Bachmann labels Gingrich 'memory challenged'
December 16th, 2011
05:00 PM ET
11 years ago

Bachmann labels Gingrich 'memory challenged'

(CNN) – Michele Bachmann accused fellow GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich of talking down to her at the debate Thursday night, saying the former House speaker is "memory challenged."

"Well, frankly, I thought that it was outrageous and insulting, the way that he seemed to treat me like I was a student and I'm not. I'm a serious candidate for president of the United States and I had my facts right and he has said this repeatedly and he's just not true," Bachmann said on CNN's "The Situation Room" Friday. "He's memory challenged."

The Minnesota congresswoman said she does not know if his comments stemmed from her gender, but said they were "condescending" and not befitting a fellow candidate.

During an interaction over their stances on abortion during Thursday's debate, Gingrich told Bachmann she sometimes "doesn't get her facts very accurate," a sentiment over which Bachmann disagreed.

She also told CNN's Wolf Blitzer that she was "disappointed" South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley formally backed rival Mitt Romney Friday, before adding that she greatly respects the first-term governor. Bachmann met with Haley at her home in South Carolina ahead of the endorsement.

But even without her support, Bachmann said she is confident she will prove victorious in the Palmetto State, which hosts the first-in-the-South primary contest.

"We think with the cannon shot we're going to get out of Iowa that we'll do very well in South Carolina," Bachmann said.

If she were president and a U.S. drone crashed in Iran, as one did last week, Bachmann said she would "seek to obtain that drone." However, she would not provide further details because "it's not prudent to say as a president what I would do ahead of time."

"I wouldn't be ever communicating to the enemy what my intents will be and what level of force I would use, only to send the signal: Don't try it," Bachmann said. "If I'm president of the United States, don't even bother trying."

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Filed under: 2012 • Michele Bachmann • TV-The Situation Room
soundoff (76 Responses)
  1. ThinkAgain

    The proper term is "liar."

    December 16, 2011 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |

    Ron Paul 2012. The only other candidate I'd consider is Huntsman.

    December 16, 2011 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  3. MAO

    If only she would be "cannon shot" in Iowa. It's really time to lay off the catnip Bachmann.

    December 16, 2011 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  4. kevinco1

    This is great. Gingrich does not believe in people who exist, (Palestinians), and Romney believes in people who never existed, (Nephites, Lamanites ).

    December 16, 2011 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  5. Sock from TX

    Oh, but "memory challenged" is much more politically correct. Why use a single word when a whole paragraph will suffice. This GOP circus has been the most amusing "non event" since pre-Reagan days.. LOL

    December 16, 2011 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  6. Jason


    Heil Bachman. My mother bachman says that some scores with high school friends need settled. My bachman gave me my fresh gown and morning medicine so that I am better able to listen and behave by her. My bachman said if you can win, you need not go through the motions of winning, for if you were born an elite breed, that world domination and oppression is accepted. The orderly just opened the drapes and I can see Texas through the bars. Ron Paul lives in Texas… It's so cold here.

    December 16, 2011 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  7. RINO Bil

    It strikes me that Michele Bachmann is either honesty-challenged or facts-challenged ... like most Republican lawmakers.

    December 16, 2011 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  8. Mike

    She’s certainly gotta do better than that if she wants to bring down Gingrich. she needs to hit him in his policies, he came off as smart and won Cains supporters, if she wants to beat him back she’s gotta come off as smarter.

    December 16, 2011 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  9. T'sah from Virginia

    Bachmann, you said some pretty "out of the world" stuff in the past too... Did you grow and change your ways?? You are NOT going to be president of these United States.................PERIOD!!! You ONLY represent the far-RIGHT and this country is more liberal than you think. You offer me nothing in the way of POLICIES or BELIEFS, so why would I vote for you?

    Obama 2012

    December 16, 2011 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  10. JIC

    Everyone allows Bachman to get away with making comments giving no specifics on all issues, thus having no substance in her comments, really poor showings in all debates

    December 16, 2011 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  11. mk1

    Well, Bachmann is simply challenged in every respect. There is not a single redeeming quality about this woman.

