Bachmann: Border fence is no joke
October 17th, 2011
02:43 PM ET
9 years ago

Bachmann: Border fence is no joke

(CNN) - Rep. Michele Bachmann wasn't laughing Monday at Herman Cain's "joke" about building an electrified fence on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Speaking to the media in Phoenix, the Minnesota congresswoman gave a full-throated endorsement of a border fence, but said that joking about the matter detracted from the gravity of the issue.

Programming note: GOP presidential candidates next face off at 8 p.m. ET Tuesday, October 18, in the CNN Western Republican Presidential Debate in Las Vegas, Nevada. Submit your questions for the debate here.

"This is no laughing matter, the border fence," Bachmann said. "We've seen jokes made by presidential candidates about the fence. It is not a joke. This is a real issue, and this is a serious issue."

On Sunday, former Godfather's Pizza executive Herman Cain said remarks he made about an electrified border fence between the United States and Mexico were a joke.

Cain made the original comments Saturday at a rally in Tennessee during a bus tour through the state.

"When I'm in charge of the fence, we going to have a fence. It's going to be 20 feet high. It's going to have barbed wire on the top. It's going to be electrocuted, electrified," Cain said. "And there's going to be a sign on the other side that says it will kill you."

On NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday, Cain said he was joking.

"That's a joke," Cain said. "I've also said America needs to get a sense of humor. That was a joke, OK."

On Monday, Bachmann said determining how to build a border fence was of the utmost importance for American security.

"It is important that we actually do complete the fence in every portion," Bachmann said.

She continued, "We need to look at terrain of the fence, and make sure we have the most appropriate fence that there is, and the most appropriate human intelligence on the ground."

Also see:

Axelrod strikes Romney, says Perry could bounce back

Gingrich: Cain has strong shot at nomination

Bachmann raises almost $4 million, but spends nearly $6 million

McCain to Perry: Get some rest

Filed under: Herman Cain • Immigration • Michele Bachmann
soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. cschlup

    I reject this notion that we need a fence. We should enforce current immigration laws, get rid of the entitlement incentives, and legalize drugs. building a fence does not fix the problem, common sense does.

    October 17, 2011 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    Shorter Bachman: "Pffffff...Cain is such a joke...I don't just jump sharks, I jump whales!"

    October 17, 2011 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  3. nintex

    Maybe the first thing President Obama should do as he begins his second term as president is to appoint Michele Bachmann as the head of the new Department of Fences. She could check out the terrain and get us a really, really good fence. That should keep her busy for a couple of years.

    October 17, 2011 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  4. Rudy NYC

    Rep. Bachmann is right about one thing. Mr. Cain was not joking at the time.

    As far as actually constructing a fence, I don't see how that would really help the immediate problem. For starters, it would be quite costly, at a time when we are cutting aid to the poor. It would be time consuming to construct, because there's well over a thousand miles of border in Texas alone. It could be easily circumvented with a tunnel, which is frequently done right now anyway. It would require boots on the ground to monitor the area for evidence of tunnel activity, which would be the same as not having a fence, anyway.

    So, why spend who knows how many billions of dollars building a some big, offensive, "Great Fence of Mexico," anyway? A fence would need just as many boots on the ground as no fence at all. Ditto for cameras. So, why build a fence?

    October 17, 2011 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  5. Video Guy

    The possibility of this lady becoming POTUS is also a Joke and I am not laughing.

    October 17, 2011 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  6. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    To Michele, the border fence may not be a joke, but she sure is. Where is she getting the tax money to build her stairway to heaven?

    October 17, 2011 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  7. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Please go home Michele, there are a lot of right winguts in your district that need leadership.

    October 17, 2011 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  8. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Does this mean that freshman senator, anchor baby Marco Rubio will have to leave? Where will he go?

    October 17, 2011 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  9. Teabug

    With the zero tax plan, how are you going to pay for that?
    Way to take the crazy that Herb dropped and run with it.
    Why stop there; what's next? Can she promise us $1.25/barrel crude as Pres?

    October 17, 2011 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  10. Carl in Reality

    Another Christian – What am I to tell my children? Christians drooling at the torment of the less fortunate. CHRISTIANS

    October 17, 2011 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  11. vet in texas

    the only way Michele Bachmann and Herman Cain will ever get in the white house is if they played for the winner of the superbowl

    October 17, 2011 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  12. ja

    stop the stupid song and dance talk and talk about the employment across this country

    October 17, 2011 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  13. hondabear

    where is the money come from to pay for it? are you gonna raise taxes on the middle class and the poor, cause you sure as hell wont raise them on the rich!!! if they want in they will get in. both you and cain are off your rockers!!

    October 17, 2011 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  14. Kathleen Farrell

    And then we'll pray to God – and ignore the fact that people south of that fence are also God's creatures.

    October 17, 2011 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  15. The Real Tom Paine

    And how are we going to pay for this fence, madame? Will you convince the Koch heads it should be paid for?

    October 17, 2011 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  16. Kweg Yung

    But She Is...Corporate America's expansion into China was paid for by the American taxpayer. Bush's “tax cuts for the rich” policy helped to fund this transition. That's why no American jobs were created but a lot of Chinese jobs were. Republican politicians represent the corporate rich, the 'job creators'. When was the last time you saw a job created in the U.S.? The rich don't pay tax in this country and their corporations are physically based in communist China; where, by the way, SOCIALIZED healthcare and SOCIALIZED education are the norm and ALL the banks are state owned. These former American companies only pay tax in China, supporting a growing communist government and military. Republican politicians sold us (U.S.) out. These guys aren't batting for us (U.S.) anymore.

    October 17, 2011 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  17. FM

    I get confused by politicians. Is not Bachmann who is promoting to cut spending? Now she is encouraging to spend more. Which is which? Building a fence costs money.

    October 17, 2011 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  18. Cassandra Chu

    A big part of me WANTS to support Bachmann... but she's just too dang "Evangelical"...

    October 17, 2011 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  19. SR

    The fence is NOT a joke. Except to the people who simply back a truck up to it with ladders on top.

    October 17, 2011 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  20. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    The problem is that there are several factors in getting the boarder secured. A fence works, but people have been tunnelling under fences for a long time. The other factor is that a fence can be torn or destroyed in places. We are also not taking into account envirnomental factors which I am sure that conservatives will down play. Development of a way to have constant survallence via camera, people on the ground, planes and drones in the air and ways to detect tunnels must be done. The problem is that it is very costly and requires intensive technology that hasn't been fully proven just yet.

    October 17, 2011 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  21. Greg in Arkansas

    What's mines???

    October 17, 2011 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  22. Chuck

    How sad is it that as much of a joke Cain is, even the things HE jokes about are taken to heart by Bachmann?

    October 17, 2011 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  23. dontmesswithme

    Dont worry, you will never be president so no one cares how you will do it.

    October 17, 2011 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  24. 9-9-9 plan

    Michele Bachmann is always a day late. That stuff is already a day old. Nobody is interested in it anymore. But she still wants to rekindle the same old stuff agian and again. What a joke! No wonder why she is at the bottom of the national polls.

    October 17, 2011 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  25. Alan J

    We need a Fence to corral these nuts in the Republican race in, like Bachmann, Cain, Romney, Perry & Newt especially. These people are scary as hell. where did they grow up at, Iran or Cuba? Wake up sane minded Dems and Americans this is what they have to offer us as an alternative the our President!

    October 17, 2011 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
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