Entries in Michele Bachman (19)


Michele Bachmann Finally Decides to Endorse Mitt Romney

Scott Olson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Michele Bachmann has finally decided to endorse Mitt Romney—119 days after she dropped out of the race.

The endorsement will come at a joint Romney-Bachmann appearance on Thursday. No doubt Bachmann will talk about the importance of beating Barack Obama and how Mitt Romney is the one to do it. She’ll almost certainly say that conservatives must unite behind Romney because of the importance of beating Obama.

“He cannot beat Obama,” Bachmann said shortly before she dropped out of the race. “It’s not going to happen.”

The comment came in an interview at her Iowa campaign headquarters the day before the Iowa caucuses. Bachmann had been badly sliding in the polls, but said she expected divine intervention to bring her a victory: “We’re believing in a miracle because we know, I know, the one who gives miracles.”

When asked then if Romney could beat Obama, Bachmann replied, “No, he cannot beat Obama because his policy is the basis for Obamacare.” She then went on to say that “the signature issue of Obama is Obamacare. You can’t have a candidate who has given the blueprint for Obamacare. It’s too identical. It’s not going to happen. We have to have a candidate, a bold distinct candidate in the likeness of Ronald Reagan.”

Times have changed. Romney is now the guy. But what is Bachmann going to say now about supporting the guy who gave us the “blueprint for Obamacare”?

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Bachmann: Stay-at-Home Moms Understand Economy Better Than Husbands

Scott Olson/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Former presidential candidate Michele Bachmann fiercely defended Ann Romney and stay-at-home moms Sunday, blasting Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen’s criticism that Romney “has never worked a day in her life” as “shocking and insulting.”

Bachmann told NBC’s David Gregory that not only was Ann Romney qualified, as a stay-at-home mom, to advise her husband about the economy, but she may actually have a better understanding of a family’s economic problems than her husband.

“One thing I know is when women are home full-time they have a better pulse on the economy than probably their husband has,” Bachmann said, noting that because those moms are usually the family member that buys groceries and gets gas, they are the first to notice rising prices.

Ann Romney found herself at the center of a heated debate over stay-at-home moms last week when Rosen criticized Mitt Romney for citing his wife as his adviser on the economic issues female voters care about.

“What you have is Mitt Romney running around the country and saying ‘Well, you know, my wife tells me that what women really care about are economic issues,’” Rosen said Wednesday on CNN. “Guess what, his wife has actually never worked a day in her life. She’s never really dealt with the kinds of economic issues that the majority of the women in this country are facing.”

Rosen comments were immediately criticized by both Democrats and Republicans, with the president and the first lady speaking out in support of Ann Romney and stay-at-home moms. Obama, who is currently winning women by a large margin, quickly distanced himself from Rosen, whose remarks gave Republicans one of their first openings to attack the president as being out-of-touch with women, a vital voting bloc in the 2012 election.

The Romney campaign seized on Rosen’s remarks as evidence that Obama did not support non-working mothers, aiming to paint Rosen as a spokeswoman for the president and the Democratic Party. Both the White House and the Democratic National Committee said Rosen did not advise or speak for the administration or the campaign.

Democrats have hounded Republicans for seeking to prevent contraception from being covered under all insurance plans and blasted the party for waging a “war on women” over access to women’s health funding and abortion rights.

“This election is not going to be about Ann Romney or Hilary Rosen’s remarks, it’s going to be about which candidate fights for women,” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-NY, said during a back-and-forth with Bachmann on “Meet the Press.” “What’s insulting to women is the Republican Party and that they want bosses to tell women what medication they can take.”

Bachmann, a mother of five, said women across the country were and should be “highly insulted” by Rosen’s comments, but directed the majority of her scorn at the president’s economic policies, which she said have made life worse for women.

The Minnesota congresswoman who dropped out of the GOP primary race in January, said women would be better off with Mitt Romney as president.

“On every measure women’s lives are worse under President Obama than they would be under Mitt Romney as president of the United States,” Bachmann said.

