Bachmann's history lesson for Obama
October 28th, 2011
06:36 PM ET
11 years ago

Bachmann's history lesson for Obama

Davenport, Iowa (CNN) - At a Friday campaign event in Iowa, Michele Bachmann detailed two of her biggest issues with the Obama administration.

To make her point, the Minnesota congresswoman stated that a proposed rule change by the Justice Department would have kept the Watergate tapes from being disclosed. She also said that President Obama has not heeded the warnings of history in his dealings with Iran and by the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.

The Minnesota congresswoman spoke at length at a town hall in Davenport, launching familiar missiles against the administration's economic and foreign policies.

And yet it appears Bachmann could be expanding her arsenal of verbal attacks against the president to help her standing with conservatives. The Minnesota congresswoman is currently sagging in several national and state polls, her campaign has been criticized by former staffers who've bolted, and Bachmann is being urged to drop of out the race by one influential tea party sponsor.

During the town hall, Bachmann waded into the controversy surrounding a proposed Justice Department rule change regarding Freedom of Information requests.

"Right now, there's a rule that the Obama administration is pushing so we can no longer have Freedom of Information Act requests. The government would be allowed under this rule to say that documents don't exist, when they do," Bachmann said.

"Well, think back with me: anyone remember Richard Nixon? Anyone remember Watergate? Under this rule, that President Obama is proposing, the Nixon administration could say, 'What tapes? We don't know about any tapes. They don't exist.'"

Bachmann did not provide the audience with the context behind the proposed rule change, however. The Justice Department has pointed out the issue is not a new one - it has been policy since 1987. Then, Attorney General Ed Meese first explained, in a memo to the Department, why there are times when denying the existence of particularly sensitive information is the best alternative. It refers to three types of instances –records on informants, matters involving sensitive national security investigations, and ongoing criminal investigations - where the target has no knowledge they are under investigation.

At another point during the event, Bachmann reiterated her dismay over the president's dealings with Israel, accusing administration policies of putting "daylight" between the United States and its long time ally.
She continued to decry the president's decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq.

"Iran is waiting in the wings to come in and dominate that area and have the influence in Iraq," the candidate said.

Bachmann continued: "The reason why I brought that up is because Iran is the main centerpiece of Middle East problems - because Iran seeks a nuclear weapon. Why? They seek it to wipe Israel off the face of the earth. Just as recently as September, [Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad the President of Iran, said that they will use that weapon to eradicate Israel."

"Now I think that history has shown us, go back to the 1940s and the late 1930s, when a mad man speaks you should listen to what that mad man is saying," Bachmann added.

–CNN Justice Producer Terry Frieden contributed to this report

Filed under: 2012 • Michele Bachmann
soundoff (106 Responses)
  1. FIELD1stSGT

    He doesn't have enough sense to heed any warnings. or this is exactly what he wants to happen. The destruction of America as we know it. I think this exactly fits the sorry man and his first lady.

    October 29, 2011 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  2. Sorensen

    Who would like this little, low-level IRS employee to define the foreign policy?

    October 29, 2011 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  3. Reggie from LA

    Oh yeah, I'd vote for her...NOT!! Get a gander at that picture. NOT HER LOOKS, but the LOOK SHE'S GIVING. Too much has been made of candidates natural or dress appearances. We really shouldn't dwell on that so much as the character they exude and brother, Michelle Bachmann is a character!. Just ask those 5 bailouts that left her campaign. WHEW!!

    October 29, 2011 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  4. Justaminit

    Gee distorting something for her own purposes, who would have thought it? The dying gasps of a fringe candidate with wacko ideas. All of her supporters should be embarrassed, but I don't think they have enough sense to realize why.

    October 29, 2011 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  5. Chuk

    And when a ignorant mad woman speaks, we should promptly ignore her. Which is why Bachmann has been falling fast in the polls.

    October 29, 2011 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  6. Marie MD

    OMG!!! Can't someone ask her how she knows about this? Where is the proof? What planet she was born in? Why can't/won't they take her back?
    This is what is going on. The idiots who follow these clowns don't want to learn the truth. They hear all this nonsense and they believe everything they are telling them. Americans are the least educated people in the world when it comes to politics and, sadly, anything else it seems right now.

    October 29, 2011 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
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