May 29th, 2013
07:45 AM ET
10 years ago

Rep. Bachmann looks forward to 'limitless' future, but not in the House

Updated Wednesday 5/29 at 10:30 a.m. ET

(CNN) - U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, a conservative firebrand whose bid for president last year ended after the Iowa caucuses, will not seek re-election to her Minnesota congressional seat in 2014.

Making her announcement in a video posted to her campaign website early Wednesday, Bachmann stressed she had no plans to fade from public view.

"Looking forward, after the completion of my term, my future is full, it is limitless, and my passions for America will remain," she announced.

Bachmann, who's in her fourth term representing Minnesota's 6th District, promised that there "is no future option or opportunity" that she "won't be giving serious consideration if it can help save and protect our great nation for future generations."

Bachmann staved off a tougher-than-expected challenge for her seat last November against Democrat Jim Graves, winning re-election by just under 5,000 votes. Graves has announced he will seek the seat again in 2014.

In her video announcement, Bachmann said her decision was not influenced by any concerns about winning reelection.

"I've always, in the past, defeated candidates who were capable, qualified, and well-funded. And I have every confidence that if I ran, I would again defeat the individual who I defeated last year, who recently announced that he is once again running," Bachmann said.

Nor was her decision based on any concerns over an ongoing congressional ethics inquiry into the improper transfer of campaign funds, Bachmann said in her video. She is also facing a Federal Election Commission complaint about her former presidential campaign.

"This decision was not impacted in any way by the recent inquiries into the activities of my former presidential campaign or my former presidential staff," she said. "It was clearly understood that compliance with all rules and regulations was an absolute necessity for my presidential campaign. And I have no reason to believe that that was not the case."

Bachmann's run for president in 2012 reached its peak in August 2011, when she beat out a slate of other candidates to win the Ames Straw Poll in the early voting state of Iowa, where she was born. Her campaign lost steam in the fall to other conservative candidates like Rick Perry, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, and she eventually placed sixth in the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses. She ended her presidential bid the next day.

In the eight-minute long video, Bachmann, an early supporter of the Tea Party movement, touted her work on a variety of conservative issues, promising to "to work vehemently and robustly to fight back against what most in the other party want to do to transform our country into becoming, which would be a nation that our founders would hardly even recognize today."

Bachmann was one of the leading supporters of the emerging tea party movement in 2010, founding the "tea party caucus" in the House of Representatives and delivering her own "tea party response" to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address. Most recently she organized a tea party rally on Capitol Hill protesting the Internal Revenue Service's admitted targeting of conservative groups applying for tax exempt status.

In her video, she said she wouldn't let up on the causes she championed as a U.S. representative.

"I promise you I have and I will continue to fight to protect innocent human life, traditional marriage, family values, religious liberty, and academic excellence," Bachmann said.

In a polite statement, National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Rep. Greg Walden wrote Bachmann "has been a tireless advocate and dedicated Representative for the people of Minnesota’s Sixth District."

"Michele was the first Republican woman elected to represent Minnesota in the U.S. House of Representatives, and she has worked hard each day to ensure that her constituents’ voices are heard in the halls of Congress," he continued.

Democrats were less laudatory - the House Majority PAC, which works to elect Democrats to Congress, wrote Bachmann's decision was "good news for the people of Minnesota and our nation."

"Bachmann voluntarily removing herself from Congress is a victory we can all celebrate today," the group's executive director Alixandria Lapp wrote.

CNN's Kevin Liptak and Martina Stewart contributed to this report.

Filed under: 2014 • Michele Bachmann
soundoff (885 Responses)
  1. Tom

    Take your sister Sarah with you.

    May 29, 2013 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  2. Phil in Canada

    So long ,you brainless dingbat; it's high time you exited the political stage. I pity Bill Maher and his colleagues though; no-one can replace Michele as such magnificent source of material for their jokes...

    May 29, 2013 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  3. Chris

    I'm of two minds about this: On one hand an active Congresswoman like Michelle Bachmann is actually a good thing for the Democratic party in the sense that it further radicalizes/polarizes its opposition (the Republican party) and in turn brings more people to the Democratic party or at the very least keeps them from voting. On the other hand as a patriotic citizen who wants the best for America, a moderately far-right-winged Republican in the House would be infinitely more preferable to an extremely radicalized member of the far-right-wing of the Republican party in that the chances of them permanently destroying America and its brand are much less likely.

    All in all though, I am quite ecstatic regarding this news!

    May 29, 2013 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  4. SnehDavis

    AND WHAT DID BACHMANN DO IN THE HOUSE? Spent her House terms, in futility, trying to repeal OBAMACARE.
    Quite a waste of taxpayers' time and money. GOOD RIDDANCE!

    May 29, 2013 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  5. Bill

    She has no reason to run again. She was in long enough to get her life-time benefits.

    May 29, 2013 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  6. dw1650

    She truly was a leader for those who couldn't think on their own. Not to worry, 'tea party'! Can't be hard to find a replacement when your core agenda revolves around pro-life, the 2nd amendment and big government (unless it suits your needs).

    May 29, 2013 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  7. GOP = Greed Over People

    Appears her legacy in Congress is the same as in life, collect $250,000 in farm subsidies for not planting crops, accept Medicaid payments to Marcus' "conversion" practice for not converting homosexuals to heterosexuals, and accepting $174,000 per year in Congress and not having one accomplishment for all those taxpayer dollars!

    That sounds harsh, so, in the interest of fairness, she does wear a smaller sized Jimmie Choo, than her husband!

    There, now, that was "fair and balanced".

    (I promise to stop now, I really do)!

    May 29, 2013 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  8. Dave in Arizona

    When she smiles my blood turns to ice.... dang she's creepy.

    May 29, 2013 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  9. M.A.P.

    Although many democrats will miss her ways of polarizing the party politics (which is the only thing Bachmann helped to achieve) this is actually a step in the right direction. The more airtime ignorant people like her get, the harder it becomes to base politics on facts and good judgement, it becomes a superficial popularity contest.

    May 30, 2013 05:21 am at 5:21 am |
  10. M.A.P.

    I hope she goes to jail for life.

    May 30, 2013 05:34 am at 5:34 am |
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