Bachmann serves up irresistible 'red meat' headline
September 20th, 2011
03:08 PM ET
12 years ago

Bachmann serves up irresistible 'red meat' headline

Des Moines, Iowa (CNN) - Armed with a sharp knife, a protective smock and with 400-pound beef carcasses hanging around her, Michele Bachmann visited an Iowa meat plant on Tuesday and sliced through a slab while going for the kill over government regulations.

"One thing we learned today is that, in a company that has five or six employees, one employee is dedicated just to deal with government rules and government regulations," the Republican presidential candidate told employees and assembled media at the Amend Packing Co. in Des Moines.

Bachmann began the tour with a visual that, even her campaign acknowledged, would make for visually arresting images: the Republican presidential candidate walking through rows of hanging cattle – dead and skinned – then grabbing a knife to cut a long slab into manageable slices of beef.

"My grandfather owned a meat market here in Iowa," she said while measuring the size of her cuts.

"How many times do you have to re-sharpen?" she asked as her host – one of the plant's owners - sharpened her blade. "Is it the fat that dulls it or is it the muscle?"

The Republican presidential candidate talked about the packing company as well as two other small businesses she visited on Monday that, she said face a mountain of government regulations.

"Part of the problem is the overkill that they have…For years, they've had a system that's worked. And now the federal government is coming in and making it far more complicated," Bachmann said. "When they make it complicated – they make it expensive. And then you can no longer stay in business."

The Minnesota congresswoman also took the issue of government regulations – that have existed for decades – and laid it squarely at President Obama's feet.

She was asked: which of the Obama administration's regulations are especially burdensome to small businesses like those she visited in Iowa?

Bachmann used the question to blast the president's jobs plan - and used a word she said she'd heard from the small business owners she'd met on her two-day Iowa tour.

It's a "disaster" she claimed she'd heard. "Because what he would do is increase taxes on small businesses…and when you increase taxes, on small businesses, the margin is so skinny – it's very hard for the business to be able to compete."

"When businesses have to deal with the overwhelming regulatory burden … then you add on to that the tax burden that President Obama wants to put on a business like this …when that happens, that tax burden goes up, you wipe out the margin of profit, and the business just can't go on anymore."

What Bachmann did not mention were the number of other small business owners who have welcomed the ideas set forth in the American Jobs Act.

The $447 billion dollar plan combines tax credits and spending proposals to boost the economy and create jobs. Among other things, it would cut payroll taxes in half, waive payroll taxes for a business that hires a new worker or gives an employee a raise, and extend a tax benefit so that companies can more quickly write off their expenses.

Just after the president proposed his jobs plan, a few small business owners told CNN Money they were encouraged by the proposals.

"Cutting our payroll taxes in half for 2012 can be a big boost for us, and I am sure other small businesses," Zalmi Duchman told the site. Duchman is the owner and CEO of

Another small businessman who responded was Chris Zane, owner and founder of a bike shop in Branford, Connecticut.

"I was impressed!" Zane said. "Not necessarily by any one specific point, but by the fact that the president's jobs act seemed to be balanced and reasonable."

And yet, Bachmann insists most small businesses are worried.

"All the employers have various concerns," she said. "The government needs to help. Not get in the way…As President of the United States, my goal will be to grow jobs in Iowa."

–Catherine Clifford of CNN Money contributed to this report

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Filed under: 2012 • Iowa • Michele Bachmann
soundoff (83 Responses)
  1. patNY

    Yeah! Lets get rid of all those pesky USDA regulations that keep our meat supply safe from disease. Get rid of the regulations that require humane slaughtering of cows. Down with the USDA and up with the plague and colora!

    September 20, 2011 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  2. George

    Bachmann's government: " I heard somewhere, well some person said, we should go to war with... well everyone., I am just repeating whatI heard at that TEABAGGER rally."

    September 20, 2011 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  3. Sequoia

    Yawn. Bachmann wants government regulations over the most personal aspects of Americans' lives, including reproduction and who can marry whom. She's a typical Big Government Conservative hypocrite with no actual values.

    September 20, 2011 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  4. TM

    Whoever let her get ahold of a sharp object needs to be arrested for public endangerment.

    September 20, 2011 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  5. cf

    It is government regulations that keep debris, poison, diseases, spoilage, feces, bugs and dirt out of that meat you are cutting, Ms Bachmann, and out of the meals that people cook and eat with their families.

    September 20, 2011 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  6. michaelam

    Get over it, Mrs. Markus Bachmann! We NEED and WANT our meat packing plants and slautering houses regulated! Some of us are really not into tainted food and dying from E.Coli or Mad Cow disease. Ugh! Can we please pass legislation that requires ALL candidates to submit to a psych evaluation and a basic I.Q. test? Oh, wait--we would become a one party nation. The GOP/Teahadists could never pass either test!

    September 20, 2011 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  7. Emily

    People who generalize as she does make me nervous! Everything is either "all or nothing". "All" the small businesses are ...she finds one or a few that will say something that suits her purpose and then suddenly it's "all". She's a moron...and I'm from Minnesota!

