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. Thad

    If the wealthy and the well off get tax breaks and subsides to continue to make record profits and hire noone or lays off thousands to increase theirprofit margins. This country will become aa socialist state because the people will overthrow the capitalist power system and replace it with a more humanitarian way to run a nation insttead of the greed and unethical way we run this country. People will get tired of these corporate power buying politicans and funding fake political movements like the tea party. Just like the wizaard of oz there is a coward behind the curtain

    November 8, 2011 01:56 am at 1:56 am |
  2. David ben Avraham

    Well, well. If government's role is to protect life from conception until death, then she'd damned well better change her tune about universal health care. Would she want to have the weight of millions of unnecessary deaths on her conscience just because people who can't afford health insurance are dying for lack of medication and medical care? Think about it, Michelle – you've opened up a can of worms for yourself with this one!

    November 8, 2011 01:56 am at 1:56 am |
  3. Concerned American Citizen

    Funny how Michelle Bachmann is all for less government interference in the private lives of Americans unless it deals with some religious issue she is personally against. Then it is OK for the government to interfere. Bachman stated 'I believe it is the role of government to protect life from conception to death.' on one hand but wants to do away with the Earned Income Tax Credit. Someone who only makes $20,000 a year should be able to somehow find a way to pay something to the Federal Government, according to her. She wants the federal government to get out of the way of businesses doing business but wants the federal government to dictate how the RELIGIOUS institution of marriage is defined. Shouldn't the religious institution of marriage be defined and handled by churches instead government?

    November 8, 2011 02:05 am at 2:05 am |
  4. Mike

    As of January 2010, the annual salary for a Representative in Congress was $174,000. There is an automatic cost of living increase each year unless Congress votes to decline it. If they serve 5 years in office they qualify for lifetime benefits that includes a pension, health care and social security.
    The very idea of any member of Congress calling anyone a Socialist is disengenuous at best. The health care debate was truly disgusting when you consider members of Congress sought and are still seeking to deny their constituates benefits they themselves enjoy.
    OWS may not have a clear message but that's because they are not run like a campaign and don't have millions of dollars annoymously donated to their SuperPac via a 501c annonymous shell corporation to take out tv ads to get their message out.
    Maybe all they want is the same thing these members of Congress already enjoy, financial security for the later stage of life and affordable health care. If that is going to happen then we need them to stop being part of the problem and start providing some solutions to get job creation going again. Isn't that what we have been asking them to do for four years now?

    November 8, 2011 05:39 am at 5:39 am |
  5. Ralph_Indy

    How many Republicans use liberal, socialist and communist as if they meant the same thing? Its as if I said that conservative and facist meant the same thing.

    November 8, 2011 05:41 am at 5:41 am |
  6. Cuthbert

    Heh. Wow.

    50 people and a dozen(ish) reporters?

    Great turnout, Michelle.

    (I do have to admit that there might be some sort of legit reason for those numbers to be that low. Like if they had the meeting in a Burger King bathroom.

    November 8, 2011 06:47 am at 6:47 am |
  7. brian

    This woman would have to have had some legislation passed in order to know how to roll it

    November 8, 2011 07:08 am at 7:08 am |
  8. Kay

    Hmmm...look at what she (and other Republicans) say about "life" – She said, "I believe it is the role of government to protect life from conception to death." Well yeah, unless a) it's the government (local or Federal) executing people, or b) the Feds sending our young off to an unjustified war (like Iraq) to kill others, then they're all gung-ho for it. Hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis over the last 7+ years doesn't seem to phase her/them.

    Tony nailed it that all insurance is a form of 'socialism', Bachmann obviously doesn't get that either.

    Yeah – these Republicans are so dead set against any form of 'socialism' until and unless it's the kind of socialism that hands out subsidies to corporations or bail outs to banksters and Wall Street.

    Let's see, preaching one thing while practicing another is called what, hypocrisy?

    November 8, 2011 07:13 am at 7:13 am |
  9. Annie, Atlanta

    AlaskaPalin, read David and thomas detroit's comments just below yours. Covering Wall Street's losses while they kept their winnings is Socialism. How about the money we give to big oil, and the big corporations? Those of us in the middle and lower classes are funding millionaires and billionaires, and that's ok with you. But give the elderly the money they paid all their lives, or take care of the least among us, and that's wrong? Those are some unbelievable values there honey.

    November 8, 2011 07:47 am at 7:47 am |
  10. Yo

    I laugh every time I hear one of these Republican tea partiers call someone a socialist. This lady is in Congress.... does she not have government health insurance? What about the socialism that's alive and well in our country- CORPORATE socialism? In my opinion these people help the socialist cause because the more they go around trying to denounce everyone as a "socialist" simply because they disagree with them, more and more people will realize was socialism is, and how it isn't this apocalyptic end-of-the-world system.

