Bachmann targets Michelle Obama
February 16th, 2011
08:50 AM ET
11 years ago

Bachmann targets Michelle Obama

Washington (CNN) - Rep. Michele Bachmann, a potential Republican presidential candidate, is taking issue with Michelle Obama over the first lady's recent promotion of breast-feeding.

Speaking to conservative talk radio host Laura Ingraham Tuesday, the Minnesota Republican said Obama's efforts to promote breast-feeding and the IRS's announcement that nursing supplies that aide in the practice can be deducted from tax returns amounts to a "new definition [of] the nanny state."

"This is very consistent with where the hard left is coming from," Bachmann told Ingraham. "For them, government is the answer to every problem."

"I've given birth to five babies and I breast fed every single one of these babies," she added. "To think that government has to go out and buy my breast pump for my babies? You wanna talk about the nanny state, I think you just got a new definition."

The comments come on the heels of Obama's recent contention that breast-feeding can play a key role in reducing childhood obesity.

"We also want to focus on the important touch points in a child's life. And what we're learning now is that early intervention is key. Breastfeeding. Kids who are breastfed longer have a lower tendency to be obese," Obama told a group of reporters last week, according to Politics Daily.

"Breastfeeding is a very personal choice for every woman," Kristina Schake, a spokeswoman for Obama, later said. "We are trying to make it easier for those who choose to do it."

It's not the first time Obama has faced ire from the right when it comes to childhood nutrition. Sarah Palin told Ingraham last fall that "the first lady cannot trust parents to make decisions for their own children, for their own families in what we should eat."

Filed under: Michele Bachmann • Michelle Obama
soundoff (299 Responses)
  1. Shukura

    Reducing obesity reduces medical costs across the board. This is a big government expense. Bachmann is unable to look to the future and see benefits of breast feeding promotion. You are missing the point girlfriend. Furthermore, someone like her should be happy somebody's tax bill is reduced. Isn't that what republicans are all about? Oh, wait...they are only about reduce the tax bill for rich people.

    February 16, 2011 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  2. Chaz

    These right wing kooks are just simply nuts and willing to jump on any topic as a grand left-wing conspiracy regardless of the merit of their claim. Palin claims that it is a bad thing for children to be encouraged to exercise and now this harpy has a hissy fit over a comment supporting breastfeeding? If people listen to these ridiculous clowns this country will deserve what we get.

    February 16, 2011 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  3. mike

    I'm a Republican and I disagree with Bachman on this. Anything we can do to help new mothers to breast feed is good. They are not being forced to do it as Bachman would have you believe.
    Rather, we are allowing them to deduct the cost associated with it from their taxes. Isn't that a Republican idea? Allowing us to keep more of our own money? Why would this be any different?
    Science has proven that breast fed babies are smarter, healthier, and live overall better lives than those who are not breast fed. Why not take advantage of this and help people out?
    Now we need to get those new mothers to eat better themselves. It is not enough to just breast feed if the mother is feasting on McDonald's everyday, or smoking two packs a day, or sucking on their own "bottle". The mother needs to have a healthy diet so that will get passed on to the child.

    February 16, 2011 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  4. Indie Woman in Denver

    This isn't news. I don't care what Michelle Bachman & Sarah Palin think about breastfeeding, or any other topic, for that matter, and I'm hardly surprised they disagree with Mrs Obama.

    February 16, 2011 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  5. Laurie

    Really?! This is an issue this representative wants to argue about- promoting breast-feeding? Please, give me a break! This is a good example of how ANYTHING the President or First Lady says or does is attacked by some people.

    February 16, 2011 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  6. Mike Mazzla

    Umm so Michelle Obama is promoting something that is healthy and is known to produce healtheir smarter children and this is a problem why? The govt is not forcing it on anyone, they are saying it is better for your child and in the long run it is better. so they ar emaking it easier for women to do it because a good portion of the women in the country take the easy way out ( its actually not easier overall) and use formula which is not as good for your child.

    Bachmann is really making an issue where there isnt one but to take issue with something so simple as healthy eating etc and turning it into political nonsense.

    This woman is really pathetic..

    February 16, 2011 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  7. Mike

    Between these comments by Bachmann and Palin's criticism of Michele Obama for promoting healthy eating for kids, we are getting a clear sense of the GOP's attitude toward public health. Promote nutrition? not the government's job. Wanings against smoking? An invasion of our freedoms, etc, etc. What the GOP fails to see is that the government HAS a role in providing guidance and incentives for healthier living, because individual choices (eating junk food, smoking, etc) actually affects the rest of us and the ability (and this is what they like to hear) for America to be truly great.

    February 16, 2011 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  8. Gina

    This woman is nuts. How about actually promoting breastfeeding since you apparently believe in it? Why do the Republicans have to bitch about everything? There is nothing negative about what the First Lady said. Get over trying to battle about everything and come up with some real solutionns!

    February 16, 2011 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  9. geecee

    The Republican nutjobs are getting desperate for anything they can throw at the Obamas. They don't care how ridiculous they appear as long as they get their punches in. Do they realize how dumb they look making a big deal about these non-issues? I guess not, because they just keep coming.

    February 16, 2011 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  10. Dave

    Everything Obama and this adminstration has done so far has been a train wreck.

    Every policy has done nothing but impede into our lives more and more.

    Every economic policy and spending decision he has done has been shown historically to do nothing but prolong the recession.

    The man is completely and utterly incompetent at this job.