Although the congresswoman had high praise for Romney, who she also said is “an extremely smart guy” and “a proven smart successful businessman,” Bachmann has not yet endorsed the presumptive GOP nominee.

“I’m very seriously looking at the endorsement for Mitt Romney,” Bachmann said Sunday.

She said with Rick Santorum’s exit from the race taking place less than a week ago, she is waiting for the party to “unite” before making any endorsements.

“I want to unite our party so I’m waiting for our party to come together,” Bachmann said on “Meet the Press.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Santorum Campaign Hires Former Bachmann Spokeswoman

Steve Pope/Getty Images(VERONA, Pa.) -- ABC News has learned exclusively that Alice Stewart has been hired by the Rick Santorum campaign as its national press secretary.

Stewart previously served as spokeswoman Michele Bachmann’s presidential campaign and played the same role for Mike Huckabee’s 2008 bid.

She also worked for Huckabee’s Political Action Campaign, HuckPAC, with Santorum’s current national communications director Hogan Gidley. Gidley hired Stewart for the Santorum campaign.

On Friday the Santorum campaign announced it had raised $3 million since the former Pennsylvania senator’s trifecta win in Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri on Tuesday. That’s $1 million a day since his victory speech in Missouri. The campaign said it would use the funds to add staff, and Stewart is the first high profile hire since those wins.

“I am very honored and proud to join Team Santorum,” Stewart said in a statement. “Senator Santorum has proven himself to be the true, consistent conservative in this race. Rick’s growing momentum is evidence that voters realize he’s the only candidate with the conservative record we need to stop Mitt Romney and beat President Obama.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Rick Perry: Bachmann, Santorum Have No National Organization

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(WEST DES MOINES, Iowa) -- Texas Gov. Rick Perry views the road beyond Iowa as one working more in his favor than in Michele Bachmann’s or Rick Santorum’s, saying the two rivals, who are competing for the same conservative evangelical votes, have no national organization to be viable in other primary states.

“I agree that Rick Santorum and Michele Bachmann don’t have a national organization in place nor the fundraising ability to go forward out of Iowa, and so I’m the only one that actually has that ability,” Perry said during an interview on Fox News on Monday, also noting that regardless of the outcome in Tuesday’s caucuses, he’ll “be going across the country, South Carolina, into Florida, into Nevada, with a national campaign.”

Perry also continued his criticism of Santorum in an NBC News interview, slamming him for supporting earmarks and responding to Santorum’s spoof of Perry’s “oops” moment Sunday, insisting that you can eliminate federal agencies.

“Does Rick Santorum want Washington to tell the people of Iowa how to educate their children? I don’t think so. I can promise you, there are a substantial number of agencies of government that we could do away with and Americans wouldn’t miss them at all.” Perry said Monday morning on the Today Show.

Perry hit back hard against Politico for running a story this weekend based entirely on anonymous sources discussing the dissent within his campaign.

“When an organization that is supposedly legitimate will not name names, that tells me that they’re listening to rumor and innuendo. This is a total inside the Beltway story, my campaign’s working smoothly,” Perry said in the FOX News interview.

During an interview with Politico Sunday, Perry became combative when asked about the dysfunction in his campaign. “You got a name? You got a name? You got a name? If you don’t have a name to tell me, this individual said this and I don’t take that as a corroborated source,” Perry said to Politico’s Mike Allen.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Rivals Attack Ron Paul on Iran, Electability

Scott Olson/Getty Images(DES MOINES, Iowa) -- Ron Paul is surging in Iowa, and sensing a threat, his opponents are on the attack, firing away at what they say are the Texas congressman’s weaknesses.

“Ron Paul thinks it would be fine if the Iranians obtained nuclear weapons,” presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., said at a campaign stop in the Hawkeye State.

“You don’t have to vote for a candidate who will allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon to wipe Israel off the face of the earth,” echoed Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

“One of the people running for president thinks it’s okay for Iran to have a nuclear weapon. I don’t,” said former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, a clear swipe at Paul’s hands-off approach to foreign policy. “I don’t trust the ayatollahs, I don’t trust Ahmadinejad,” Romney added referring to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The latest NBC News/Marist poll shows Paul and Romney are neck and neck in Iowa. Romney has a slight lead of two points, but with a margin of error of 1.8 percent in the survey the two candidates are in a virtual tie.

