Bachmann increases public profile, makes another gaffe, in NH trip
March 12th, 2011
07:00 PM ET
12 years ago

Bachmann increases public profile, makes another gaffe, in NH trip

Nashua, New Hampshire (CNN) - Might anyone wonder, Sarah Palin, who?

At a time when the former Alaska governor appears to be shrinking from the spotlight, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann is stepping up as yet another favorite daughter of the conservative movement.

In recent television appearances, political activities and speaking engagements, Bachmann has matched Palin's slams against President Obama and garnered seemingly equal affection from conservative activists.

But it remains to be seen whether embarrassing and highly publicized gaffes will affect her presidential chances.

On Saturday, the Minnesota Republican was in full swing: speaking at a high school academy in Manchester, headlining a fundraiser in Nashua for the New Hampshire GOP, and capping her day at a Tea Party-type event in Barrington. On Friday night, Bachmann attended a fundraiser at a private home.

Her weekend rollout was not without incident.

At the Nashua fundraiser, protesters crashed the carefully choreographed event. And at the earlier engagement in Manchester, Bachmann said of New Hampshire, "You're the state where the shot was heard around the world at Lexington and Concord."

The Battles of Lexington and Concord in 1775 were fought in Massachusetts.

In the YouTube-era, those kinds of embarrassing moments can be replayed over and over with potentially damaging effect. Especially given other gaffes from Bachmann. She recently raised eyebrows over comments on the nation's founding fathers and slavery. And she was mocked for appearing to look off camera during her post-State of the Union Tea Party response.

CNN rode in a van, exclusively, with Bachmann as she was ferried between her first and second stops in the Granite state.

It was a rare sight: Bachmann and husband Marcus joking with three of their five children; Bachmann putting finishing touches on a speech; and everyone talking about sports.

When the conversation turned to the NBA's Kevin Garnett of the Boston Celtics, Bachmann lit up and said, "Yeah! Isn't he a great basketball player?" Garnett previously played for the Minnesota Timberwolves.

There was also an all-important family discussion. "How did you sleep last night, you guys?" Bachmann asked her family.

Aside from family, the issue of fiscal responsibility was a matter of concern to the potential candidate.

"We've talked a lot, already this morning, about your great state motto: 'live free or die,'" Bachmann said at the beginning of her Nashua speech. "And it causes me to think also about the motto of the state of Virginia: 'Death to tyrants!'"

From there, Bachmann – who is chair of the House Tea Party Caucus – repeated many of her oft-stated, Tea Party-rhetoric-laced slams. She continued her call for the repeal of "Obamacare," railed against the tax code and federal spending, even repeated a controversial line against the president.

"I said that we have a 'gangster government' running the show down in Washington, D.C. And I don't step back from that statement," Bachmann said at the fundraiser. "Because this is an administration that is intent on taking from its opponents – and giving to its friends. There's a lot in common with a lot of Chicago's history in this administration."

Obama was not the only president to receive criticism. Bachmann even lashed out at the last Republican to hold the office.

While talking about the federal deficit, Bachmann said: "As you know, this year alone, the deficit will be $1.65 trillion. This is remarkable. Under the big-spending George Bush – and he was a big spender. I respect our president. But he was a big spender. Just consider: in 2007, the deficit was something less than $175 billion for the year. Last month, under Barack Obama, the deficit was $223 billion. We are going off the cliff with out of control spending."

At least one prominent Tea Party leader is encouraging Bachmann to run for president, while not mentioning Palin.

Though not an official endorsement, Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips wrote in a message to supporters: "at this point, this movement is going to have to choose a standard bearer for the White House in 2012. It may be a little early to choose that person now, but it is not too early for us to encourage good conservatives to get into the race."

"Run Michele, RUN!" Phillips wrote.

Follow Shannon Travis on Twitter: @shantravisCNN

Filed under: 2012 • Michele Bachmann • New Hampshire
soundoff (100 Responses)
  1. M Wow

    I would love to see a female president someday but certainly not this woman nor the kooky Sarah Palin. Glad they belong to the Republicans.

    March 13, 2011 01:26 am at 1:26 am |
  2. Tanbiker2

    Bachmann = Palin II. They're both ignorant trailer trash and won't last long.

    March 13, 2011 01:29 am at 1:29 am |
  3. Pretzel Logic

    Yes definitely run Michelle! I could use the laugh.

    March 13, 2011 01:36 am at 1:36 am |
  4. MN Res

    We're sorry – we've had a bit of trouble keeping Michelle from wandering around the country and mis-speaking 5th grade history. If you should see her, please tell her that her 6th district residents are wondering where the heck she's been and why the heck we're paying her salary. Haven't seen her in town or in her office since the night of the last election. Actually, you can keep her, we just want her salary back. We could use it to cover tax breaks for several billionaires. Thanks!

    March 13, 2011 01:46 am at 1:46 am |
  5. eldono

    Gads, not another Bozo.

    March 13, 2011 01:49 am at 1:49 am |
  6. ThinkAgain

    Ever notice that none of the Republicans – including Bachman – ever talk specifics about their policies? It's just lie- and hate-filled rhetoric, designed to get their "base" riled up and to the polls to vote against their own self-interest.

    They also never talk about the Middle Class. Why? Because they don't believe there should be a Middle Class; there should just be the very few, very wealthy and the rest of us can live in a dog-eat-dog world of poverty.

    How these nutjobs can remotely consider themselves Christian is beyond me ... except I know they are cut from the same cloth of every other person who uses their so-called faith in God to excuse all their horrific behavior.