    February 16, 2011 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  11. truth

    Michelle Bauchmann is so vicious. I don't think she and many other Republicans realize that evil kills itself. The president and the first lady are the first White House officials to be scrutinized to such a large degree. Um, wonder why? The media would not dare make such nasty reportings on George Bush or Barbara, George Bush or Laura Bush. God forbid anyone to dare speak ill of Nancy Reagan or Ronald. America politicians and the media have reached a new low. In the end, evil kills itself.

    February 16, 2011 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  12. Catherine

    What does the right have against children being healthy? First Palin speaking out against healthy eating in schools and now this? Michelle Obama promotes findings of doctors for the betterment of our children and all these rightwingers can do is blast her?? Unbelievable. Especially when you learn Michelle Bachmann did breastfeed. I don't think Michelle Obama in forcing anyone to do anything. She is promoting healthy habits. Parents can choose to feed their children whatever they want. Schools can and should promote healthy eating just as they promote children being drug-free, smoke free, fire safety, etc. I don't want my tax dollars going toward feeding children garbage. Let them get it at home if that's what their parents choose. I don't think schools or the government should be enablers for bad habits. The government should do everything they can to enable and promote good habits. It's up to the individual to choose. Bachmann is barking up the wrong tree.

    February 16, 2011 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  13. pazke

    Oh please. The government is not going to "go out and buy" our breastpumps. All they are saying is that you can deduct it as a medical expense just like you can contact lens solution and hearing aid batteries. Most people can't even take the deduction because their medical expenses don't exceed 7.5% of their AGI. The benefits of exclusive breastfeeding are well documented and anyone who can find fault in the first lady promoting it is definitely off their rocker. But, we are talking about Michele Bachmann so I guess the shoe fits.

    February 16, 2011 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  14. Lori

    Please. I'm begging you. Make this woman shut up and go away. The Obamas could say the sun rises in the east and sets in the west and Rep. Bachmann would say no. But they maybe thats because she doesn't know it...

    February 16, 2011 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  15. repubsuck

    Bachmann is a typical example of one of the main things wrong with America. Nothing but divisive politics to tear this country apart. They know if they can divide America instead of having us strong and united, they have a better chance of winning elections. The Repubs and politics in general disgust me. They are both pushed by greed and hunger for power, which will eventually tear America down. Which is fine with them, as long as they can make money and be in control. She is an idiot. I'm sure the repubs love her.

    February 16, 2011 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  16. Robert - Atlanta

    Leave it to a far right-wing nutcase like Michele Bachmann to find something wrong with encouraging Mothers to breast feed their babies. The republicans have sunk to new low in their highly partisan attacks on the First Lady! The GOP has no problem spending another 158 billion dollars of taxpayer money in Iraq and Afghanistan – but the republicans will not allow one penny to help new Mothers! Why do republicans hate American women and babies?

    February 16, 2011 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  17. DJ in TX

    I didn't hear Mrs. Obama say anything about providing breast pumps. That was done by the IRS. So Ms. Bachman is being oportunistic here. She's the one putting those two together, not Mrs. Obama. That just shows how Mrs. Bachman is NOT a leader for the country. She shows that she only wants to things for the far right. Her views are not the same as people in the middle. A far anything is NOT good for this country.

    February 16, 2011 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  18. wonderabout

    Would the rethuglican women Please sit down and shut up! REally! I would have appreciated help almost 30 years ago with the cost of a breast pump or other supplies to support my decisions to breast feed my two children! It's NOT a nanny state you moron.... Michelle Obama is an intelligent, caring, and forward thinking woman – of which the likes of Palin, Bachman, Ingrahm, et. al are pawns of the misogynistic/patriarchal frightened white men society! You go Michelle! We, the majority of women support you!!!

    February 16, 2011 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  19. Izza Rollin

    Amazing!! Breast feeding has been shown to improve the immune system of babies, improve their future mental stability, and substantially reduce the risks of childhood obesity. All of these things could ultimately result in a liability to the American taxpayer as we as a society pay for these outcomes in the absence of breast feeding. A medical tax deduction for breast-feeding supplies is completely appropriate. These supplies allow the mother to stockpile milk to be fed to the child when the working mom goes to work. I guess Bachmann would have these women on welfare. This type of mentality shows the narrow-minded underbelly of the tparty extremist. There are so many absurd tax deductions for the wealthy but... Lordy, Lordy... a tax deduction benefitting working women is a govt takeover. Give me a break. This almost makes me naseous.

    February 16, 2011 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  20. EddyL

    AH SHUT UP..... Bachmann is a lunatic

    February 16, 2011 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  21. Continued Disapointment in CNN

    I continue to be amazed that CNN will report the statements of the idiots in our politics. I concede they have every right to make stupid & negative statements, but rarely if at all do you challenge those statements..

    February 16, 2011 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  22. Catherine

    Oh in my previous comment the phrase, barking up the wrong tree was CAREFULLY considered. You can infer what you please.

    February 16, 2011 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  23. tony

    With any luck, this mean spirited, know-it-all harridan will go the way of all the anger filled wanna-be types before her.

    February 16, 2011 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  24. miltetentdem

    If Michelle Obama has promoted less breast feeding – the right wing would have attacked that, saying "Obama is attacking mother hood"! Yeah, right. The liars and slanderers are incompetent at best....

    February 16, 2011 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  25. James Brooklyn N.Y.

    This lunatic wants to be president? I guess she fits the bill as a republican candidate. Pick a stupid issue and make it you platform. Screw the real issues and act like Palin.

    Obama in a walk in 2012 thanks to the losers on the right.

    February 16, 2011 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
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