Paul has not responded to the attacks, and he stands by his hands-off approach to foreign policy. At a campaign event in Perry, Iowa, he went further, telling supporters that Western sanctions against Iran are “acts of war” that are likely to lead to an actual war.

Speaking on the showdown over the Strait of Hormuz, Paul said Iran would be justified in responding to sanctions by blocking the crucial waterway, and emphasized that the United States should not get involved.

Paul’s foreign policy views are out of step with past Republican presidential campaigns, which have typically supported United States military intervention in troubled spots overseas. A smaller American footprint abroad, say rivals, would be bad for the country.

“Ron Paul would be dangerous as president of the United States,” Bachmann said.

Even former Utah governor Jon Huntsman is getting in on the Paul pile-on. Huntsman, who is skipping the Iowa caucus, told voters in New Hampshire that voting for Paul would ultimately be futile.

“He’s not electable at the end of the day. Let’s be real about it,” Huntsman said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Romney Appears Cool and Collected at GOP Debate

By AMY WALTER, ABC News Political Director

(SIOUX CITY, Iowa) -- Just 19 days before the Iowa caucuses, the seven GOP candidates met in Sioux City, Iowa for their 13th debate of the year.

Mitt Romney was one of the winners of this debate. He was cool, calm and collected, without any $10,00 bets or "reach out and touch someone" moments.

And, while Romney has been relentlessly attacking Newt Gingrich on the trail this week, he was nothing but nice to Newt all night on stage, a sign, perhaps, of the Romney campaign's confidence that the barrage of anti-Gingrich ads and increased media scrutiny has already taken its toll on Gingrich's standing in the polls.

And, if Gingrich voters are looking for an alternative, Romney wants to welcome them in with open arms.

Instead, Romney spent most of his time in general election mode, going after Obama instead of his GOP opponents.

Michele Bachmann also had a strong performance. As she did in last week's debate, Bachmann came out swinging. And it was Newt Gingrich who felt her fury, as she challenged him on issues ranging from his consultancy work for Freddie Mac to his record on abortion.

At the very least, she did outflank and outperform Perry and Santorum, the two other GOPers on stage competing with her for the social conservative vote.

Ron Paul was energized, engaged and articulate and he both looked and acted like a frontrunner. This was probably his best performance yet.

The same cannot be said for Rick Perry, however. He didn't flub anything, but he didn't do anything of note either.

Newt Gingrich was the man in the middle, literally and figuratively. He took the most oncoming fire, both from the moderators and a couple of his opponents. He didn't stumble in any of his answers, but, like Perry, he didn't shine either. Newt will need much energy and enthusiasm behind him for the next 19 days if he wants to keep the support coming on strong.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Exclusive: Bachmann Would Use 'Every Military Option' to Deal With Iran

Win McNamee/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- As Israel reportedly flirts with the possibility of using military force against Iran, GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann said if elected she would stand with America’s ally and consider “every military option” to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.

“As president of the United States I will stand with Israel,” Bachmann said in an interview Tuesday with ABC News/Yahoo. “I will not do as this president has done and put daylight between the United States and Israel. That was a foolish decision. I also will put every military option we have on the table to deal with an Iran that seeks a nuclear weapon.”

Bachmann said President Obama has “taken his eye off the ball” when it comes to Iran’s nuclear aspirations and created “tremendous heightened hostilities” in the Middle East by distancing America from Israel.

“The president has failed the American people in perhaps almost every way the president could,” she said.

The Minnesota congresswoman said she could think of only one decision the president has made that was not “very foolish.”

“I agree with the fact that he didn’t have a new Marine One helicopter made,” Bachmann said, referring to the presidential helicopter.

