Bachmann's warning to South Carolina voters
August 26th, 2011
08:23 AM ET
10 years ago

Bachmann's warning to South Carolina voters

Charleston, South Carolina (CNN) – Rep. Michele Bachmann was firing on all cylinders Thursday evening, dismissing competitors' management experience and laid out, in dire terms, how the 2012 presidential race is a "last chance election" and why she's the only candidate who has the chops to make the U.S. "the big dog" in the world.

The congresswoman from Minnesota, who secured a first place finish in a crucial Iowa straw poll two weeks ago, trails Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Texas Gov. Rick Perry in the latest national Gallup poll sizing up the Republican field.

She told hundreds gathered at a Charleston town hall that her proven record of standing up to special interests trumps a background of governing that Perry and Romney bring to the table.

"That's the experience you want to have," Bachmann said, referring to her stand-up record. "Not someone who's going to just manage all of this big government. Because you can put a Republican in there to manage big government but you're never going to have the United States as a big prosperous, big-dog-in-the-world again if you do that," she said.

Bachmann stressed the need to repeal President Obama's health care reform law, or so-called Obamacare, before it "metastasizes" like a cancer and "we will not be able to get rid of it."

"You can't put socialized medicine into a country and think that ever again you can elect a Republican as president – or a conservative or even a tea partier as president – and think that somehow we're going to get back to limited government," Bachmann said. "It won't happen because socialized medicine is the definition of big government."

The three-term congresswoman believes her time inside the Beltway, challenging Democrats and rank-and-file Republicans, is how she can change how Washington works.

"I'm so absolutely concerned because I've been there. I've been on the front lines," Bachmann said, comparing her legislative experience to a battlefield. "I have wept in Washington, D.C. watching what's happening to our country. This is real."

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, a fellow Republican, showed up at the town hall and asked a question about a labor dispute as "an undecided voter" from Columbia. Bachmann was also asked about "reigning in" federal agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency and the Energy Department. In another answer, she said she would support a federal amendment to define marriage as between a man and a woman.

Bachmann, who was also asked about her position on illegal immigration, told the audience she thinks it is possible through legislation to stop the "anchor baby" problem of children born to mothers living illegally in the United States. When that happens she said, "A whole new set of implications arise for the United States. I do not believe that the American taxpayer should be paying benefits to people who are in the United States illegally."

Bachmann wrapped up questions from the 90-minute town hall, hosted by South Carolina GOP freshman Rep. Tim Scott, with a heartfelt pitch to back her candidacy.

"I think it's a last chance election if you ask me," Bachmann said. "So think about it very carefully. We need a miracle right now. I'm a praying woman, a believing woman, and I believe we need a miracle but I also believe that there's a God big enough to give us that miracle."


Filed under: 2012 • Michele Bachmann • South Carolina
soundoff (87 Responses)
  1. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I don't think that Michele's ideas for making America a third world country will then make us the top dog in the world. Like most Tea Baggers, she is losing her grip on reality.

    August 26, 2011 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  2. coy4one

    When she's "elected" and reduces Washington down to nothing, what will be left? A dictator?

    August 26, 2011 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  3. azmary

    I think it would be better to be the "smartest dog" in the world. We all know brains are better than brawn in the long run. Look at where the "tough guy" image has gotten quite a few leaders in North Africa and the Middle East.

    August 26, 2011 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  4. TomInRochNY

    Bachmann's plea to SC voters – Vote for me! I'm not as crazy as you think. God told me so.

    August 26, 2011 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  5. Bill Reinboldt

    Someone should point out to her that we already have socialiized medicine and have for years.

    August 26, 2011 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  6. andrewstl

    if she is the last chance we are already done!!!!

    August 26, 2011 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  7. bret

    None of these canidates have a "Chance" at the White House!!! Evangelical "Zealots" with "Devastating" results for the middle class and poor,and "Especially for our Children and Seniors!!!! Get a grip,America????

    August 26, 2011 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  8. Dave in NC

    Nothing new here. Full time conservative values – both fiscally and morally. Who is she to tell me who to marry, what to wear, etc, etc??? I will never, ever vote republican again until they stop trying to regulate our social lives.

    August 26, 2011 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  9. America First, Party Seond

    Obama brought down the dictator from Libya in 3 months at 3 day's cost of Afgan war with amazingly NO lost of a single soldier's life. He captured Osama in 2.5 years w/o any losss of life. How do you compare this to Bush and current airhead irresponsible liers running against him. it's about time you all GOP/Teabaggers line up behind him and lead us back to prosperity. Stop being trators.

    August 26, 2011 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  10. th

    Bachmann is a religious fanatic who tries to push her beliefs on everyone else and doesn't practice what she preaches. She wants to be so religious but won't help the poor. I guess she needs all that money for her own personal subsidies, (farm, business, etc). She likes to talk big but does the complete opposite. Michelle, give all that money back that you got from the government and maybe just maybe people will believe you.

    August 26, 2011 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  11. Terry Gloege

    When did praying and believing become qualifications for the office? Does she really believe she's God's miracle?

    August 26, 2011 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  12. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    She wept when GM and Chrysler were loaned money, but cheered when big banks and Wall Street were bailed out with unfunded tax payer money. She gladly accepted government subsidies for her farm and husband's pray away the gay clinic, but wept when others were given the same opportunity. She supported our two unfunded republican wars, but wept when President Obama worked with NATO and Arab countries to oust Gadhafi without losing a single American soldier. It will be a blessing for her to go back to Minnesota when she finally realizes, even South Carolinians think she is too radical.