    December 16, 2011 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  12. Sniffit

    Really? Oh brother. Someone's flailing. Newtered may be the equivalent of an ethical quadrapalegic, but the dude has a pretty good memory and knows EXACTLY what parts of his personal history and the history of this country and the economy he wants to rewrite. Batty Bachman on the other hand...I'm thinking it's more of a frontal lobe/executive processing problem for her, with maybe a little schizophreniform disorder thrown in for good measure.

    December 16, 2011 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  13. Jake

    "I am a serious candidate..." Hilarious!

    December 16, 2011 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  14. Demotage

    I've no love for Gingrich, but if Bachmann wants him to stop calling her fact-challenged, then maybe she should try a little harder to get her facts straight.

    December 16, 2011 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  15. John J. Puccio

    Anyone who whines to another candidate "I'm a serious candidate for president" is not a serious candidate for president.

    December 16, 2011 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  16. Frank

    The Truth Squad identified three of her statements last night as totally false. Much as I detest Gingrich, his comment was actually mild as to Bachmann's grasp on facts.

    December 16, 2011 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  17. Brent

    Does nobody else find it disturbing that she has labeled Iran as "the enemy"? This is serious, marching-to-war rhetoric. If they really are the enemy, and we are at war with them, it's because WE started it. A brief introduction to the history of US foreign policy in the middle east would show that we have been giving them every reason to despise us for almost 60 years now, from the covert overthrowing of the prime minister and installation of the shah in 1953, to installing Saddam Hussein as a vehemently anti-Iranian leader in Iraq (he eventually waged a bloody war with them in the 1980s, with US support), to now violating their sovereign air space with our spy drones. Now that Obama is utilizing an interventionist foreign policy similar to the one George W Bush did, there's a real opportunity for the Republican party to step up and be the party of small government and peace.

    December 16, 2011 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  18. George Busch

    What a nice way of saying he is STUPID.

    December 16, 2011 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  19. Bill

    Regardless of Bachmann's lack of big-league experience, etc and the fact that she is unlikely to win the GOP nomination, what stands out in this exchange between her and Gingrich is his strident, condescending style. This isn't being presidential; it's a glimse at a real big ego problem and that's not a good quality for our president. He's been around the block and he knows it and shows it. Genuine "insider" with a chip on the shoulder.

    December 16, 2011 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  20. Dylan

    Memory Challenged? She's one to talk–She of the opinion that John Quincy Adams was a founding father and that when Europeans came here, "Everyone was the same"–he words, and the founding father worked tirelessly to end slavery. LOL she needs a history book as JQ Adams was not a founding father, at least half of the founders were slave owners and most of the others tolerated it. And the only people who were equal were white landowning men. Even if you were a white man–if you didn't own land you weren't equal. Bachmann is too sad for words and has no chance of the nomination. It will be either Gingrich or Romney losing in November.

    December 16, 2011 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  21. GOP = Greed Over People

    "Well, frankly, I thought that it was outrageous and insulting, the way that he seemed to treat me like I was a student and I'm not.

    Well, maybe you should be, missy, Factcheck says your statements are mostly false or worse 76% of the time and you lead the pack in times you have "misspoke".or had your words "taken out of context".

    If it is any consolation, the salamander was probably NOT the best teacher as he came in at the #2 spot in the lead for lies from GOP primary candidates.

    December 16, 2011 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  22. John/kc

    Will the christian republicans support an adulterer who dumped two wives for girl friends, one wife laying on her death bed while he ran off with his then mistress? This guy took 1 1/2 million dollars from freddie mac and fannie mae to lobby his former republican legislators, the very legislators that fired him as speaker of the House of Representatives for being dishonest and unethical.

    December 16, 2011 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  23. Justin

    Bachmann is the best that the GOP has got.
    Newt? Nobody has any respect for Newt.
    The GOP needs to put up their best candidate.
    And Bachmann is the one.

    December 16, 2011 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  24. Harry Wreckdom

    Just when you think that no one could top $arah for being bat-crap crazy, along comes Michelle..........

    December 16, 2011 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  25. Clwyd

    Michelle, his memory is challenged, but he's not crazy like you are!

    December 16, 2011 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
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