High-profile Bachmann backer deals blow to her Iowa campaign, endorses Paul
December 28th, 2011
09:36 PM ET
10 years ago

High-profile Bachmann backer deals blow to her Iowa campaign, endorses Paul

Des Moines, Iowa (CNN) - One of Michele Bachmann's most high-profile advisers in Iowa announced Wednesday he is pulling his support away from the Republican presidential candidate.

Instead, Iowa State Sen. Kent Sorenson announced at a Ron Paul rally that he now supports the Texas congressman. Sorenson - who had been frequently seen by Bachmann's side and who had frequently spoken in her defense - appeared to surprise the crowd of a few hundred Paul supporters with his announcement.

"Tonight's a little tough for me; I've been serving as Michele Bachmann's state chair for the last year," Sorenson said. "And while Michele has fought tremendously for my conservative values, I believe we're at a turning point in this campaign. I believe that we have an opportunity to elect a conservative, someone who holds our values dear."

"While the Republican establishment is going to be coming against him over the next several days, I thought it was my duty to come to his aid," Sorenson continued.

"It's difficult, but it's the right thing to do. Because he fights for the values that I hold dear as well. And I just want to tell you guys I'm going to do everything in the next few days to help in Iowa and beyond. And we're going to take Ron Paul all the way to the White House 2012."

Adding to the dramatic surprise is that Sorenson appeared with Bachmann at a campaign event in Indianola, Iowa, just a few hours before he announced he would support Paul.

Responding to the developments, Bachmann released a statement saying the switch “was a deliberate move by the Ron Paul campaign to discredit our campaign and our growing momentum,”

She continued, “Ron Paul is in trouble in Iowa and his campaign is worried about people learning about his dangerous stance on foreign policy and how he will make America less safe.”

Bachmann also accused Sorenson of changing teams for money.

"Kent Sorenson personally told me he was offered a large sum of money to go to work for the Paul campaign,” Bachmann wrote. “Kent campaigned with us earlier this afternoon and went immediately afterward to a Ron Paul event and announced he is changing teams. Kent said to me yesterday that 'everyone sells out in Iowa, why shouldn't I,' then he told me he would stay with our campaign. The Ron Paul campaign has to answer for its actions.”

Sorenson flatly denied Bachmann’s allegations Wednesday.

Paul and Bachmann are locked in a tight race for votes six days before Iowa's first-in-the-nation presidential caucus.

Filed under: 2012 • Iowa • Michele Bachmann • Ron Paul
soundoff (173 Responses)
  1. Death to Sycophants

    Looks like the CNNbots are up early, trying to downplay an obvious positive for Ron Paul.

    December 29, 2011 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  2. Saboth

    Despite disagreeing with RP on many key issues, I agree with him on the fact that our constitutional rights are being destroyed by out current government. No other candidate (including Obama, whom I voted for last election) seems to care about that. They all only want bigger, more powerful and controlling government. I'd consider voting for RP simply for that fact. If our founding fathers knew the stuff that went on in today's government (illegal wiretaps, locking away Americans with no right to trial, spying on phone, electronic data), they'd have another revolt and toss all of the bums out.

    December 29, 2011 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  3. Clyde

    "Bachmann also accused Sorenson of changing teams for money. "

    Why would she be whining about this? Isn't selling out for money the "conservative" way? Conservatives are never worried about whats right and whats wrong, they are all about putting cash into their own pockets, hence the selling out of Middle Class America to Corporate America. This is what Michelle advocates so why should she be offended when it happens to her?

    December 29, 2011 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  4. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    C'mon, folks. She will probably come out ahead of Huntsman (who isn't even running a token campaign) in Iowa, and declare it is a Mandate from God to keep in the race. As for Paul, South Carolina will be the real test. Yes Governor Haley has endorsed Romney, but the man who sees himself as Kingmaker – SC Sen. Jim DeMint – hasn't endorsed anyone yet. If Santorum does well in Iowa, DeMint could back him before the NH primaries. While it will not help him in NH, it could help in SC and Florida. Then we could be looking at a horse race between Romney and Santorum with Paul playing the spoiler.

    December 29, 2011 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  5. Phil in KC

    Ouch! That's gotta hurt. That has to tell you something about her campaign. Also sounds like she's in denial (Ron Paul's campaign is in trouble – really?).

    December 29, 2011 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  6. RiadaKram

    Well said Herewego!

    December 29, 2011 09:18 am at 9:18 am |

    This is great, JUST GREAT. I love it, love it, love it. Talk about Bachmann being told to stick it in her ear!

    December 29, 2011 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  8. RiadaKram

    Everyone who says Dr. Paul has no chance is just parroting the MSM line that parades as news. Every R beats their own chest except Dr. Paul who actually promotes IDEAS and THOUGHTS that are against the modern statist ethos that has our country in desperate peril. Dr. Paul actually believes in our Constitution versus these other perpetual war phonies.