    September 20, 2011 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  8. mark whitt

    the gift that keeps on giving ! she needs to give it up she is out of the race , she thinks she is running as the front runner !

    September 20, 2011 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  9. Walked 5 miles to work in the snow... and liked it.

    Couldn't resist getting in your "And yet, Bachmann insists most small businesses are worried".
    Amazing how you come up with that point of view when CNN only talked to "a few small business".

    September 20, 2011 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  10. thomas

    She used to work for Jimmy Carter , she has a good work ethic !

    Tobad she went CooKoo ?

    September 20, 2011 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  11. DIANA

    Who needs government? If I want to eat meat filled with E-Coli it should be my choise. We didn't need regulation when BP caused their oilspill and Wall Street went amuck. We could take care of ourselves/

    I love how CNN said that Bachmann said small businesses are worried and right after, they quote people who loved the Presidents plan.

    September 20, 2011 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    She was asked: which of the Obama administration's regulations are especially burdensome to small businesses like those she visited in Iowa?

    ...and Michelle Bachman did not cite a single one because she's making all this up. It a big lie and nobody is calling her out on it. Can anybody name new regulations created by the Obama administration for meat packing?

    I am glad we have regulations on meat packing. It's nice to be able to go to the grocery store and have a low probability of being poisoned due to poor packing practices. Beef cows aren't on the open range like they were in past centuries. The cows spend the last months of their lives in extremely crowded feed lots ankle deep in manure. Making sure all that is cleaned up when they are slaughtered is critical to our health.

    September 20, 2011 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  13. The Real Tom Paine

    Given Bachmann's talent for fiction ( like her story about the vaccine), I doubt very seriously there have been phones ringing off the hook at her field offices in Iowa with stories of how the Feds have been going after small businesses. Bachmann is displaying ( once again) her talent for whipping up crowds with "facts" she has selectively culled. Its a pity she never showed this willingness to cut off the farm subsidies her family has used, or the grants Marcus used to sustain his so-called "clinic". The question she needs to answer is what would she do? I'm not interested in a barrage of buzz words, I want to hear what she has to say. If its the same tired litany of proposals with " liberty", "freedom", etc, she needs to shut up. The president put a serious proposal out, lets see if she's learned anything over the last 5 years she's been in Congress and have her present a proposal, have her admit she has suckered the public into paying her over 170K a year to do nothing.

    September 20, 2011 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  14. allens

    what bonehead handed her a sharp knife? don't they know who she is?

    September 20, 2011 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  15. Greg in Arkansas

    HOW did all those people get onto the processing floor without hair nets.....or are they planning to trash the meat since basic sanitation rules were not followed?.....or are we supposed to trust the meat packers to follow the rules if there is no USDA inspector watching?

    September 20, 2011 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  16. Joe The Plumber

    "All the employers have various concerns," she said." How does she know that "All" have concerns? Has she spoken with every small business owner in the USA? Her propensity for stating things in absolutes is absolutely silly.

    September 20, 2011 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  17. Joe The Plumber

    It is scary seeing this woman with a knife!

    September 20, 2011 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  18. sortakinda

    Is it the fat or the muscle that dulls the knife? Full of questions, she is, this idiot. Which of the Obama administration's regulations are most burdensome? Let's see. Oh yeah, It isn't a situation where there were NO regulations and Obama invented regulations-they've been on the books FOR YEARS under Democratic AND Republican administrations, many of which protect the American public from impure foods and drugs. Didn't anyone EXPLAIN this to you, Ms. B, when you arrived here from Uranus?

    September 20, 2011 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  19. CrazyTalk

    She carves up beef the way she carves up facts to fit her agenda. It's not the fat or muscle that dulls the blade dearie – it's reality.

    P.S. Best not hold a knife by the blade – even if those are kevlar gloves. Guess you didn't learn that from your Grandfather?

    September 20, 2011 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  20. Ross DiRienzo

    Yeah, let's cut rules and regulations! Let's fire the employee that makes sure that the food is compliant to the food safety standards! We don't need the big government to get in the way of our right to die of intestinal infections just to protect the job of public bureucrats!
    Clearly I'm being sarcastic!

    September 20, 2011 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  21. Jim

    My God, this woman never stops lying, as she takes her taxpayer funded farm subsidies (AKA corporate welfare payments) in the hundreds of thousands per year.

    September 20, 2011 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  22. Sam

    She seems to ignore reality and facts, just barrels ahead to make her points even thought they are misplaced. She seems not to care about truth.

    September 20, 2011 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  23. sortakinda

    "OOps! Was that MY finger I cut off?" asked Ms. Bachmann.

    September 20, 2011 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  24. sortakinda

    More Bachmann questions: "Is this what they use to make hamburgers? I didn't know that."

    September 20, 2011 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  25. Togo

    Well thank you CNN for at least fact-checking some of the idiocy coming out of her mouth. I won't say that Bachmann is intellectually challenged and a habitual liar, but I did hear someone say pretty much that she was, once.

    September 20, 2011 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
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