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. David

    Again Michelle bachman makes a fool out herself. maybe she go back and read her history books. Also, even Bush was trying to figure out how to get our troops home from a war that should never happened. Please Michelle go back to your state and never leave.

    October 29, 2011 02:02 am at 2:02 am |
  2. kevin

    Michelle, please. Enough is enough. Go home. Go somewhere. Just go.

    October 29, 2011 02:17 am at 2:17 am |
  3. Mr. Dru

    Your staff quit. When will you....Disappear???


    October 29, 2011 02:25 am at 2:25 am |
  4. vernelle burkins

    And have u heard when a crazy woman speaks every one should listen. do what the tea party said drop out now!

    October 29, 2011 02:50 am at 2:50 am |
  5. thomas

    She doesn't look good ! She needs to sleep with out the use of headache medication .

    Bachmann looks like Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard !

    October 29, 2011 03:06 am at 3:06 am |
  6. Slash

    If she doesn't like the idea of Iran entering the power vacuum in Iraq, then maybe she should criticize the idiot who started the war in the first place. Not Obama's fault that Bush left him in such a no-win situation.

    October 29, 2011 04:19 am at 4:19 am |
  7. Donkey Party

    Oh STFU already you dingbat word that rhymes with "punt". She must have overdosed on HPV vaccinations to reach her level of retardation.

    October 29, 2011 05:13 am at 5:13 am |
  8. PRADS

    Why should a nation listen to a woman who uses fedral money to run anti-gay camp and then goes about saying that fedral govt should cut spending ???

    October 29, 2011 05:21 am at 5:21 am |

    Keep talking Michelle. The teabaggers want you gone.

    October 29, 2011 06:11 am at 6:11 am |
  10. ARTRaveler

    It seems that Bachman is an bad on history as she has been shown to be on facts:

    1. A REPUBLICAN AG proposed the change in FOI.

    2. A REPUBLICAN president (remember President George W Bush of the unpaid for wars?) sigbned a TREATY with Iraq to remove all troops by 12/31/2011. Forget another fact?

    Oh well, just keep making up stuff to show how smart you, and most of the Tea Party, are. I thought the people of Minn. were smarter than apparently they are in her district to keep sending her back.

    October 29, 2011 07:03 am at 7:03 am |
  11. Hank

    Of course Bachmann thinks we should listen to madmen. Why else would anyone listen to her?

    October 29, 2011 07:13 am at 7:13 am |
  12. bill

    Another day another half truth from Bachmann. She should just go away.

    October 29, 2011 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  13. mark

    she wants to be dominated . by the rest of the candidates

    October 29, 2011 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  14. K Noel

    ***"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.****
    What does this even mean – or worst yet, does it mean what I think it means? Please tell me this quote was taken out of context.

    October 29, 2011 08:03 am at 8:03 am |
  15. T'sah from Virginia

    CNN – did you FACT CHECK this????? You need to fact check everything Bachmann says. She stretches the truth and her brain – just like Palin's – also says, 'What tapes? We don't know about any tapes. They don't exist.'" – Just like their minds- it does not exist!!!

    Obama 2012

    October 29, 2011 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  16. bob lloyd

    Bachmann has got to be one of the dumbest broads ever, she is even stupider then Palin and that’s saying a lot. Someone please stick something in her big mouth and keep her quite. What an embarrassment she is.

    October 29, 2011 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  17. a in austin

    Ask Perry about the Freedom of Information act. He blocks it any way he can – and then charges people out the wazoo for information.

    October 29, 2011 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  18. diridi

    I do not care for all this BS, I am voting for Obama2012.

    October 29, 2011 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  19. FBMarky

    "when a mad man speaks you should listen to what that mad man is saying"

    Or a mad woman?

    October 29, 2011 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  20. The Greedy Old Pigs have lost their minds!

    Michele just loves to prove her ignorance repeatedly (sort of like the extreme rightwing trolls here on CNN). When will she attack GWB for agreeing with Iraq that US troops would have to leave at the end of this year if no additional agreements could be reached. Those who know history know that is exactly what happens. It wasn't President Obama's decision to make, it was Iraq's. He couldn't force them to sign a new agreement.

    October 29, 2011 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  21. A callahan

    There was a letter of understanding between George bush and the iraqui government which required the us to withdraw troop by end of 2011. This is not an obama whim. An attempt was made to alter the terms of this agreement which for a number of reasons was not fruitful. Bachman should know this, as should everyone else who expresses opinions on this matter. Look it up!!!!

    October 29, 2011 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  22. Video Guy

    I'm glad she reminded us of Richard Nixon. Yet another reason to keep the Republicans out of the White House.

    October 29, 2011 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  23. Dr. Ruth

    oh nno another moronic statement fro her..

    She should remember that was Regan tha sold Missile technology to Iran, Regan and Oliver North exchanged the techonolgy for money that was used to finance the Contras in Nicaragua. aparently she desn't aknoldge the blunders of her part commitad on the name of freedom.. Please note that happened no longer after the Hostages were freed in 1980.

    October 29, 2011 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  24. Jersey Bob

    Bachmann giving a history lesson to Obama is like Sanatorium giving a theology lesson to Billy Graham. Oh.... wait.....

    October 29, 2011 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  25. Indy

    She is a mad, mad lady that has nothing in her pocket but lies and distortion. Bachmann fails to see that people want to hear about fixing the economy with clear and acheivable check points, not the $2.00 gas guarantee. Bachmann seriously needs medical help and an intervention right now, today !

    October 29, 2011 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
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