    If you really want to start turning back the WELFARE/WARFARE/CORPORATE state then vote for RON PAUL IN 2012!!!

    December 29, 2011 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  9. Michael

    Like rats on the Titanic, jumping ship. Michelle, I think it's time to stop the wasteful spending and end your campaign. You know, like the wasteful spending you claim the democrats are doing. Oh, that's right. You are the party of "Do as we say, not as we do".

    December 29, 2011 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  10. Patrick

    Ron Paul is probably the best Right-wing candidate out there, and a lot of what he says is the truth. Unfortunately, he's another "questionably racist" conservative/Republican that the party can't (or won't) stop supporting – and he continues blaming the problems of today's society on minorities and yet will do nothing to fix our problems. So no, neither he or any other conservative will ever get my vote.

    December 29, 2011 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  11. Sandy Feet

    Her momentum is increasing..... in a downward spiral... MB you've crashed and burned, go home and shut your trap!

    December 29, 2011 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  12. Jack

    Let's be honest–IOWA DOESN'T MATTER. You have 100,000 Republicans voting in caucuses to pick the national candidate for President. 100,000 people. You get more people at a Penn State football game. Please. Everyone needs to stop this silliness about Iowa. In some of these caucuses the have two or three people present deciding who will be the candidate. Two or three (and they tend to be never-been-anywhere-hyper-conservatives). When you have people voting in Cleveland or St. Louis or Los Angeles etc. then you have votes that matter. They should have all the primaries in all the states on one date or on three or four dates nationwide–maybe by region. Sorry IOWA you don't matter.

    December 29, 2011 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  13. Marco

    Bachmann released a statement saying the switch “was a deliberate move by the Ron Paul campaign to discredit our campaign and our growing momentum,”

    Wow! That woman is as delusional as she is crazy.

    And she thinks she and her husband can change gay people thru prayer. Seriously, if you are stupid enough to consider her the right person to be President, then you don't deserve the priviledge to vote.

    December 29, 2011 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  14. GI Joe

    All she does is throw out hate and then whine.

    December 29, 2011 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  15. reACTIONary

    The crack-pot caucus is consolidating!

    December 29, 2011 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  16. MissouriBoy

    I like Paul's positions on eliminating or cutting back on some govt agencies, no bailouts, etc. Don't like his "lets go back to the gold standard" stuff. That just won't happen. Like his libertarian views about we should stop wasting money on drug wars. Also like his non-intervention stands. But his view that "allow the states to do almost everything" doesn't fly very well. If some states allow gay marriage, what happens to the federal marriage benefits? Do they follow state law, so a gay couple in a gay-friendly state gets federal marriage benefits, but a gay couple in a non-gay-friendly state does not get fed govt marriage benefits? Of course, solution is fed govt should say nothing about marriage! No tax benefits, no special visitation rights. Fed and state govt should be out of the marriage business. Leave it to the churches.

    December 29, 2011 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  17. gt

    come on mischele ... quit ..

    December 29, 2011 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  18. Robert

    Wait. I'm lost. When did Ron Paul's campaign start to have trouble? Last I checked, Paulbots are carrying him in that throne from Return of The Jedi....

    December 29, 2011 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  19. NoTags

    This fiasco gets better everyday. Hopefully Minnesotans will not send Michele back to Washington in 2012. Keep her in Minnesota where she can do less harm.

    December 29, 2011 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  20. hextarski

    @Patrick I'm not sure why you think Ron Paul "blames minorities for society's problems". Ron Paul is against the death penalty because its implementation in the US discriminates against African Americans. Senior officials in the NAACP have come out publicly stating that he is not a racist. As a doctor he provided pro bono medical services to minority families. Does that sound like a racist to you? I doesn't to me. I am a member of a minority and I support Ron Paul.

    December 29, 2011 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  21. Jay

    I for one love this! It is more drama then the now canceled ALL MY CHILDREN & ONE LIFE TO LIVE put together! These people are eating each other alive. Can't wait till it all shakes out and we have a nominee – it will be fun to see the hypocrits that did their best to destroy each other start cheerleading for the nominee! The SAD part of all this is that Obama will only need to play sound bites of all this and he will be back into the White House! We need a LEGITIMATE third party candidate – and that isn't you Mr. Trump or Ms. Palin so don't even try it! How about it Warren Buffet or Oprah Winfrey! LOL

    December 29, 2011 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  22. TNDem

    Best Republican Primary. Ever.

    December 29, 2011 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  23. ChumBucket

    The left is always funny when the say that the Republicans have no good candidates, and then support obuma in the same breath.

    That's a hoot!

    December 29, 2011 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  24. Iconoclast

    I love watching the republican party implode.

    December 29, 2011 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  25. crawbar

    If you want to see a face of an idiot, look at Ron Paul.
    As to Kent Sorenson, he is a political prostitute. I would vote him out of the state senate. I wish Bachman went to the top – you would see him crawling back to her and begging to take him back.

    December 29, 2011 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
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