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. Mark

    I suspect she will try to run for the GOP nomination for Senator to run against Al Franken in 2014. However, she has very poor state-wide numbers. Minnesota's governor is also up for reelection in 2014, but again very bad state-wide numbers.

    My guess is that she'll follow in the footsteps of Sarah Palin and cash in with reality TV, a Fox News show, and/or books aimed at the right-wing.

    May 29, 2013 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  2. nuntukamen

    Most foolish representative in history, and the brains of the GOP.

    May 29, 2013 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  3. LouAZ

    get thee to a Nunnery !

    May 29, 2013 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  4. Jo Black

    Her medical insurance refused to cover the enormous costs of medicating her (this time) during the campaign and these critical Republican "hearings". Limpbaugh (old flaccid branch) offered her discounted oxycodone but it was not enough. She really misses her Chlorpromazine (at least she thinks she does).

    May 29, 2013 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  5. Derek

    Hopefully Jim Graves her challenger in the last election takes that house seat. He actually owns a business and can counter the Republican talking points about Democrats not knowing how to run a business.

    May 29, 2013 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  6. terry

    Good Bye Michelle, you can't leave soon enough

    May 29, 2013 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  7. Patrick in Minnesota

    As someone from her home state, this is probably the best decision she's ever made. Everyone wins! Especially America!

    May 29, 2013 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  8. Bernie Margolis

    I wonder how long she's going to wait before announcing her new gig on Fox news. At least she has enough integrity to finish out her current term.

    May 29, 2013 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  9. Boothill Dem

    "Limitless future"? Only in America is this level of delusion seen as an electable trait. Maybe she meant her future as a shill for some lobbying cabal, or a breathless airhead commentator at Fox Newz. They can always seem to find a spot for dingbats and conspiracy mongers.

    May 29, 2013 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  10. Another Fat Guy

    "Limitless"...she knows that was just a movie RIGHT?

    She needed time off to practice her hot dog eating skills. crude joke i know but funny to me...

    May 29, 2013 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  11. Kim

    Word on the street is that she's going to design a line of tinfoil hats.

    May 29, 2013 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  12. thedailyheard

    ding dong the witch is dead

    May 29, 2013 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  13. David

    Wow, what a shocker. After running for the GOP nomination in 2012, Bachmann barely won reelection for her House seat (and she wanted to be President???), and now she's humbly not seeking reelection. Translation: after all her craziness, she'll be the one to walk away instead of losing and taking the walk of shame. As much as I dislike Bachmann, it's a shrewd and smart move to exit instead of face a loss.

    May 29, 2013 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  14. Schmoogalicious

    Sure hope she stays in the public spotlight and keeps on talking. Her entertainment value is limitless.

    May 29, 2013 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  15. LilRdVet2

    Note to Atheist: See?! There is a God! 🙂

    May 29, 2013 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  16. Rob Swan

    Good riddance ...

    May 29, 2013 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  17. John Mann

    Thank you ms Bachmann for doing what Minnesotans haven't quite gotten to yet. Firing you. Good riddance.

    May 29, 2013 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  18. Rob Swan

    Michele Bachmann was an embarrassment to our system of government – clueless about the issues, policies and the proper protocols.

    May 29, 2013 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  19. Jayvee2

    Yeah, limitless, as in Sarah Palin's limitless view of Russia. Enjoy your trip!

    May 29, 2013 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  20. sf

    thank god!

    i'm a liberal but I wouldn't mind if she was replaced by another republican..someone who is intelligent and willing to work with others! it's not about right or left for me...this woman is just simply looney!

    May 29, 2013 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  21. Maria

    That is the best news in a long time...looks like this is the time to "close for repairs" get all the nuts out of the GOP...

    May 29, 2013 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  22. Rob Swan

    Please do everyone a favor – Congresswoman Bachmann – resign from the Congress this afternoon – effective immediately.

    May 29, 2013 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  23. PulSe

    Good Buy Sea Hag.

    May 29, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  24. Brian

    Why can't the GOP come up with a reasonably sane candidate? It seems like every GOP candidate is their own worst enemy. Each one seems to be worse than the one before. It will be interesting to see who's next, and what brand of "crazy" they'll be serving up.

    May 29, 2013 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  25. MMAX

    Man what a bunch of hateful people...

    May 29, 2013 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
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