Bachmann: Campaign 'alive and well' after former manager says she won't last beyond Iowa
September 19th, 2011
07:41 PM ET
11 years ago

Bachmann: Campaign 'alive and well' after former manager says she won't last beyond Iowa

Waterloo, Iowa (CNN) - For at least the second time in less than one week, one of Michele Bachmann's former staffers have criticized her political abilities.

On Monday, the Republican presidential candidate directly responded to one of them: Former campaign manager Ed Rollins. Bachmann said her campaign is "alive and well" after Rollins said in a cable television news interview that Bachmann doesn't have enough political mojo to make it beyond Iowa.

This comes five days after a former Bachmann chief of staff said she sometimes makes "impulsive statements."

Bachmann toured a business, based in Waterloo, that manufactures portable, solar-powered traffic signals. After bashing President Barack Obama's plan to reduce the deficit, the Minnesota congresswoman spoke with employees, then took questions from reporters.

Bachmann was asked about the criticism from Rollins, who just weeks ago helped her win Iowa's all-important Ames Straw poll but today questions her chances beyond Iowa. Rollins stepped down from the campaign earlier this month.

"Well, our campaign is alive and well and doing very, very well," Bachmann said. "And we're thrilled with how we're doing. We are the only campaign that won the very important Iowa straw poll."

Bachmann was pressed on the substance of Rollins' words.

"No other candidate has been in Iowa as much as I have. We've been here 70-75 days. We'll continue to be here because we intend to win the all-important Iowa caucuses," Bachmann said.

It was earlier Monday, during an appearance on MSNBC, that Rollins questioned his former boss' abilities.

"I think Michele (Bachmann), which always was the game plan, if she for somehow, for some reason can win Iowa, then she can get another look," Rollins said. "Right now, she's competing hard in Iowa. She doesn't have the ability or the resources to go beyond Iowa at this point in time where Perry and Romney - with lots of money - can go on to South Carolina, Arizona, Florida and other places."

Bachmann was also asked about her sagging poll fortunes since Texas Gov. Rick Perry entered the GOP presidential race.

"It’s not unexpected that when another candidate comes into the race that the dynamic changes," Bachmann said. "But again - we're doing exactly what we need to be doing: That's being here in Iowa, seeing how important the state of Iowa is, listening to Iowans and that's how you win a state - state by state."

Last week, Bachmann's former chief of staff - Ron Carey - told CNN's Anderson Cooper his former boss is "impulsive" after Bachmann linked an HPV vaccine to mental retardation.

“Well, Michele (Bachmann) is very impulsive from a personality standpoint. And, to her credit, she reads an awful lot of information. But sometimes I'm afraid that she reads maybe 80 or 90% and leaves out or forgets the 10 or 20% that can change the outcome," Carey told Cooper.

"So her impulsive nature - coupled with the fact that she sometimes doesn't digest information as carefully as she should - leads to these kinds of impulsive statements that sometimes are just off the mark enough that it makes her into more of a provocative, controversial figure."

Follow Shannon Travis on Twitter: @ShanTravisCNN

Filed under: 2012 • Iowa • Michele Bachmann
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. Tom

    One can only hope that her campaign is on some sort of faulty life support and the 'plug is gonna get pulled' SOON!! Keep in mind........she's no doctor and only reports hearsay on scientific matters.

    September 20, 2011 07:57 am at 7:57 am |
  2. Robert

    So she's on what, bill of rights amendment #4? Maybe she'll finishing reading the documents she screams loudly about...

    September 20, 2011 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  3. YIHS

    We all make mistakes, as did Michelle Bachman during the debate. The difference is this, if I make a mistake or mispeak something it may only affect 2 people, but as a person seeking to be president of the United States it is very important to demonstrate that you have an understanding of the facts because your words will impact an entire nation. Ms. Bachman demonstrated that she does not have an understanding of the facts.

    However, we cannot overlook the point she was trying to make about cronynism.

    September 20, 2011 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
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