of Americans are not wanting what she is subscibing to, we are wanting jobs back, getting off oil, better education for our children, better health care that does bankrupt us. She she will to give up her government health care? The teaparty does not speak for a vast majority of Americans. Our group agread with the President on many items and feel both sides need to work together, roll up their sleaves or in 2012 they will be out of a job. Take a lesson from history, Harry Trumans speach in midterms and see what happaned. We are America and our group feels we can agree and disagree on things but in a calm setting and still get the work done with out siding on party lines.
    We need a congress that is willing to earn their pay to help the families of the poor and middle class and get work going again, people trained and our children leading the world with good education.

    January 26, 2011 02:37 am at 2:37 am |
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