    November 8, 2011 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  11. Norm

    "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."

    No Michelle..... The real reason is because they share the same special interest money that owns our government.
    Just like you. They have money masters they need to be accountable to.

    November 8, 2011 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  12. Shawn in MD

    "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."

    Er... um how about them jobs Michele???

    November 8, 2011 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  13. My Name is "Bubba"

    How about jobs? Eh? Posture all you want in the bathroom; but out here in the real world – real people are REALLY suffering.

    November 8, 2011 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  14. Derek

    Using the label socialists the same way that they used communist in the 50's just annoys me. Every successful 1st world country in the world, including the US, has a mix of socialism and capitalism. Either one on it's own is dangerous. The US has many socialistic policies that few American's would accept being cut.

    Capitalism is the fire dept watching a house burn down because the owner 'forgot' to pay the annual dues and his neighbor having the fire dept wet his house down to stop the fire spreading since he had paid. Is this what people want? laying dying on the side of the road and ems not helping because you have not paid any taxes or your annual dues?

    November 8, 2011 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  15. Fair is Fair

    "That's right, missy, bring them in to the world so they can starve or serve in wars."
    How about Option 3 – it's called BIRTH CONTROL. It's simple, safe, and effective 99.99% of the time. In my heart of hearts, I think conservatives, myself certainly included, would be thrilled to see 99.99% of the unwanted pregnancys prevented were birth control utilized. Granted, not all abortions are a result of failure to use birth control. We all know that. But please – to have the mindset of "it can't happen to me" when you look around at a world populated by almost 7 billion is totally preposterous.

    November 8, 2011 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  16. Jake

    Bachman says she "believes it is the role of government to protect life from conception to death. In that case, how can she and other pro-life advocates condemn socialized medicine which by its very definition is governmental
    protection of life?

    November 8, 2011 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  17. rizzo

    Yes, we must rid ourselves of our socialist institutions! So no more fire or police departments and no more road repairs! I'm sure the free market will take care of stopping crime and will put out houses that catch on fire!

    November 8, 2011 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  18. John

    Michele Bachmann know she can;t get gas prices down to two dollars a gallon because the President doesn't have any control over gas prices so she just lying about that. And she all about Corporate Socialists because she back by the Tea Party and that mean she work for the Koch's Brother. Michele Bachmann Is just to dumb to know when she done.

    November 8, 2011 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  19. PullenSeeker

    Wire Palladin, S.F. got it right! Who wants a president who doesn't have the ability to recognize socialism? We need a need more influence of Walter Rauschenbusch style socialism.

    November 8, 2011 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  20. Jay

    got to love politicians like this one – drop in the poles – start brainstorming – mmm what can I do – I know I will make an outrageous claim about another person and that will propel me back to the top – yeah thats the ticket and the faithful sheep will buy into it – the truth doesn't get you anywhere only scandal & innuendo! The ultimate punchline on all of this is the fact that after all these "Repubs" get done beating each other up – attacking – denouncing the other guy's plan as the Shinola that it is – – they will all rally behind the annointed ONE when he goes up against Obama in the election – & suddenly the annointed ONE's idea will be like God giving Moses the 10 Commandments – and Obama will be the devil! AND Yes if the Repub was in office the same would be going on by the Demos! We need a new system and we need it soon if this country is to be saved!

    November 8, 2011 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  21. felix

    Clearly Bachmann doesn't understand the term socialism.

    November 8, 2011 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  22. Sick

    Wait for it... wait for it... Just when she starts to hear backlash, she'll say that she heard it from someone else and she was just repeating it. I'm just waiting for her to bring back McCarthyism. You know, being in politics used to be a revered and admirable position.

    November 8, 2011 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  23. umm yeh

    its the "governments role to protect life from conception to death".... please.... so where does her government stand on health care ? A basic human need.

    November 8, 2011 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  24. Anti Theocrat

    Stunning incredulous incompetent hypocrisy. Bachmann has done NOTHING for MN06. Bachmann has never had a paycheck that wasn't a gummermint paycheck and even her "tax collector" IRS career was largely maternity leave while her inheritance rich Wisconsin family collects farm subsidies for not planting with YOUR tax dollars.
    Could there be anything less mainstream than sucking up to the Family Research Council & Tony Perkins???
    God is supposed to tell you to run FROM these people, not to them.
    Much more at dumpbachmann dot com

    November 8, 2011 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  25. Fun2beme

    I turn off the lights when I’m not in a room to conserve energy. I lower my thermostat to conserve on my gas bill. I drive the speed limit to conserve on paying higher gasoline prices. I even recycle aluminum and plastics to conserve the environment. I must be a frugal conservative. I am the new and improved Republican. Not.

    November 8, 2011 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
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