    March 13, 2011 03:00 am at 3:00 am |
  7. J. Garcia

    Here we go again... mainstream, liberal media trying to bring a conservative female rising star down. Those gaffes are nothing compared to Biden's – and even Obama's – gaffes. CNN, please don't start. It will only backfire against your network in the end. You should know that by now.

    March 13, 2011 03:19 am at 3:19 am |
  8. Robin48

    boo hiss....just one more kook from the very far right.

    March 13, 2011 03:29 am at 3:29 am |
  9. thomas

    Israel approves settlement construction in Minnesota ,Bachmann attended a fundraiser at a private home.

    March 13, 2011 04:41 am at 4:41 am |

    Snooki Palin #2 is headed toward SNL like Palin,not the GOBP nomination.

    March 13, 2011 06:47 am at 6:47 am |
  11. scorpdude

    Sadly dumb and dumber has already been taken. Although I often question her legitimacy as a thoughtful, well-versed, and competent legislator, she (like Palin) is that moth to the flame of publicity and the moolah attached to it. Funny, I should note that she made mention of the state motto of Virginia, which is "Sic temper tyranus", for those not Latin literate it translates to "Thus always to tyrants", so she was close. What she failed to heed is that same motto was made historic by no one less than John Wilkes Booth who shouted it during the assassination of Abraham Lincoln at Fords Theater in April 1865. Not to go without mentioning, Lincoln was the first elected GOP POTUS. Not that that fact should be lost on Mrs. Bachmann, as I'm sure she could not recollect that fact given the opportunity to dwell on it. Speaking of facts, Mrs. Bachmann should go back to the schools she allows as a legislator to be under-funded so that she too can learn (or re-learn) American history. I'm sure the residents of New Hampshire and Massachusetts would agree on that. We miss you Dan Quaylee, oops, Quaile, I mean potato. 🙂

    March 13, 2011 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  12. David

    I just don't see us having anyone credible running for president in 2012-just the same old Newt, Sarah [Rupert's proxy], Haley [Barbour] and the preacher-same old ground up and spit out "has beens." And now Bachman who doesn't even know that Lexington and Concord are in MA-the GOP is a truly confused bunch without any direction. Looking at this field, I think I'll go w/Obama.

    March 13, 2011 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  13. Ken in NC

    Rep. Michele Bachmann needs to use caution as she is on the verge of offending and ganering the full wrath of Sarah Palin. Bachmann is close to the level of stupidity displayed by Palin

    March 13, 2011 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  14. Vicki

    If this woman is elected president, I will move to Canada....

    March 13, 2011 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  15. juliei4

    Ms. Bachman should be good for a lot of gaffe video footage. Did she give herself a haircut? Yowsers – she better rethink the do for good photo ops. Come to think of it, Hillary Clinton should do the same. I think people who lead this country or want to lead this country should not look scary.

    March 13, 2011 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  16. Ron

    Just when you thought no other republican woman could possibly be more stupid than Sarah Palin....along comes Michele. Sarah, I'm sorry for calling you the dumbest woman in politics! Would the GOP please field a competent female and stop making women look incredibly stupid??

    March 13, 2011 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  17. Right Leaning Independent

    Gaffes will not hurt you.. Just ask Obama how many states there are in the US!!

    March 13, 2011 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  18. DAW, NC

    If you want a president who does not know history, worry about the facts, have a limited understanding of the world, very limited insight into anything but can smile to the camera and repeat what she is told she is a great candidate. perfect for the "tea party".

    March 13, 2011 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  19. Bob

    You liberals are so full oif it. You claim your for womans rights and want them to succeed but you will slam this woman like you did Palin because their Republicans. So what if she made a mistake about history. At least she didn't say there were 57 States. Did you forget about that? Wake up LIBERALS, people do make mistakes. The only one who doesn't make mistakes is God.

    March 13, 2011 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  20. fideauxdon

    This woman is so brain-dead that she makes Sarah Palin look like a genius. Shouldn't that tell you how dumb her supporters must be? I applaud the Media for revealing what is obvious to anyone with a modicum of intelligence: You tell when Michelle is saying something stupid...her lips are moving.

    Note to Sarah: Don't take my remark as a compliment. Being 2nd dumbest woman in the world isn't a high honor.

    March 13, 2011 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  21. cnpsych18

    Honestly, why would someone running for President know that the "shot heard round the world" occurred in Massachusetts; not New Hampshire? Really, do we want some elitist "know-it-all" as President? It’s not like this is common grade-school knowledge. I know the Republican response, “she misspoke.” Yeah, she misspoke because she believed that the “shot heard round the world” occurred in New Hampshire - what an idiot!

    March 13, 2011 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  22. El Kababa

    There is a huge difference between Palin and Bachman.

    Palin is not very bright, not well educated, not well read, and is a pathological liar.

    Bachman is not very bright, not well educated, not well read, and is psychotic.

    Also, Palin is cuter.

    March 13, 2011 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  23. Frank

    This woman is a dangerous ignoramus. She also said that when everyone arrived in the US throughout history, they all began as equals. Tell that to the hundreds of thousands of African slaves, and the same for the Irish. Please get this fool out of the limelight before people believe her.

    March 13, 2011 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  24. G Foster

    Yes Michele, please run. When Bachmann and Palin enter the presidential race, if they do, they will find their outlandish statements and false accusations, especially those of Bachmann, will be highly scrutinized and criticized (e.g., Palin's blood libel). They won't be able to get away with ridiculous imputations. Take that away from them and there is nothing left.

    March 13, 2011 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  25. Tam

    Why is anyone surprised? Open mouth to change feet.

    March 13, 2011 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
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