Bachmann targets 'frugal socialists' in Republican Party
November 7th, 2011
12:17 PM ET
10 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. Paul1st

    In our history we have tested the boundaries between the powers of the Federal government and the powers of State and local government. The term "frugal socialist" is clever. Will Bachmann embrace the Confederate political philosophy she is advocating?

    November 7, 2011 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  2. AlaskaPalin

    If we had listen to mccarty we would not have gotten into this (socialist) mess we are in today. Bachmann is authentic and so pro american (patriotic) it will be wise to listen to her. All this lady desires is to make regular americans lives safe and better. So why do liberals hate her so, is it because they have an opposite agenda for us?

    November 7, 2011 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  3. David

    How about Corporate Socialists, like Koch Brothers?

    November 7, 2011 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  4. thomas detroit

    When a politician truly wants to serve his/her people and shows actual care for their well-being, they are labeled socialists. If you are in an accident and not have insurance, where is her "governments role to protect from conception to death"?

    November 7, 2011 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  5. eric

    So, she is Pro-Life? Is she against the Death Penalty then? And if she really wants to protect life from conception to death, then she would seemingly want people to have access to Health Care, right? But we can't let caring for our citizens get in the way of our "Anti-Socialism Rallying Cry". It just doesn't make sense to me...

    November 7, 2011 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  6. gypsyswede

    Communism is a social, political and economic movement that aims at the establishment of a classless, moneyless and stateless communist society structured upon common ownership of the means of production. Sounds basically like the Republican platform: NO classes means no class warfare. The 1% have all the money, the other 99% have no money; that’s virtually moneyless. The Republicans want no government regulationswhich would leave us stateless. Uh huh, yea, go republicans.

    November 7, 2011 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  7. blackmamba503

    Definition of SOCIALISM
    1: any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods
    2a : a system of society or group living in which there is no private property b : a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state
    3: a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done

    Can she tell me which candidate has advocated for this?

    November 7, 2011 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  8. roscoe

    If there's one thing Michele knows, it's socialism. She's been enjoying it's benefits for years by taking government handouts and welfare for her family farm and her business. Both would fail without the socialist support.

    November 7, 2011 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  9. Amazed2

    MIchelle it's amazing you being on a socialized medical plan is fine but it's a sin for the rest of us........

    November 7, 2011 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  10. fred

    Health care costs are rising at double digits Mickey. I want out of OBCare too. So once repealed, what's your plan to reign in health care costs? Hello?............Hello, Ms. Bachmann?..........Are you there?..............

    November 7, 2011 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  11. jnpa

    What does Bachmann want for health care coverage? She is against Obamacare, Romney's health care coverage in MA, medicare, employer health care coverage....What does she think low income families are supposed to do for health care? Should they pay the same insurance premiums that she and other rich people pay? The ones who don't have health care are the ones who cannot afford health insurance. It is not cheap! It is also not cheap for some middle class families.

    November 7, 2011 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  12. sameeker

    The repugs like to throw the word socialist around like they do the word terrorist. They need to look at their corporate and trickle down policies to see where the real socialism lies.

    November 7, 2011 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  13. realist

    The US is already a socialist country. HALF pay zero fed income taxes but enjoy all of the benefits of society. For the half that pay taxes, it is a progessive income tax structure

    One out of six are on food stamps and millions more have free housing and healthcare.

    November 7, 2011 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  14. Soporifix

    It's extremely frightening that a person like her can attract enough of a constituency to get elected to high office. There are crazy people everywhere, but why would someone want one of them to represent him/her in Congress?

    November 7, 2011 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  15. CAL USA

    We must concede that she is right. With the exception of Santorum, she is the only candidate that qualifies as a full fledged religious fanatic. [ I suppose those two would constitute the Right Wing Dream ticket.] If your goal is to impose a Christian Taliban government on the US, Michelle is your man... excuse me woman. .

    November 7, 2011 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  16. Ed

    Let's see, she is trying by gain more support by moving even further to the extreme. Maybe she's only smart when set next to Sarah Palin. Elections are decided by the relative moderates in the middle. Bachmann needs to just give it up and get remind Romney, who is the only republican with a chance of beating Obama.

    November 7, 2011 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  17. Devon

    Look, I like a lot of what Ms. Bachman has to say, and I appreciate that she's had a consistent message during her campaign. But there is absolutely no way _NO WAY_ I am voting for a woman for president. Not now, not ever. I don't care how good of a platform she's running on. It's a man's job, and my vote will go to a man. Now, if she can get one of the more appropriate candidates to adopt some of her ideas, then she will have done a valuable service and I would encourage her to fulfill that role instead.

    November 7, 2011 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  18. juggernaut

    Bachman should look up the definition of socialism before she makes a fool of herself by misusing the term. So should the rest of the Republican candidates.

    November 7, 2011 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  19. JD

    I live in her congressional district. Trust me, America, she is a looney toon! If you don't trust me, do some research on the countless misrepresentations and outright lies she spews on a daily basis and form your own conclusions. Also, I would like to hear her explain how forcing a rape or incest victim to carry a resulting pregnancy to term is pro-life.

    November 7, 2011 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  20. Kevin

    Yeah Michelle, of course. The only hope for this country is that we continue to allow the wealthiest to accumulate more money through tax breaks. Also, we must deregulate everything, so businesses can have their way. The little guys? F 'em, their almost dead anyway. Great plan. What a bimbo.

    November 7, 2011 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  21. G D

    Any nation that keeps its poor fed, educated, and doesn't allow their people to die on the streets has a Socialist component. Why would that in any way be a bad thing or concept. The question really is about the levels of spending. Bachmann will bring us $2 gas through the "free market" & vast quantities of people to wash our windshields for 50c while we're there (unless we become one of them).

    November 7, 2011 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  22. cosmicsnoop

    I vote for the smartest person, period. The Repubs have not had the smartest person running for a VERY long time. How are you going to protect people's lives from conception to death by NOT guaranteeing health insurance? She can't answer that because all of her(and the others) ideas are not rational and usually contradict some other idea she had before. This is not a Theocracy and basing your governing on a religion that not everyone you represent shares, is completely arrogant. I'll stick with the smart guy.

    November 7, 2011 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  23. Judas

    "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.”

    Michele must be off her meds. This isn’t the usual conservative mantra. I know she and the other wingnuts are all foaming at the mouth at the thought of controlling / legislating women’s reproductive rights, since their schizophrenic philosophy compels them to protect the fetus at all cost and then to quickly wash their hands of any and all moral responsibility once that child enters the world. As for government protecting life until death, that’s hilarious. Ron Paul made it pretty clear that if a person is seriously ill and un-insured, well, that’s just too bad for them. Bachmann and the other freaks from the conservative sideshow are no different from Paul. It seems they get to decide who’s worthy of being protected.

    November 7, 2011 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  24. G D

    Any country that keeps its poor fed, educated, and keeps people from dying on the streets is Socialist to some degree. Is that really a bad thing? Don't we in USA take care of our own? Bachmann is pro-life, unless it comes to those that are actually already living. She would prefer a baby be born into poverty to then starve rather than the mother make a choice that is hers & her family's alone.

    November 7, 2011 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  25. tallone

    How can any person in effect say "let them suffer" or "let them die", on some primitive backward principle?
    I'm a Canadian and we have had "socialized" medicine since 1945, where medical care is available to all.
    It has it's problems like all systems, but no one is refused help.
    The U.S. is the world leader in many things, but not in health care, where politicians are willing to sacrifice millions of people.
    Someone please sanely and rationally explain this.
    Thank you.

    November 7, 2011 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
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