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. IbeMe

    I think Bachmann and Palin would make a great ticket for the Rethuglicans. It really doesn't matter which one is on top–both are appallingly ignorant, egotistical nut jobs. Besides, can anyone else imagine how much fun Tina Fey and company would have with duo? No script would need to be written, they'd only have to repeat, verbatim, the actual lunatic fringe ravings that come out of their mouthes.

    March 12, 2011 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  2. Oregon

    another air-head supported by the witless...

    March 12, 2011 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  3. kent bowen

    Re: favorite daughter of the conservative movement.

    was that conservative movement, or conservative moment...hard to figure which, since they chance so often...

    March 12, 2011 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  4. kitty

    amazing-this is the best these people can come up with?From the bad to the ridiculous!One ignorant narcissist followed by another.At least they are consistent.Neither Bachmann nor Palin are worthy of half the attention they have conjured up for themselves.

    March 12, 2011 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  5. Mike from Philly - all my life

    If setting back women's rights 50 years is what you are into Michele is your girl. Oh, and she supported Bush fully when he was in office. If it took her this long to see how wrong he was I dont think I want her picking up that phone at 3:00 a.m. But I agree with one thing, she is a lot like Palin. Being a woman should not be an obstacle on the road to the White House, but being pretty should not be our prime qualification. If Minnesota gets tired of her there is always a place for her in Wiconsin.

    March 12, 2011 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  6. Oldie in TampaBay

    another Sarahesque that loves to hear herself talk ... blah blah blah.

    March 12, 2011 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  7. Rick in Phx

    "Run Michele, RUN!" Phillips wrote.

    LOL... LOL... LOL... God bless Michelle Gumps precious little heart. I can just imagine a Michelle Gump Presidency, 4 years of investigating members of congress on their anti-American views. After listening to Bachmann though, she'll more than likely take it literal and jump off her bus and start running when she hears this.

    March 12, 2011 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  8. DB

    We need a fiscal conservative, not a social conservative whack job who wants to legislate her own views of morality onto the rest of us.

    March 12, 2011 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  9. BeverlyNC

    Can the Tea Party find anyone more stupid? Bachmann is the most embarrassing lunatic and I wonder how on earth she made it to our Congrress. She knows nothing about our nation's history and knows nothing about our current issues. Bachmann is not worthy to even be in Congress and God help those 5 children who have her for a Mother. Is being stupid, uneducated, and making a public fool of yourself a requirement to be in the Tea Party?? The Republicans got exactly what they deserved with these extremist morons now bringing down their Party to nothing but a bad joke. It says a lot when you have 1/3 of the Republican base still believing President Obama is a Muslim. You just can't fix stupid.

    March 12, 2011 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  10. J.V.Hodgson

    I just do not understand how Americans can vote for this ( I'll be polite lady) who is a racist and religiously bigoted right wing conservative ideologue.
    She needs a lesson in tolerance or how not to be intolerant of those whose racial and religious views are not like hers.

    March 12, 2011 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  11. rusty155

    Michele Bachmann Is just another Saran Palin , and they are both back by the Tea Party and the KOCH'S BROTHER. If you keep voting for these people American people won't have any right at all. Look at what the tea party GOV. of Wisconsin Is doing now. And all these tea party people are racist and hateful people.

    March 12, 2011 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  12. America fell asleep

    Another gaffe in NH trip. Go figure. But did anyone notice she sure has the insults against our President down pat? They are nothing but empty suits with slurs and insults, no ideas on how to get this country moving forward. So much for the JOBS and the economy they promised during the midterm campaigns. Pathetic lot they are.

    March 12, 2011 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  13. Lynn Walker

    Virginia's motto is :Sic Semper Tyrannnus" - "Thus Always to Tyrants". Close but no cigar, Ms. Bachmann. But then history isn't really your forte, is it?

    March 12, 2011 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  14. Ray Jackson, MS

    Just another ignorant loud mouthed woman harping the republican agenda. These attention w hores are just an embarrassment to educated informed women every where but they are the best the GOP has to offer America. How pathetic and sad.

    March 12, 2011 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  15. Jim, San Antonio

    I never thought I'd be able to say this, but here's someone who's more stupid than Sarah Palin!

    March 12, 2011 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  16. ThinkAgain

    Bachmann doesn't "make a gaff;" she IS a gaff ...

    March 13, 2011 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  17. TM

    How does someone who has clearly FAILED 5th grade American History make the claim that she is qualified for running for, much less holding the highest elected office in the country? For that matter, how is she qualified for the office she now holds? This is the same self-important dimwit that presumes to lecture others on the US Constitution. She should try READING it first, along with an elementary school history book.

    March 13, 2011 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  18. ThinkAgain

    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

    Sounds like she knows as much about geography as the Wasilla Quitter ... two pea-heads in a pod ...

    March 13, 2011 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  19. ThinkAgain

    "Because this is an administration that is intent on taking from its opponents – and giving to its friends. "

    Once again, Bachmann is engaging in the typical Republican tactic of projecting onto their opponents their own bad behavior.

    They are such a bunch of psycho sickos, that Republican party.

    March 13, 2011 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  20. ThinkAgain

    Fact: All of the Republicans' policies – economic, foreign and military – are PROVEN FAILURES.

    Voting for a Republican is like a chicken voting for Col. Sanders...

    March 13, 2011 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  21. Troy from SD

    This woman is a joke. She sullies the name of the great state of Minnesota every time she opens her big, stupid, mouth. Seriously, did this woman not take simple United States History courses in grade school, high school, or college? Or did she get that J.D. by giving head to her professors?

    March 13, 2011 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  22. Marco

    It's nice to put a face behind stupid. How many times does she have to prove to everyone, outside the tea party, how incompetent she is?

    March 13, 2011 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  23. Bessy

    Yep ! She is as good at history as her friend Palin. Have the Republicans no shame allowing these idiots to represent them ?

    March 13, 2011 12:36 am at 12:36 am |
  24. Aaron

    The woman is an idiot on good days. She's making Palin sound like a rocket scientist...and she's not as smart as the fumes from a rockets exhaust.

    March 13, 2011 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  25. Elphaba

    When I think of the Tea Party, I'm beginning to think of the Mad Hatter and all the other cartoon charactors in Alice in Wonderland. It's all a terrible dream. How can grown up adults have such small minds that they would think Sarah Palin or Michele Bachmann could actually be good for this country, and at the same time deride a constitutional law professor. It's beyond the pale.

    March 13, 2011 01:22 am at 1:22 am |
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