Bachmann targets 'frugal socialists' in Republican Party
November 7th, 2011
12:17 PM ET
11 years ago

Bachmann targets 'frugal socialists' in Republican Party

Washington (CNN) - Seeking to recover her once-impressive standing in the polls, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann on Monday continued to position herself as the most conservative candidate in the Republican presidential race.

Speaking to about 50 Republicans and more than a dozen reporters at the socially conservative Family Research Council in Washington, Bachmann targeted unnamed GOP opponents in terms she usually reserves for Democrats.

"Unfortunately for too many Republicans, they also aspire to be frugal socialists," she said, apparently targeting GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney. "The reason President Obama and some Republicans can get behind socialized medicine is because they share the same core political philosophy about the purpose of government."

"We cannot preserve liberty for ourselves and our posterity if the choice in next November is between a frugal socialist and an out-of-control socialist," she added, the latter phrase a reference to Obama.

Bachmann called for a full repeal of Obama's health care reform law and claimed that Romney and Texas Gov. Rick Perry do not understand how to roll back the legislation.

Romney says he will grant waivers to states wanting to opt out of the law, while Perry says that he would overturn the law by executive order. Bachmann called both plans naive and said a "full scale repeal" of the law can only happen through Congressional action.

On a host of issues abortion, taxes, same-sex marriage, foreign aid and the federal judiciary Bachmann portrayed herself as "the candidate you can trust in office."

Bachmann is eager for a second look, especially in the must-win caucus state of Iowa, from the social conservatives and tea party activists who fled her campaign in September and moved to Perry, businessman Herman Cain or former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

After winning the closely watched Ames Straw Poll in August, Bachmann sunk in the polls when Perry joined the race and captured the imagination of Republican primary voters. After Perry's similar collapse a month later, Cain moved into the void and soared to the top of the polls.

And with Cain now facing allegations of sexual harassment, Bachmann is trying to remind conservatives of her consistently conservative bona fides and full-throated opposition to all-things-Obama.

Bachmann is mired around 3% in national GOP polls, although her numbers are slightly higher in Iowa, where she is staking her campaign.

"This election season has been full of surprises," Bachmann said. "I can assure you there are no policy surprises with me. I am far from a perfect person, as all of you know too well, but I know who I am and I will never deviate from the principles that I have fought for all of my life."

She drew one of the sharpest lines in the sand on the matter of abortion, appearing to jab Romney and Cain, both of whom have faced questions about their pro-life principles.

Cain recently said that women and families should be able to choose abortion in cases of rape and incest, remarks that drew swift criticism from staunch abortion rights foes. Romney, meanwhile, said that abortion should be "safe and legal" when he ran against Ted Kennedy for the U.S. Senate in Massachusetts in 2004, but he has since moved to the right on the issue.

"I am both personally and publicly pro-life and our candidate has to do more than just check the box on the issues of life," Bachmann said. "They have to have a proven record on standing up for life. I believe it is the role of government to protect life from conception to death. I'll never be confused about that issue and you won't find YouTube clips with me advocating anything else."

Filed under: 2012 • GOP • Michele Bachmann • Mitt Romney • Rick Perry
soundoff (121 Responses)
  1. Disgusted

    These republicans ALL make me sick. Portraying any care measure for another individual as socialism. Does she know that all other civilized countries in the world have already passed universal health care–and have not dissolved into communism.

    I wish somebody would ask Michelle what would be her plan for somebody too ill to work? too retarded? Deny care and let them die? Or, hurry the process and put them down?

    November 8, 2011 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  2. R

    As a lifelong republican who was active in party long before Michelle's indoctrination at Oral Roberts University, she is an offensive Fascist playing on falsehoods and promoting a witch hunt mentality. Those of us that believe in personal freedom, freedom of thought, freedom to practice or not practice a faith, respect of fellow human beings and uplifting our society with opportunity, education and a TRUE Christian view of protecting the downtrodden, see you for the baffoon you really are....hence the poor ratings you so rightfully deserve. I don't doubt that you are intelligent....I just don't like you. You represent the worst in our society...cold, heartless and unforgiving. Christian? NOT IN MY BOOK and I expect that 97% of the republican electorate sees you as the opportunist you really are. Shame on you for using your misguided faith as a platform to attempt to control the destiny of free men, women and children in this country. Me, Socialist..Hardly...Constitutionalist...definitely! Power to the 99%

    November 8, 2011 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  3. Annie, Atlanta

    It's only socialism if it goes to someone other than her or her's. Isn't Medicaid helping to fund her husband's clinic? What does she think that is? The hypocrisy is stunning, and frankly I'm sick of it.

