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. JayPea

    Maybe he was saying RUN because he was telling her to run away, not run for president. Michelle Bachmann as president – bad idea, everyone. She cannot answer a single question on how she could fix things or how things should be run. She just continues to spout rhetoric. When asked point blank exactly what she would do to improve things, she just repeats her statement and says she cannot say how to fix it because she doesn't know the details. Then, how can she know it is even fixable?

    March 12, 2011 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  2. Rob in MO

    Republicans, Please, please, please nominate this idiot for president.

    March 12, 2011 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  3. Sean

    I was at the "fundraiser" in nashua and all I can say about the "reporting" of this article is this. At the very least this article is extremely dishonest. At the very most one could say that which was said by congressman joe wilson, "you lie". I assume shannon travis is less of a reporter and more of a commentator of politics. The difference between a "gaffe" and a lie is one of honesty. One can honestly make a "gaffe", (if in fact the reporting of the manchester event was reported honestly. But that in my mind is suspect having been present in nashua and know the truth behind the dishonest reporting being presented here of that event.) But a lie must be contrived, and willful. I am disappointed by this so called reporting of an event that I have had witnessed. The power of the constitution is the vote of the individual. The truth has no agenda! The reporting of shannon travis does. And presenting the truth is not her agenda.

    March 12, 2011 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  4. jconville

    Will the day ever come when CNN does not do a hatchet job on Republicans? How about reporting on all the special deals with health companies and drug companies that Obama has made with Obamacare? Oh, I guess that does not meet with your political goals.

    March 12, 2011 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  5. Kara

    So Bush starts an illegal war and crashes the global economy, but he's a 'big spender' she still respects.
    Barack Obama cleans up Bush's mess and he's a gangster? I note she makes no mention of respecting him.
    It seems republicans only respect republican presidents. I suppose they have to, after all, no one else does.

    March 12, 2011 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  6. Sean

    The , "protesters crashed the carefully choreographed event." The truth of this statement is that they lied about who they were by saying they were part of a hockey team traveling and had asked to be allowed to enter the event to see the congresswoman speak. They were publicly announced and received as they had claimed by those in attendance. "Bachmann even lashed out at the last Republican to hold the office." this is also distorted reporting. The congresswoman's statement that president Bush was a big spending republican was not only done respectfully but was also honest and truthful. It was in no way "lashing out". Dishonest reporting distorts and manipulates words and context to present truth in a repackaged way to purposely make it look like something it was not meant to be. This is truly shameful.

    March 12, 2011 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |

    Palin... Bachmann... One is worse than the other.Can't stand the sight of either one of them. Neither of them know their country's history. These idiots know nothing about the Founding Fathers they preach so much about. Hope they're on the same ticket in 2012. GO OBAMA 2012!!!

    March 12, 2011 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  8. arduck

    Ahhhhh! Michelle B. You funny American.

    March 12, 2011 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  9. 2012: The battle between the Corporatists, like Bachman

    and real Americans. The middle class is at stake.

    March 12, 2011 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  10. Bleen Gloob

    If you think Bachmann is dumb, just think how dumb the electorate is that voted for her and has fallen for all her stupid remarks. I really wonder about Minnesota. Maybe its the cold or something in the water since they do have so many lakes.

    March 12, 2011 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  11. aTeaClown

    GOP = Gaffes-O-Plenty

    March 12, 2011 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  12. LouAZ

    You wait, Foot in Mouth Michele and Beauty Pagent Runner Up Sarah are going to get in a genuine hair pulling cat fight. Couldn't happen to a couple of nicer know nothings.

    March 12, 2011 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  13. Clwyd

    A Sarah Palin clone! Those of you in Minnesota that sent this dumb woman to Congress need to have your head examined. I loved her Facebook comment about her mistake. Dumb and dumber!

    March 12, 2011 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  14. airdoc

    Did she say this was her visit to the 57th state with one to go? Oh, wait, THAT WAS OBAMA. Please stop making big deals in your biased reporting when Obama has had plenty of them unreported by you!

    March 12, 2011 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  15. once upon a horse

    I think Bachmann is a complete wackjob and I really hope she DOES run so I can watch her reduced to rumble if not by the other GOP candidates but President Obama if she makes it that far, BUT I will give her credit for this...unlike Sarah Palin, Michelle Backmann will come out and talk to other media besides FoxNews nor does she just complain on Twitter and Facebook. She has even appeared on MSNBC several times and has talked on moreso progressive programs, even though she seems not to be able to back up some of her silliness ( Obama's India trip cost 10million dollars) she has the moxie to go out and do it. Sarah Palin would NEVER do that which is why I doubt if Palin is going to run for POTUS.

    March 12, 2011 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  16. daveindenver

    Wow, next she may something really stupid like there being 57 states in the United States. Oh wait, some unqualified candidate already said that and look what it got him, he was elected president.

    March 12, 2011 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  17. Jon S.

    I'm only too happy to see this person as a representative of the GOP – the party is slowly but surely heading down the road of national embarrassment. Is this really the best the GOP has to offer in the way of potential Presidential candidates? 2012 is going to be a rout.

    March 12, 2011 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  18. Jane (Minnesota)

    Bachmann is one big flub! I am SO grateful I do not live in her district. It's bad enough she represents part of Minnesota.

    March 12, 2011 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  19. Matt

    I thought this bimbo was elected to do a job in Minnesota. Why is she gallavanting around the country to other states worrying about what's going on in those other states instead of spending her time where she was elected to be taking care of their business?

    And the Republiklans whine about the Dems not doing their jobs. Shameful.

    March 12, 2011 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  20. Justin

    Oh, so NOW the Tea Party darlings are starting to slam Bush? I wonder how long before the GOP closes the purse strings and the Tea Party becomes a REAL third party instead of a GOP front?

    March 12, 2011 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  21. BOHICA

    She is as dumb as a sack of rocks. What a complete moron. I hope she runs in 2012, along with that other numbskull, palin, so we can all yuck it up. LOL

    March 12, 2011 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  22. Thomas

    Given her obviously flawed knowledge of American history, how can anyone take this woman seriously in any context, much less a presidential one? She believed that during the founding of America, anyone had the opportunity to be successful, regardless of race. I'm sure that was news to the slaves who were being made to toil in the fields, the Chinese who were forced to build the railroads, the Irish who were told they "need not apply" and the Native Americans who were slaughtered en masse.

    March 12, 2011 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  23. Gregory Hodges

    Do the G.O.P. have an assembly line of female air heads these days. Really ashame though; they look so nice until they actually have to open their mouths and engage those tiny brains. Any wonded why America is falling apart these days?!

    March 12, 2011 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  24. Steve, New York City

    Wow – another extremist, right-wing dimwit, who needs a history lesson. She and Palin – two politicians who don't have a GHOST of a chance of winning the center.

    March 12, 2011 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  25. Little Tin God

    All I can say is, bring her on!

    March 12, 2011 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
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