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. JOHN

    The first step in republicans reclaiming the party for actual republicans.

    May 29, 2013 07:31 am at 7:31 am |
  2. KieranH

    Thank all that is good and holy, that we won't have another right-wing-nut-job blathering more tea-party banter in an official position.

    May 29, 2013 07:32 am at 7:32 am |
  3. tony

    Translation – I am now positioned to make millions speaking my gaffes to conservative nut job groups, without having to work to raise cash for my next election campaign. An easy decision for a true patriot.

    May 29, 2013 07:33 am at 7:33 am |
  4. Guess

    Dont worry, im still crazy

    May 29, 2013 07:33 am at 7:33 am |
  5. Anonymous

    "It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood"! I IQ of the House will raise 50 points the day she cleans out her office.

    May 29, 2013 07:34 am at 7:34 am |
  6. DocHollywood

    She's not fooling anyone, she wanted to retire before they threw her butt out next time. So it's off to Fox News, the mental institution of the right. I think they have to take every nut job that comes down the pike. Minnesota might want to declare a day of celebration, marking their return back to civility and sanity.

    May 29, 2013 07:34 am at 7:34 am |
  7. thomase

    Good bye crazy lady.

    May 29, 2013 07:34 am at 7:34 am |
  8. Thatguy371

    Nothing like a delusional person going on about how great they are... even as they leave the building. Makes for interesting conversation after they're gone.

    May 29, 2013 07:35 am at 7:35 am |
  9. I'm the first?

    Sing with me...
    Happy days are here again,
    The skies above are blue again,
    Happy days are here again!

    May 29, 2013 07:37 am at 7:37 am |
  10. craig

    Well, that's no loss. Maybe she's been watching Sarah Palin and decided there was more money to be made on the outside...where you can say whatever you want and not be held responsible for anything that does or doesn't happen.

    May 29, 2013 07:38 am at 7:38 am |
  11. Anonymous

    The intelligence of the republican party inched up a notch on her announcement.

    May 29, 2013 07:39 am at 7:39 am |
  12. FactCheck

    This is simply terrific news, and I wish Michele every happiness as she returns to her home planet. I will no longer have to mumble indistinctly when asked what state I am from. You go girl...anywhere.

    May 29, 2013 07:39 am at 7:39 am |
  13. jkflipflop

    Keep this looney toon as far from humanity as possible.

    May 29, 2013 07:40 am at 7:40 am |
  14. Momma

    This is the same woman who said this: "I find it interesting that it was back in the 1970s that the swine flu broke out under another, then under another Democrat president, Jimmy Carter. I'm not blaming this on President Obama, I just think it's an interesting coincidence." ?


    May 29, 2013 07:40 am at 7:40 am |
  15. RINO Bil

    Two comments:

    1. I guess working in the House meant that she had to read stuff and she did not like the big words they used.

    2. Working for Fox News is definitely has limits as she will find out, hint – ask Sarah!.

    3. Her replacement in the House could possibly be WORSE than she.

    May 29, 2013 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  16. nhguy

    can this please be the last we hear of this gigantic fake? perhaps her husband and she can continue to rake in millions from the federally supported healthcare programs she so passionately rejects as part of her teabag mentality.

    May 29, 2013 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  17. sick and tired of being sick and tired

    Good riddance. I just hope this doesn't mean she's planning to run for something else...

    May 29, 2013 07:42 am at 7:42 am |
  18. jim

    Good...She's nuts anyway!!

    May 29, 2013 07:42 am at 7:42 am |
  19. Fed Up 2012

    MN is dancing with glee this if only she would keep her mouth shut and stop telling people she is from MN and other lies. Hope the Committee sends her to jail or on over to Switzerland where her "real" citizenship is. What an embarassment to women in politics everywhere!!

    May 29, 2013 07:42 am at 7:42 am |
  20. Robert

    And who says you never read good news in the media?

    May 29, 2013 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
  21. Mike

    Praise the Lord!

    May 29, 2013 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
  22. art

    It is a sign of things to come. The GOPTP will be hugely DEFEATED in 2014!

    May 29, 2013 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
  23. Searcher

    Well, the crazies are loosing their CHEERLEADER!

    May 29, 2013 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
  24. TXJew

    Sorry, Ms. Bachmann, this is the very definition of resigning under a cloud. You short-curcuit the ethics inquiry, but the case will cling to you like a bad odor from this moment forth. Best wishes on the evangelical curcuit, because that's your only viable future.

    May 29, 2013 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
  25. Moonraker

    First and foremost, Bachmann is just really, really dumb. Second of all, her husband believes that he can convert gay people into straight people. Besides the fact that doing so is impossible, why would that be important to him?

    May 29, 2013 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
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