    November 8, 2011 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  4. Independent In Albany

    Those who levey charges of socialism to the right should hold themselves to the same standard and recognize their quasi-fascist leanings

    November 8, 2011 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  5. The Real Tom Paine

    Fair is Fair, social conservatives have been against birth control, family planning, and sex education, so I would suggest you talk to some of your fellow travelers to enlighten them. I agree with your sentiments ( oddly enough) but with Tony Perkins and others cluttering up the landscape with their obcession with sex, you've got your work cut out for you.

    November 8, 2011 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  6. Ed

    "Clearly Bachmann doesn't understand the term socialism"

    Oh, there's a lot more than "socialism" that she doesn't understand.

    November 8, 2011 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  7. Bachmaniac

    Living in the state of MN, I find it interesting how the "socialism-is-the-root-of-all-evil" rhetoric constantly coming from this inflammatory ignoramus always avoids that fact that she has received farm subsidies for years from the government!

    Someone needs to tell this dolt that TOO BIG TO FAIL IS CORPORATE SOCIALISM!!!!!

    November 8, 2011 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  8. Paul Hogue

    She actually said "...I believe it is the role of government to protect life from conception to death. I'll never be confused about that issue and you won't find YouTube clips with me advocating anything else." At the same time, she accuses anyone who advocates any involvement of the government in insuring health care for those citizens of being socialists. I guess that government role only applies only to conception and death, and nothing in-between.

    November 8, 2011 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  9. Fiery Buddha

    i'm SOOOOOOOOOO tired of gop'ers using "socialist" 1) as an insult and 2) in an inappropriate context. they all need to go back to school and understand the different forms of governance. what they call democracy i call oligarchy.

    November 8, 2011 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  10. Daren

    CNN why are wasting time on writing articles on Bachmann when she has zero chance of winning and then you have Ron Paul that actually does have a chance at the GOP nomination and yet he is totally sidelined.

    November 8, 2011 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  11. jackie

    What????? You're STILL here?

    November 8, 2011 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  12. Knucklehead

    Can we just end the hard headed dogmatism and find a solution? We need a creative mix of capitalism and socialism...either one by itself doesn't work...

    November 8, 2011 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  13. seriously226

    Well...if she does win the republican candidacy, its another guaranteed second term for Obama. Right now, he's the best candidate – GOP needs to step up a bit and find someone who the REST of the country will elect if they want the office back.

    November 8, 2011 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  14. Knucklehead

    Capitalism as originally conceived doesn't take into account the current complex, interconnected state of the world. Unbridled capitalism doesn't work. And why is it capital can move freely across borders but labor cannot? That is why it's a rigged game...

    November 8, 2011 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  15. Man DeLorean

    Of course Bachmann is using the current definition of socialist, which basically is "everybody else out there but me." The term no longer has any real meaning, thanks to talk radio and the Tea Party. Let me give you another word - "hypocrite: one whose actions belie their words," as for example, someone who wants to abolish "government health care" while at the same time taking in 23 foster children whose health care was provided by the state.

    November 8, 2011 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  16. Jack

    This is why this conservative will not be voting for a republican again this year. No solution, just name calling!

    November 8, 2011 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  17. george of the jungle

    the repos once again eat their own. If this keeps up they won't have any candidate to run. Just as well OBAMA BIDDEN 2012

    November 8, 2011 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  18. Robert80

    "They have to have a proven record on standing up for life. I believe it is the role of government to protect life from conception to death..." –Bachmann

    Didn't she also say that the other "frugal socialists" (republicans) and "out of control socialists" (Obama) have the wrong/same political philosophy?

    "The reason President Obama and some Republicans can get behind socialized medicine is because they share the same core political philosophy about the purpose of government."–Bachmann

    Isn't socialized medicine the governments attempt at playing "the role" of "protecting life from conception to death?"

    I believe she is confused...either she is not very intelligent/savvy, conflicted, or duplicitous. Either way, she claims to be for freedom and liberty but wants government to legislate morality/ethics, and how we all should conduct our lives.

    November 8, 2011 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  19. Ernie

    We"re so tired of hearing the ridiculous positions taken by Bachmann on virtually all issues in which compassion, kindness, tolerance and generosity should be major concerns, . It won't be long until she is publicly silenced by thinking people, and returns to Minnesota in time to lose her next congressional election. The nonsense of all the Republican candidates seeking the nomination is nauseating. Anyway, Preaident Obama will beat whomever they select.

    November 8, 2011 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  20. comm0nsense

    Say she wins the primary, is she going to change her position later on to gain the votes of non-hardcore-t-party lunatics to win the general election or she really believes this nonsense will work with us all?

    November 8, 2011 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  21. keeth in cali

    She pays lip service to Ronald Reagan and yet the "socialist" Earned Income Tax Credit was greatly expanded under him. He also raised taxes several times. Bachmann spouts buzz words without fully understanding what she's saying.

    November 8, 2011 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
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