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

Dems lead GOP in Congressional money game

Obama 2012 touts end of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"

Author: Palins close to 'inciting violence' with their criticism

Just how important is Ohio in 2012? Very!

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

    regulations are in place to protect us, another example of how republicans don't care about average citizens

    September 20, 2011 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  2. lynn

    Meat packing company is the last place that needs regulating, is that about right Michelle. Who cares about the safety of the workers or the meat? Not when profits are at stake.

    September 20, 2011 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  3. Sandy

    LMAO! She is clueless!

    September 20, 2011 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  4. Reggie from LA

    Red meat indeed. I have real difficulty believing a pseudo-economist who says, "chootzpah". Well what the ham sandwich do small businesses want? Maybe Sen. Bachmann can answer that question. Don't say less regulations. That's a non-flyer. Mere talking point. Don't you think that maybe the President and czars asked such questions. Maybe his plan includes the answers and Bachmanns rhetoric only creates a path for BS. WHAT DO THEY WANT. Or maybe they don't really want to hire anyone to improve their bottom lines?

    September 20, 2011 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  5. vet in texas

    yes, by this picture it looks as if she is about to cut off a finger by accident.

    Yes, she is an idiot. Nothing against women running for president, only against idiot women running for president.

    September 20, 2011 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  6. J

    But Michelle, I thought the government didn't create jobs?

    September 20, 2011 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  7. Rick in AZ

    Yep, we don't need no pesky regulations about sanitation here in the meat packing plant.Who cares about flys or rats or other vermin in the meat. So what if the meat is here a bit too long and it starts to get a wee gamey? After all, those people who'll get sick have health insurance, right?

    September 20, 2011 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  8. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    So Sarah the Quitter takes three shots at something the size of a house and misses, and Michelle the Mouth takes a knife to a beef carcass and butchers it. Yep. Great campaigning techniques. Now tell us what you would actually DO instead of complaining about what the President is already doing.

    September 20, 2011 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  9. smith1

    golly gee !!! who needs food safety regulation ??? who cares if a few thousand people die from E.coli as long are food processors are not burdened by constant inspections !!! and while we're at it, let's stop inspecting restaurants !!! I'm certain that their health standards will remain high when no one is looking !!!

    September 20, 2011 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  10. Voice of Reason

    Mrs Bachmann, you forget your history. The meat packing industry was the very REASON that government got into regulation in the first place. Go read 'The Jungle' by Upton Sinclair, and then tell us again how onerous those regulations are...

    Once again she shows us how her quest to seem absolutely infallible is just a whole-cloth fantasy that only the most already-fanatical deluded double-think tea-vangelicals buy into.

    September 20, 2011 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  11. Jon in Rochester

    There she goes again shooting off her mouth about things she doesn't know about. She had a speech written opposing the jobs plan before she even heard any of the details so she doesn't want to hear that some small businesses are encouraged by it.

    In addition, I feel safer knowing that the meat that I buy is regulated. Enought meat gets into the market that causes sickness with the regulations that are in in place. Just what we need is to deregulate meat producers and meat packing companies so that they can inject chemicals and dyes in our meat. Anybody for a nice outbreak of mad cow disease??

    A meat industry with no regulation would cost jobs because if you can't trust the food, you don't eat it. I for one would become a vegetarian.

    September 20, 2011 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  12. A Repulbican

    Please just stop, you will neve be president, it's over. Now do som work in congress like tax payers have paid you. Enough with critizising and more with coming up with legislation of your own, that's your job but it seems as you've forgot!

    September 20, 2011 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  13. Real Patriot

    "one employee is dedicated just to deal with government rules and government regulations," -

    Just think Michelle-if we had fewer regulations-that's one less job–one more person on the unemployment line-I thought less regulations created jobs? Riddle me that.....

    September 20, 2011 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  14. Clyde the Slyde

    Should we really let this woman around sharp objects? (Especially when she's not the sharpest knife in the drawer herself!)

    September 20, 2011 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  15. Jeetu

    Ms Bachman, what regulation has made the business worse? healthcare? Financial report? What? Do you not believe in providing all Americans a living? A healthy living? A healthcare and a right to be treated if they get sick? I think you can talk about red meat, but you have no idea about the problems plaguing this country and how to solve them. Just cricizing Obama and his administration will not get you nomination of your party and even if you get this, that won't win you the election. You need to show that you are Presidential and so far you are not.

    September 20, 2011 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  16. Sniffit

    Ummm....look how she's holding that knife? Has she never even been in a kitchen before? It's like you'd have to invent a new product just for her....the Safety and improved without any steel! It'd be like safety scissors but even duller and she could run with in and put both hands on the blade while trying to cut meat all she wants.

    BTW...someone sit her down with an Englishman and have her exlpain hoof and mouth disease outbreaks to her.

    September 20, 2011 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  17. Canuck

    Sure, lets deregulate... it worked so well with the banks.

    September 21, 2011 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  18. Nils

    Is she done yet?

    September 21, 2011 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  19. Sooki

    I, for one, am REALLY happy the government has lots of rules to protect us – especially when we are talking about meat packaging! It is falt out not true that in a 5 or 6 person business that one person is dedicated to knowing the regulations. One person might be the expert, and that is probably the owner, but it most small businesses there are not that many rules that one whole position is required to track them. Stuff and nonsense.

    September 21, 2011 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  20. Rudy NYC

    Has anyone noticed that while she is complaining about regulations in the food industry, she has been all over the plant. She handled food. She visited storage facilities. She did all of this without wearing any type of hair restraint, as required per some of the regulations she's criticizing. Is this her way of protesting food sanitation lawa, or is it a display of gross ignorance.

    September 21, 2011 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  21. Barking Alien

    Give Bachmann a copy of "The Jungle" by Upton Sinclair and let her see how the meat industry operated at the turn of the century and see if she wants to remove all regulations. Regulations were put in place to address the unsanitary conditions that once existed in the meat packing industry.

    September 21, 2011 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  22. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    The easiest way to stump Michelle Bachmann? Ask her a question on any subject and sit back and enjoy the ride........

    September 21, 2011 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  23. Buster Bloodvessel

    Did the same person who told her about the viruses tell her about the "disaster?" She sure is gossipy for a presidential wannabe.

    September 21, 2011 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  24. Andrew

    "growing jobs" is not an actual policy proposal. Telling us how you will actually accomplish that is.

    September 21, 2011 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  25. Parent50

    Yeah, Michelle, because I want to buy meat from an unregulated slaughterhouse. NOT.

    September 21, 2011 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
1 2 3 4