Bachmann's camera blunder?
January 26th, 2011
10:42 AM ET
12 years ago

Bachmann's camera blunder?

Washington (CNN) - Was Rep. Michele Bachmann looking at the wrong camera during her Tea Party-sponsored rebuttal to President Obama Tuesday night?

Not exactly.

While it may have appeared that way to viewers watching on CNN, Bachmann was actually addressing the camera of the Tea Party Express, the group that had invited the congresswoman to deliver a response to the State of the Union. The feed from that camera was used to stream her remarks live on the organization's web site.

Still it's likely many more saw Bachmann's remarks on CNN, where it appeared the three-term Minnesota Republican was looking slightly off screen. The camera CNN took to air was actually supplied by Fox, who shot the event on behalf of all the news networks as part of the rotating network pool coverage. Fox ran Bachmann's speech at a later point Tuesday night on tape delay.

Bachmann's delivery was subsequently mocked by a number of left leaning commentators and no less than David Axelrod, a top adviser to President Barack Obama, who afterwards in an interview with MSNBC said, "Am I looking at the right camera?"

soundoff (85 Responses)
  1. Michael in Houston

    Whatever she was looking at....or not looking at....that is one spooky looking woman. How is that the repubs and tea party seem to have this endless parade of really disturbing and creepy people trying to camera mug us?? I mean good you repubs have ANYONE that has even a clue and is ready for prime time?? I dont know how deep your swamp goes or how many toads you got in it but its getting really boring and irritating to see these freaks being marched out one by one.

    January 26, 2011 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  2. Pete

    Camera angle was not the problem with Bachmann's little rant. The problem is that a woman of such low caliber can command the respect and admiration of so many of us. Folks, go to and see how she distorts reality and keeps feeding red meat to people who should know better. If Bachmann is the future of the Tea Party, the Tea Party has no future.

    January 26, 2011 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  3. Dave

    This is news? Not newsworthy.
    By the way, Axelrod is a ROD.

    January 26, 2011 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  4. Flight

    Anyone want to fact-check this? I'm pretty sure the stimulus package helped with the economy, and many economists believe that cutting spending instead of initiating stimulus would have turned the financial crisis into a complete breakdown of the system. Bachmann has gotten her facts wrong before - look at the debacle surrounding Obama's trip to India, she said it cost some extravagant sum, but she just pulled those numbers out of thin air - and it would be no surprise if she's doing the same thing here. However, if the media doesn't call them out for their errors, the public doesn't know the difference.

    January 26, 2011 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  5. Kimberly Harding

    the contacts she was wearing were the scariest thing i have ever seen! she truley showed herself to be the devil she is! what was up with those cat like clear contacts? shes so disturbing on so many levels! BUT Dems like me LOVE HER!!!

    January 26, 2011 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  6. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    We should be thinking of what she was trying to get across to us. The problem is that it shows that she doesn't care or really understand fully what the government does. In an ideal world, we wouldn't need the federal government to fund social support services. The problem is that there are plenty of people who don't help out charitable organizations that could do the work.

    January 26, 2011 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  7. Pennsylvania Super Patriot Deluxe

    did this idiot mention the Farm Subsidy she received? she got $250,000 off of our backs. what a total HYPOCRITE

    she does not even pretent to be "Minnesota Nice" (not a good term-look it up), she is just nasty and confused right in everyone's grill. Minnesota, the lost Southern Redneck state.

    January 26, 2011 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  8. Sniffit

    Looking at us directly or not, she'd still have that vapid, vacant look in her eyes as she vituperates and vomits her vitriol and virulent talking points. The attempt at using charts showing raw data to prove that "the deficit is all Obama's fault" was a nice touch, particularly in light of the myriad facts that simply do not support that conclusion...nor do experts agree with it. despite the kabuki theatre of trying to make it look like some sort of rift, which the "news" media clearly helped them with, the reality is the GOP designed the whole farce to dovetail. They gave independents what they thought independents wanted to hear through Ryan, who claimed to place blame on everyone and tried to sound Mr.-Rogers-reasonable while claiming unsupportably based on the data that nothing Obama and the Dems have done has worked...and they followed it with Princess Tinfoilhat, who proceeded to pretend that her raw data charts were undeniable proof that all blame lies with Obama and the Dems and that the only way to fix everything was to not try to fix anything, all because that's what the staunchest of their base wanted to hear. Two bites at the apple. Anyone who believes the media's narrative that it wasn't carefully planned to provide political cover through a fabricated and false juxtaposition is a moron.

