Bachmann: Why is there a Department of Education?
September 5th, 2011
04:04 PM ET
10 years ago

Bachmann: Why is there a Department of Education?

(CNN) - Painting herself as a "constitutional conservative" Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann told Sen. Jim DeMint's forum Monday that if elected president she would look to get rid of the Department of Education, among other things.

"Because the Constitution does not specifically enumerate nor does it give to the federal government the role and duty to superintend over education that historically has been held by the parents and by local communities and by state governments," she said, responding to a question by DeMint, a popular figure among the tea party movement.

Another item on the chopping block: The Affordable Care Act.

People "see that the current government is acting outside the bounds of the Constitution. Probably the most obvious would be this, Obamacare and the individual mandate that is unconstitutional and is currently contained in Obamacare," she said.

Throughout the question and answer, Bachmann highlighted her understanding of the Constitution and the need to return to a limited federal government.

"And when I'm working with the Congress of the United States, my guiding principle will be that the government works best when it acts within the limitations of the Constitution," she said. "The current president of the United States has failed to demonstrate an understanding."

When asked about her jobs program, Bachmann pointed to her past as a tax litigation attorney and small business owner.

"(I) believe in profit and actually believe profit is a good thing and that we should encourage that in this country," she said. Bachmann called for a restructuring of tax rates for businesses – highlighting her experience in that area.

When asked if she would try and overturn Roe v. Wade, which gives women the right to an abortion, Bachmann said she would put forth a human life amendment and do everything in her power to restrict abortions.

Watch John King's interview with DeMint on CNN's "John King, USA" at 7 p.m. ET.

soundoff (51 Responses)
  1. Senor Ed

    Why is there a department of education? So that with any luck we can help more people from ending up like Michele Bachmann and give everyone a chance not to end up in the Tea Party.

    September 5, 2011 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  2. Sophia

    God help us all.

    September 5, 2011 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  3. kurtis

    If one of these morons wins the presidency, I am leaving the country.. Oh wait, I have already done that and you should see and hear what people in other lands are saying about these idiot rebumblicans.

    September 5, 2011 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  4. Mason

    There are over 300 million Americans. Why is it so hard to find just one candidate that seems to know their stuff, get things done, and act as a naturally great leader? There has to be hundreds of thousands of people like that, yet both political parties, especially the republicans, pick goofballs like Bachmann and Palin to run for office. What annoys me about Bachmann, as well as most politicians, is that their whole act is based around being a positive and nice person in the view of the voter, instead of proving themselves as a good candidate. Unfortunately, you can't get voted into office without doing precisely that.

    September 5, 2011 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  5. Cynthia

    Bachmann has taxpayer funded healthcare and a pension for life after she serves her term in OUR Goverment. I would seriously take her seriously if she refused HER benefits paid by the citizens of this country.

    September 5, 2011 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  6. RINO Bil

    Off-hand I'd say we need the DOE to prevent children from becoming like her (Promoting John Quincy Adams to Founding Father status and Happy Birthday Elvis), Sarah Palin (Nice country Africa is) and Christine O'Donnell ("Are you sure that's what in the First Amendment?").

    September 5, 2011 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  7. T'sah from Virginia

    I loved it when she stated that the government should "stick with" and live by the constitution and then turned around and stated she wanted to "change it” to satisfy her principles???

    It's ridiculous to have a forum where all of the questions are geared towards the RIGHT and/or far-RIGHT?? I think ALL forums – even forms on the LEFT – should be guided by the "opposite" party. The people elected to office are supposed to represent ALL Americans – NOT just the party they are running for. Regardless if we have a Democrat for a President, RIGHT stuff is on the agenda and gets recognize and passed -------- TAX BREAKS FOR THE RICH?????????????????????

    September 5, 2011 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  8. JOH

    Believe you me, she was definitely educated in America. How do I know? The absolute ignorance and self-contradictions? I see countless peers receiving commendation for being "educated, civilized, intelligent, and determined individuals" but in reality they are just another binge-drinking incompetent, lacking in common sense, disrespectful, and selfishly arrogant trash. Typical American education result: Bachmann. There IS a reason why education in India, China, South Korea, Japan is FAR superior than America.

    September 5, 2011 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  9. SecedingfromTexas

    This spectacle of wannabes "auditioning" for the golden ring from Deminted was ghastly. For these people who want
    to be President of the United States to stand in front of those three "judges" as if it was the be all, end all, of their
    political careers just showed how shallow they are. This was no debate, this was an inquisition, and it certainly helped
    me decide who NOT to vote for.

    September 5, 2011 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  10. Kenneth the VI of Minneapolis

    I am sick and tired of the STUPID...

    September 5, 2011 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  11. joesmom

    There is a Dept. of Education because prior to 1840 the only children going to school were children of wealthy families. Horace Mann proposed a public school system to increase education levels and reduce poverty. Voila, now every child can be educated for free. Bachmann and the Tea Party want to step back to a time when only the wealthy had access to anything. The poor were just. . .expendable.

    September 5, 2011 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  12. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    You, Mrs. Bachmann, are a classic reason why we need one FEDERAL STANDARD for educating our children. As long as we keep up this fiasco of Home Rule for education we will continue to perform worse than some 3rd World nations, with over 1000 independent school boards in the country each setting their own standards, we are a joke.

    September 5, 2011 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |

    And why on earth would can take time away from the candidates to run commercials? why not give them another 30 minutes and cover everything they said? Who wants to hear 20 seconds of useless blabbering going into and coming out of the commercials? PATHETIC.

    September 5, 2011 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  14. Sandy

    Is she really this stupid?!

    September 5, 2011 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  15. Tom

    Other countries are winning because their handling of education is to fund, support, fund more. And really, limited federal government also means pro choice. I know you fail at understanding economics, please don't fail at political science as well. The sad thing is, most of her supporters appear to really need the department of education. Or more education in general. Though, I remember when you had to have qualifications to run for president, guess I should consider running.

    September 5, 2011 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  16. Barrett

    Can anyone give real evidence that the Dept of Education is needed? I'm talking about documented evidence.

    September 5, 2011 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  17. Dave R

    It is obvious it did not help her.

    September 5, 2011 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  18. Barrett

    Let me clarify: Give evidence that the Dept of Education has helped and not hurt academic achievement overall in our country. I'm not saying there isn't any. I'm really just wanting to see what's out there.

    September 5, 2011 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  19. Ray

    Why not arm bears while you're at it, Ms. Bachmann? It ain't in the Constitution ... or wait, is it?

    September 5, 2011 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  20. man

    this is GOP guys

    September 5, 2011 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  21. swiharta

    Maybe someone here can explain to me why growth in the Dept. of Education has been inversely proportional to our educational standing in the world.

    September 5, 2011 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  22. Indy

    Republicans want to keep children as dumb as possible so they wont notice that Republicans are trying to wipe out the middle class. The less education you have the more likely you will fall for the endless lies Republicans promote on a daily basis and if you are not educated the more likely you will vote Republican.

    September 5, 2011 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  23. Adi

    Wow...She is an idiot for real!..All the best US of

    September 5, 2011 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  24. Grand Oil (and Tea) Partiers

    Current Repub field is LOL stupid. Wow Bachmann, leading the charge to the bottom...

    September 5, 2011 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  25. Barrett


    "Maybe someone here can explain to me why growth in the Dept. of Education has been inversely proportional to our educational standing in the world."

    Well said.

    September 5, 2011 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
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