Bachmann's history lesson for Obama
October 28th, 2011
06:36 PM ET
10 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. PizzaMan

    And when a madwoman speaks you should just ignore her and let her go back to her cats (or Minnesota).

    October 28, 2011 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  2. Mike Dallas

    Good campaign strategy, I am now irrelevant, so I will just scream louder.

    October 28, 2011 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  3. Karl Jonas

    Then why doesn't the lovely Michele trash GW Bush. He's the one who signed the agreement withdrawing all troops from Iraq by the end of 2011. Obama is implementing the US's responsibilities.

    but the facts never stopped her before, so why now.

    October 28, 2011 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  4. IVOTE

    Note To Michele Bauchman from the Tea Party.........It's time to GO.

    October 28, 2011 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  5. works4me

    We should listen to what the mad woman is saying as well. She's bonkers..

    October 28, 2011 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  6. blade3colorado

    Bachmann can't even manage her own campaign, e.g., recent NH staff defections, Ed Rollins as campaign manager, quotation gaffes, etc., so tell me why this wing nut imbecile is qualified to be President?

    October 28, 2011 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  7. Thunder

    Nice 'own goal' there, Michele. If you're going tn keep bringing up Ronald Reagan, you might want to know what his administration actually did.

    October 28, 2011 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  8. steven harnack

    Well right now a madwoman is talking and we DO hear what she is saying. I think that fact checker would find that everything she said there is false.

    October 28, 2011 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  9. If I had a penny for every stupid Republican I'd be rich!

    This woman get more desperate and loony everyday. Go chomp another Iowa hot dog, it's about the only thing you seem to be good at.

    October 28, 2011 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  10. ThinkAgain

    Here's a history lesson for Bachmann: All US Forces are mandated to withdraw from Iraqi territory by December 31, 2011, under the terms of a bilateral agreement signed in 2008 ... by GW Bush.

    October 28, 2011 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  11. silmon

    plz read facts b 4 spkn, what's her problem

    October 28, 2011 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  12. RKN

    Didn't the GOP complain that President Obama had failed to get us out of the failed mess that Mr Bush started?
    Now Ms Bachman complains about a rule from Mr Reagan's administration – blaming it on President Obama.
    I would not be surprised if she eventually blames President Obama for the Russian Revolution, World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam. She is the one in need of a history lesson.

    October 28, 2011 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  13. Benjamin D. Crews

    When a mad woman speaks, just laugh and move on. The only audience that gives Michelle an applause is when Tea Party members are present. Is she that dumb not to realize that she's not going to be nominated? Or does she just simply enjoy being a part of the process?

    October 28, 2011 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  14. Chaz

    A history lesson from Bachman is like getting abstinence advice from Bristol Palin.

    October 28, 2011 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  15. Mani

    Bachman, oh no, you forgot your sleeping pills again.

    October 28, 2011 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  16. MaxNatoma

    And when a madwoman speaks, you should listen too....and vote her out of office! When will the 6th District in Minnesota wake up?

    October 28, 2011 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  17. giveitup

    Got a history lesson for you Michele...YOU ARE HISTORY! silly twit

    October 28, 2011 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  18. Dalfrom CA

    I have my ears open right now listening to a MADPERSON. Keep shouting your supporters (Tea party) has already asked you to drop out. Your employees are jumping ship. What does that point to?
    Looks like you will be declaring soon that you are going back to the House to write some laws rather than running for the POTUS position.

    October 28, 2011 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  19. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Yet President Obama has a higher approval rating in Israel than Netanyahu. A policy that has been in place since 1987 is Michele's worry? Could this be the same policy that prevented Cheney/Bush from disclosing their energy meetings?

    October 28, 2011 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  20. Kenny

    This woman must be the Ferternal Twin to Sarah Palin. She is at least as dumb as Palin.

    October 28, 2011 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  21. Arch

    that's rich – Americ's dumbest pol pontificating on . . . anything. everytime she opens her mouth, her audience loses 10 iq points.

    October 28, 2011 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  22. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Please go home Micjhele. It is over, but your attempts to demonize the president will forever live in your own family scrapbook. Please go home before you hurt someone.

    October 28, 2011 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  23. jamison

    If it was up to Bachman and the rest of the GOP America would be in an endless war all the time, somewhere on the planet. Its about time we stopped being the worlds cop and tend to our own problems here at home. Every time Bachman opens her mouth she sounds more and more like that other moronic women we all are trying to forget.

    October 28, 2011 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  24. TXJew

    All very informative, except –
    * Evading the FOA is just following the course set by GOp administrations
    * Obama has been tougher on Iran than any prior administration, squeezing them with more sanctions
    * The IDF Chief of Staff (who doesn't have to play to a base) calls the cooperation between US and Is stronger than its ever been
    * Rep. Bachmann wouldn't know the history of Iran if Jesus handed it to her wrapped int he Federalist Papers said, "Read this."

    October 28, 2011 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  25. Slightly Left of Center

    Like Sour Palin, Michele Bawk-bawk-bawkmann is grasping at bendy straws in an embarrassing attempt to seem relevant.

    October 28, 2011 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
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