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. steph in TX

    Still playing the clown in the circus that is today's GOP.

    September 20, 2011 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  2. KeithMinn

    Typical – ask them just what 'burdensome regulations' are stifling businesses....silence. Kind of like when you ask them to identify all that fat in the budget they keep claiming needs to be cut. It must be out there somewhere. It says so right here in my talking points I was handed.

    September 20, 2011 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  3. Kathleen Farrell

    If Two and a Half Men doesn't survive minus Charlie, thank heavens we still have this comedian.

    September 20, 2011 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  4. Tim

    I know that I risk being flagged for my comment, but the truth is that Michele Bachmann is a liar. I work in the food science industry and this President is not responsible for additional regulations placed on meat producers, and it does not take one full time equivalent worker to "deal" with government rules. For a small shop that is an outright lie! In fact, regulations have been relaxed over the past 15 years, but when a company has millions of pounds of turkey meat recalled and then a few months later has hundreds of thousands of pounds of additional turkey meat recalled it's probably time for some action. Unfortunately, it takes quite awhile for this action to occur.
    Michele Bachmann makes stupid claims like this all the time. Mostly I ignore her, but this latest BS is nothing more than a lie intended to discredit the President who has nothing to do with it in the first place.

    September 20, 2011 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  5. Rudy NYC

    from the article:
    "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.
    That's right. That employee would be the owner. Is there some problem with that?

    I would like to know that the meat I am buying comes from a company that practices good sanitation. In the event that I eat something that was contaminated, I would like to know who produced it and sold those products so that my kids and your kids are not exposed to it. Is there a problem with that? Apparently there is, because all that conservatives do is complain about imaginary regulations that hurt small businesses.

    It used to be that you raised and slaughtered your own cattle, or had a local butcher who did. If anything was wrong, you knew where to look for the problem and correct it. I guess some businesses just want to sell us inferior and dangerous products (buyer beware) and melt into the background with the cash. I don't thinks so.

    September 20, 2011 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  6. Jake

    well there goes the vegan vote! oh wait...she never had it!

    September 20, 2011 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  7. Meateater

    Just what we need, deregulation in the meat industry! That way they can mix in all kinds of by-products, sawdust and other filler like they did 100 years ago! Let's go back to the good-ole-days where the cows were just slaughtered in a field! I the worms and flies are more protein!

    September 20, 2011 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  8. sortakinda

    She'll grow a Chia Pet in Minnesota.

    September 20, 2011 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  9. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    If butchers did not have those pesky safety regulations, they could kill a lot more cattle all at once, and cut them up in the ensuing months.

    September 20, 2011 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  10. SiriusVH

    Nice picture. It reminds me that, over the years, we have had SO MANY recalls of meat contaminated with e-coli because the GOPsters have done their best to make sure that the USDA is under-funded and cannot conduct as many site inspections as it should.

    September 20, 2011 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  11. Beantown Bully

    How come no one at CNN is challenging her assertions as she makes them? She lies and lies and lies, and the news just lets these untruths go uncontested. If you’re a political novice, you might believe some of what comes out of her's and Rick Perry's mouth's. But at the end of the day, they tell fibs just to live....Pathetic

    September 20, 2011 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  12. Kwesoe

    She is wearing gloves and protective clothing before cutting the meat. Yet she claims that regulation is bad. Why don't you touch the meat with your bare hands, Michelle and see if anyone will purchase meat from that factory? It's a shame that the very steps that are taken toward food safety can be overbearing.

    September 20, 2011 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  13. The Greedy Old Pigs have lost their minds!

    Yeah, Michele, we'd be much better off if we just let e-coli regulate itself. PS: I call BS on the 1 out 5 statistic as well. Those people are called managers, and they have time to do plenty of other things as well.

    September 20, 2011 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  14. Doc M

    By all means let's not "get in the way" of a company that might choose dump toxic waste down a drainage pipe because it's cheaper/easier, or to put toxic food on your table. Deregulate and let businesses decide what's okay? NO THANKS!

    September 20, 2011 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  15. DVoice12

    The only Meat Market on her mind is the middle class. This is coming from a woman who wants to repeal the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, also know as the Investor Protection Act. This act was enacted due to corporate crimes committed by Eron, Tyco, WorlCom, etc, that cost investors billions of dollars.

    Create jobs in Iowa, really????

    September 20, 2011 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  16. Me

    "How many times do you have to re-sharpen?" "Is it the fat that dulls it or is it the muscle?"
    I'm sure many a night she's asked Marcus these very same questions.

    September 20, 2011 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  17. Bill NY

    Ms. Bachmann never disappoints me as I wonder how dense she is capable of being. As one who lives on the Hudson river I would have been grateful for regulation and oversight to prevent what has happened to this great river. As human beings, some of us are corrupt, selfish and uncaring about anyone or thing other than ourselves. We need regulation to protect us from those who would destroy us for profit and personal gain.

    September 20, 2011 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  18. Lando

    She does not want government regulations....butcher your own cow stupid....

    September 20, 2011 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  19. Woman In California

    She has got to be the most psychotic candidate running.

    September 20, 2011 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  20. Jo

    Sure, Bachmann, we all want our kids to be eating rancid, cancer-laden uninspected ground beef/ground whatever.

    If Michele Bachmann is not a whackocrazy plant making the other party look better, I don't know what is.

    September 20, 2011 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  21. A vote for Bachmann is indeed historic, it will put the First gay male in the WH!

    Oh my, next thing you know there will be a beef recall in the U.S.

    It has obviously been contaminated by a case of "stupid".

    September 20, 2011 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  22. seriously???

    She may as well be carving the carcass of her campaign. After all I've heard from Bachmann from 2008-2010, I can't even believe people are literally crazy enough to have supported her this far, let alone urge her to run for president in the first place.

    September 20, 2011 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |

    So let's do away with meat inspectors and all other agricultural regulations and safeguards,.. and when people start dying from tainted meat,.and mad cow disease,.. i'll guarantee you, Crazy Bachmann will be the first one to accuse the government of lax regulations.

    September 20, 2011 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  24. Larry L

    More "bull" from the lady with a large mouth and a tiny brain. She really needs to quit lying to make her politicaql friends happy. President Obama's plan would not increase taxes for small businesses – only 2% of the richest folks would see any increase at all. I guess we should expect the old "swift boat" tactics from Republicans...

    September 20, 2011 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  25. Betty

    I'm sorry but when it comes to food safety I don't care if the meat company thinks there is too much regulation. Heath and safety regulations are too important to be part of her right wing anti regulation rants. I'm sure if one of her children got sick as a result of that company not following the regulations she would be first in line asking why the government didn't do something while on her way to a lawyer to sue that company.

    September 20, 2011 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
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