Pawlenty's Bachmann barb
July 20th, 2011
09:43 PM ET
11 years ago

Pawlenty's Bachmann barb

(CNN) – On the day Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann released a doctor's letter detailing her treatment for migraines, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty took a not-so-veiled swipe at his 2012 presidential campaign rival.

Although he declined to comment directly on the implications of Bachmann's headaches when questioned, choosing to "defer to the judgment of the medical professionals," Pawlenty did tack on an aside assessment of the qualifications needed to serve as president.

"The candidates are going to have to be able to demonstrate they can do all of the job, all of the time," Pawlenty said.

He made the comments about the congresswoman while campaigning for the 2012 GOP nomination for president in Iowa, the state where Bachmann was born and where she's been attempting to build a home-field advantage.

Iowa will host the Ames Straw Poll in August, an early predictor of how Republican candidates may fare in the critical first-in-the-nation caucus state during its early presidential contest.

Across the nation in California, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney had an opposing view. "There's no question in my mind that Michele Bachmann's health is in no way an impediment to her being able to serve as president," he said.

Bachmann has been chasing Romney's lead in recent polls. He noted they have "different views" on some issues but stated, "We'll campaign in various states and express our views but her health should not be an issue in a campaign."

Filed under: 2012 • Iowa • Michele Bachmann • Mitt Romney • Tim Pawlenty
soundoff (131 Responses)
  1. GunnerGA

    I mean to say dieing in office, not lying in office. Typo. Sorry.

    July 21, 2011 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  2. Phil in KC

    Romney took the high road and Pawlenty took the low road. I know which I prefer.

    July 21, 2011 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  3. GI Joe

    He's toast - meanwhile, back at the ranch ....................................

    July 21, 2011 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  4. Only Logic

    Ya gotta love this GOP field so far. Not one of them is even marginally qualified to be POTUS. And with the exception of Romney, not one of them has any successes to run on. Pawlenty left MN in shambles. And Romney's one success is what BHO is running on. Everyday, the GOP field looks more and more like a circus clown car, doesn't it?

    July 21, 2011 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  5. Marco

    I heard that he said that anyone foolish enough to vote for her needs to have their head examined. Oh, no, wait. He didn't say that. People with common sense say that.

    But the fact that Bachmann believes that the earth is only 4000 years old is pretty telling. Not someone we need as our leader.

    July 21, 2011 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  6. B-KC

    OK, so this is going to be an excuse for her later on? Like when she wants out of an interview or gets a question she doesn't like.

    July 21, 2011 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  7. Howard

    Leave it to the GOP tho take cheap shots-even at each other!!

    July 21, 2011 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  8. Anonymous

    Apparently she has been hospitalized for up to 4 days at a time for migraines. That puts her out of commission for way too long a period of time as President. Not that I know anyone who would vote for her.

    July 21, 2011 10:59 am at 10:59 am |

    Stop all the nonsense about picking on Michele Bachmann because she is a woman. Her problem is she is not a particularly bright woman. This was Palin's problem too. That was also Christine O'Donnell's problem – – Sharon Angle as well.

    When a woman of the caliber, intellect, passion & integrity of Elizabeth Warren runs for office, be she Republican or Democrat, then women can be proud of her participation in the political process.

    With Bachmann – not so much.

    July 21, 2011 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  10. Carmen

    People who are afflicted with migraines is not a joke. I personally know 5 ladies (Migraines affect women mostly and very rarely affect men – google it) These ladies even when taking meds to prevent are prone to develop migraines that throw them into abyss. My daughter has to be in a cool, completely blacked out of light and absolutely no noise and even after resting with cool clothes we are always calling Dr to tell him we are headed to the emergency room for a shot. Even with the shot, she secludeds herself, no eating, no talking, no light for at least another day. My boss has to leave the office at least 2 times a week because his wife calls him from her job saying she is leaving for the hospital to get a migrain shot and he is home the next day or so to tend with her. Before speaking, and especially before saying this is political or sexest, ask about or ask someone who suffers from migraines. It is very overwhelming.

    July 21, 2011 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  11. MK

    @ Peter s. I am pretty sure no one will be talking about her periods. She most likely hit menopause already.

    July 21, 2011 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  12. Bob

    Migranes vary significantly in severity and duration. None of us know just how debilitating her migranes are. I've known some people who get them that can make it to work and tough it out. I've also known people who must be on constant medication and when one hits them... they could not debate, talk with foreign leaders, or handle any sort of crisis situation. One of my friends with more severe migranes literally CAN NOT SEE!!! He begins getting spots before his eyes and within a few minutes the world can go black if he doesn't lay down. Obviously we can't trust Bachmann to determine if she can or cannot do the job. The only solution is for her to release her medical records and if she has been hospitalized or had to miss work for severe migraines. I'm sure airline pilots have some sort of threshold on how severe their migranes can be for them to be a commerical pilot. POTUS should be held to that standard IMO.