    August 26, 2011 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  13. No Tea For Me - Thanks.

    Why do we have to be "top dog" ?
    Isnt being top dog the reason why we are in the mess we are ?
    This kind of thinking is wrong.
    This is the same "swagger" that gets us into wars.
    Put an end to this now.
    Vote Democrat.

    August 26, 2011 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  14. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Submit to reality, Michele, and then go back to Minnesota.

    August 26, 2011 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  15. Al-NY,NY

    "I have wept in Washington, D.C. watching what's happening to our country." Yeah right. Try again wing-nut. You couldn't even win your own state in the general election and you trail Ron Paul. Buh-bye. Too bad though with you as the candidate it would be an epic reelection landslide for Obama. And the VP slot? Remember 2008 with the Quitta from Wasilla? Same thing, different year

    August 26, 2011 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  16. street smart

    Completely clueless. She maybe top dog in her home state but shes a mad dog in the eyes of thinking people throughout the world. Perry like Bachman caters to the whack job portion of the conservative movement but unlike Bachman has the intelligence to know to change-up the rhetoric in order to entice conservative centralists and Independents, he doesnt do that balancing act to well mind you but at least he knows what the big picture is. Shes just another T-clown like Palin & McConnell and nothing more.

    August 26, 2011 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  17. Mary555

    My God. Repubs, is this the best candidates you have? The repubs are doomed. All they can do is attacked the Pres because they have NO SOLUTIONS to the problems facing America.

    August 26, 2011 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  18. jt_flyer

    This is what the party of Lincoln has become? Can’t we look back to a time when our country faced huge challenges and prevailed? The following 3 characteristics would make any of the republican candidates more effective and more appealing and, in my opinion, are all shared by the history’s greatest republican president: Abraham Lincoln.
    1. Capacity to listen to different points of view. Lincoln specifically created a cabinet of differing views. The NH GOP is kicking out the Chairman "To ensure that all of the party's energy and resources are solely focused on electing Republican…”. The political equivalent of burning books.
    2. Aware of his own weaknesses and made a conscience decision to overcome them. Most of the GOP act right out of a Cecil B. Demille film and their looking for a sea to part. How about working on healing and common ground?
    3. Ability to control emotions. Do we really want a tough-talking, angry president shooting from the hip or do we want a calm, focused leader?
    “A house divided against itself cannot stand”… A Lincoln

    August 26, 2011 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  19. Sortakinda

    Ms. Bachmann is getting all of this attention because she was the winner of this year's FOX competition, "America's Biggest F-in Idiot 2011-2012." Her lights have never been on, and she likes it that way.

    August 26, 2011 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  20. LegendRx

    Take back America . . . "We the People" does not translate to We he Fools! Enough of the Republican agenda, we have moved way beyond the lies. The party of no, the devil dogs of treason, Concept of Destroy America and we Destroy Obama and any chances of other minorities, outside of a white woman, who maybe entertaining any idea of moving in the white house. Period.

    August 26, 2011 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  21. demogal

    Not the most flattering way to wear your hair, Michelle.

    August 26, 2011 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  22. Jim

    So the self-described submissive housewife is the only one with chops eh?

    hmmmmm.....

    August 26, 2011 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  23. jt_flyer

    This is what the party of Lincoln has become? Can’t we look back to a time when our country faced huge challenges and prevailed? The following 3 characteristics would make any of the republican candidates more effective and more appealing and, in my opinion, are all shared by the history’s greatest republican president: Abraham Lincoln.
    1. Capacity to listen to different points of view. Lincoln specifically created a cabinet of differing views. The NH GOP is kicking out the Chairman "To ensure that all of the party's energy and resources are solely focused on electing Republican…”. The political equivalent of burning books.
    2. Aware of his own weaknesses and made a conscience decision to overcome them. Most of the GOP act right out of a Cecil B. Demille film and their looking for a sea to part. How about working on healing and common ground?
    3. Ability to control emotions. Do we really want a tough-talking, angry president aiming from the hip or do we want a calm, focused leader?
    “A house divided against itself cannot stand”… A Lincoln

    August 26, 2011 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  24. John

    Michele Bachmann has lost all grip on Reality. But that just they way Tea bagger think. She she win America will be a dead dog.

    August 26, 2011 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  25. John N Florida

    One thing Bachmann is consistent on; her total lack of knowledge about the powers the Constitution gives to each branch of the government. She thinks she can "close the doors and turn out the lights" at EPA. She thought Vice President Palin would exert considerable influence as President of the Senate.
    EPA was set up by Congress. 'President Bachmann' would have no authority to close it. Only an overwhelming Republican Congress could accomplish that.
    The woman AIN'T that bright. It took her 9 years to complete a 3 year law course. She's been living off of state or Federal Tax dollars ever since. She's never authored a successful bill in Congress. She's never run a business of any type. Her only Executive position is as one of the directors of the LLC, Bacmann & Associates, under which her husband's practice covers itself from liability.
    At least it's apparent why she got, and deserved, the nick name 'Joke'.

    August 26, 2011 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
1 2 3 4