    January 26, 2011 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  9. Blake

    Stop giving this fringe lunatic so much coverage. It looks like the media is looking for a new female "rock star" now that the public is starting to cool on Princess Palin. Please dig up some facts and expose this idealogue for what she is, a loud hollow noise.

    January 26, 2011 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  10. GaryB

    I don't really care that she appeared to be looking at the wrong camera, or the fact that her eyes were glued to the teleprompter. What I do care about is the way she distorts facts. She start her speech mentioning that the unemployment rate was 7.8% the day Obama took office, while failing to mention that the unemployment rate had skyrocketed over 50% in the previous six months, and that it was closing in on nine percent within a couple weeks of Obama taking office. Indeed, if the tea party policies had been followed (for one, they would have let GM and all the companies it supports fail), unemployment would have undoubtably been higher.

    January 26, 2011 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  11. Jack

    OK, so the Tea Party huge cuts in everything. Then, when there is a crisis like a bridge collapsing or widespread food contamination or something worse, they will be the first to scream, "Where was the gov't? Why did this happen?" All these cuts proposed cuts will only hurt Americans and put them in more danger. Most of the cuts they propose will affect inspections and oversight.

    I suggest, if they really want to begin to make a dent in the deficit, that they cut their salaries and the salaries of their staff by 50 percent and their working budget by 75 percent. That would be a good faith move. Let them live in the less nice neighborhoods of DC.

    January 26, 2011 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  12. Stephanie

    Another fringe loon who should NEVER be given air time. Stop covering her and the rest of the Tea Party and they will (thankfully) go away.

    January 26, 2011 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  13. jeff, alabama

    So it turns out she was
    looking at the right camera.
    But the media will feed the
    misunderstanding til doom's
    day. That's what they do.
    At least Keith Olbermann is gone.

    January 26, 2011 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  14. shoegazer

    It was almost,no wait, it was laughable.I thought it was Tina Fey in a SNL bit.The right better rethink their strategy if these people are the best they have to offer.

    January 26, 2011 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  15. sammieb51

    So now Sarah is silent and CNN has to cover every breath this galactically stupid woman says? I don't see the quote she made about how the FOUNDING FATHERS ERRADICATED SLAVERY. Was she out the semester they covered the Civil War? And didn't someone tell her the camera with the LIGHT ON is the one she is supposed to look into? What a putz

    January 26, 2011 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  16. Malik Skyy

    “After her seeing her tonight, I am reminded of the late great Rod Sterling:

    "You unlock this door with the key of imaginatio­n. Beyond it is another dimension-­-a dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind.. You are moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas. You've just crossed over into The Twilight Zone."”

    January 26, 2011 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  17. Jack

    Publicity stunt for personal gain. No more, no less.

    January 26, 2011 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  18. tdub55

    It's true. Just TV tech-wonk stuff. But she still would have looked better in revolutionary war garb. And a megaphone. And more crazed eye makeup.

    January 26, 2011 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  19. Ted

    After President Obama gives his impeccable speeches, the "responders" end up sounding so stupid.
    So why bother?
    Remember Jindal?

    January 26, 2011 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  20. Pam

    It just appeared that she was looking at the wrong camera. She is actually cross-eyed!
    But seriously, did anyone watch her anyway? Pretty doubtful!!!

    January 26, 2011 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  21. Lucas

    Michelle Bachman and the rest of the teabags are stuck so far to the right, that she couldn't even look left for a camera.

    January 26, 2011 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  22. An Independent

    I think we can shrink government by having all the Republicans and Tea Partiers leave congress. I am still waiting for the republicans to come up with a valid argument of how the economy would not have plunged further without the actions that President Obama took. They wanted the man to come in at the bottom of a recession, and turn it around in a year without any stimulation. Craziness. It took 8 years to get in the mess, but they want it turned around in less than two? Give me a break. I'm just glad Americans didn't have to stand in bread lines in the last two years. Which is exactly what woul dhave happened if the republicans had won two years ago.

    Also, this new candidate isn't ready. Stop trying to pick the next Sarah Palin. One is enough!

    January 26, 2011 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  23. slipthalo

    Right camera, wrong camera is the least of her problems.

    January 26, 2011 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  24. Indy

    The two worst speeches in the last decade


    January 26, 2011 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  25. Northdakotax

    That's quite the story... thanks Alexander

    January 26, 2011 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
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