    July 21, 2011 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  13. clarke

    I really don't believe a headache should be an issue. I get them myself and I take the meds and I am fine. This is just plain silly.

    July 21, 2011 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  14. A True Centrist


    Just not true. You may not agree with their views, I may not agree with many of their views...but they have all presented plans to move the economy forward. Mitt Romney has posted SEVERAL articles, including a comprehensive 10 poiint plan in the USA Today. Pawlenty also presented a plan, not as comprehensive as Romney, but a plan nonetheless.

    July 21, 2011 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  15. AmesIA

    I was born and raised in MN. These two clowns are not our finest. Bachmann has the support of a district of drive until you qualify tea party folks and her narrow demographic won't scale to a national race even if she is a Fox News darling. Pawlenty made an absolute mess of the state supporting tax cuts with IOU's that are now coming due. He has the personality of soggy toast and is a weasel. I think it is telling that both of them are still considered as legitimate candidates.

    July 21, 2011 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  16. The Real Tom Paine

    If Pawlenty becomes POTUS, will he back off every statement he makes then? For someone who boasted about how many fights he has been in as a hockey player, he seems to be very unassertive. Its not an encouraging sign for the few supporters he has left.

    July 21, 2011 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  17. SMDH

    Do any of you actually suffer from severe migraines? Obviously they are harsh enough for her to seeks specialized medical attention. These aren't a joke, and for most that have to deal with them, the only immediate solution is to lock themselves in a dark & quiet space. If they happen often enough, they could pose a problem.

    July 21, 2011 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  18. Publius Novus

    Pawlenty has twice revealed himself a coward. First, he jabbed at Mr. Mittens about the Massachusetts healthcare plan. The next night, when confronted with his statement at a debate with Romney, Pawlenty backed off. Now he jabs at Bachmann, but then backs off when called on it. Next.

    July 21, 2011 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  19. Ann

    I'm really disappointed in Pawlenty. He's been running a negative campaign, attacking frontrunners such as Romney and Backmann. I don't want to see ugly campaigns during the Primaries. I expect that after we've chosen a Republican and Democratic candidate. Pawlenty is doing a disservice by being negative. So far, I haven't heard anything positive about Pawlenty, only negative attacks coming from him....

    July 21, 2011 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  20. JB21

    Bachman is nothing more than a bad joke. So is Palin. This guy isn't any better either. What they are doing is not politics, it's nothing more than an superficial emotional appeal that high school kids usually exercise without success. That sort of lack of actual discussion has no place in the political discourse. Unfortunately, the public deserves the politicians it gets, and that's how low we have become as a collective unit.

    July 21, 2011 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  21. Linton

    If it were Obama with a health issue, you can bet your 401K the Rs would be making this an issue. the CONserviative hypocrisy continues....full speed ahead!

    July 21, 2011 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  22. Let's get rational now

    Who the heck cares? Both of them need to grow up.

    July 21, 2011 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  23. ThinkAgain

    What's REALLY going to be fun is watching all the candidates not chosen as the GOP prez candidate backtrack and suck-up to the one picked, in hopes of getting tapped for the VP slot.

    That said, I have a feeling none of these yahoos we've seen will be picked by Karl Rove, Grover Norquist and the Koch Brothers; they've already got someone in mind who'll look reasonable by comparison to all the loonies the GOP has been throwing out there in an effort to keep their idiot base stirred up.

    July 21, 2011 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  24. logic in LA

    Bachman should keep her headaches and not give them to the rest of us. She is not qualified for the office- it has nothing to do with health

    July 21, 2011 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  25. ThinkAgain

    @Romney in 2012: I'd love to see Mitt Romney as president. He's accomplished and understands the economy (and jobs and the private sector...).

    Mitt made his money by breaking up American companies, laying off American workers and shipping American jobs overseas. We don't need that kind of "experience" leading our country.

    The current president and his administration have less than 7% of private sector experience. No wonder unemployment is at 9.2% (and under employment is at 19%).

    Where do you get your "less than 7%" figure? Sounds made up ... And lest you forget, our economy was hemorrhaging jobs under Bush and is slowly turning around under Obama. Plus, Obama's economic plan kept our economy from going into a Great Depression.

    The Stimulus bill has also helped save or create thousands of jobs, including infrastructure maintenance/building, teachers, police, fire, etc., personnel, which we should all agree are necessary to our society (check out if you want to see where the money has gone, nationally and in your ZIP code).


    July 21, 2011 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
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