Obama did purchase a new limousine, she said, but decided to forego having a new “outrageously expensive” helicopter made. Preliminary contracts for an updated Marine One fleet in 2009 put the price tag for each chopper at $400 million, roughly the same price as the president’s Boeing 747 jetliner, Air Force One.

“That was a good move that he made,” she said.


Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Bachmann Targets Occupy Wall Street, Warns of US 'Banana Republic'

Win McNamee/Getty Images(AMES, Iowa) -- Politics, not capitalism, is to blame for the economic crisis and Occupy Wall Street protesters should target Washington rather than businesses that create jobs, Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., said in a speech Thursday in Ames, Iowa.

The economy is flailing because politicians are worried only about protecting their friends, said Bachmann, who compared that sort of cronyism to so-called “banana republics.”

“A vocal minority called Occupy Wall Street believes that the problem we face is capitalism or free markets. It’s not. The problem is government doing what both the constitution and decent morality prohibit, that is cronyism capitalism, or forcefully taking your money for the purpose of paying off a politician’s political friends,” Bachmann told students at Iowa State University.

“For your sake and your future, America, and Occupy Wall Street in particular, needs to wake up and stop blaming job creators for the failures created by selfish politicians who wink at their political donors,” she said.

Politicians, she said, made too many backroom deals with friends and donors that undermine the free market.

“The problem is politicians who wink at political donors and through the force of law put their competitors out of business. Politicians assure their friends that with government’s financial backing, their businesses will never fail,” she said.

That sort of cronyism "happens every day, and it has to stop,” she said. “After all, we’re not a Banana Republic; we’re the United States of America and we need to act like it."

Bachmann also used the event to draw a distinction between her proposed tax plan and those of her competitors, particularly Herman Cain, who supports a flat tax, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who wants to give taxpayers a choice between the current system or a flat tax.

Bachmann, who supports a “fairer, flatter” system, does not support a single flat tax, but does support “abolishing” the current tax code.

“To accomplish a fairer, flatter and simpler tax system will take a complete reform of the tax system. It means abolishing what we currently have and starting over again.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Trump Didn’t Know He Was Headlining Bachmann ‘Tele-Town Hall’ 

Win McNamee/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Michele Bachmann had spent three days trumpeting Monday night’s tele-town hall featuring billionaire Donald Trump, but the guest of honor didn’t even know the conference call was scheduled to take place until a reporter clued him in Monday morning.

Trump said he had agreed to the teleconference with Bachmann supporters, which the Minnesota congresswoman has been promoting as a fundraising device, but didn’t know it was happening  until he was told by the anchors of Fox News' Fox and Friends.

“It’s called a modern-day town-hall meeting, right? And I said, ‘I guess I could.’ I didn’t even know I was doing it till you just told me, but that’s OK,” Trump said Monday.

Trump said Bachmann asked him to participate in the call “not [as] an endorsement,” but as a “favor.”

On the conference call with the Minnesota congresswoman and her supporters Monday night, Trump said Michelle Bachmann is “terrific” and “smart,” but don’t expect to see him endorsing her or applying to be her vice president anytime soon.

Trump had plenty of kind words for Bachmann, but lest anyone think his participation in a “tele-town hall” was an endorsement, Bachmann introduced the billionaire by letting listeners know he was “not on the call this evening because he’s endorsing my candidacy for president.”

Asked if he would consider joining Bachmann on a ticket as her running mate, Trump punted: “I don’t think that’s what we’re here for tonight,” adding that any of the GOP candidates would be a “far cry from what we’ve got in the White House.”

“She’s a terrific person. She’s a terrific woman. She’s a smart woman,” Trump said of Bachmann. “She’s respected by everyone. She’s universally respected by the other candidates.”

But even Trump, who has become a de facto kingmaker this season, conceded “when Gov. Perry came in [to the race], he stole a lot of her thunder.”

Trump for his part fielded questions from Bachmann supporters, holding court on some of his favorite political issues: unfair Chinese competition, ungrateful Libyan rebels, and President Obama’s birth certificate.

Bachmann hit many of her favorite talking points, reminding listeners she was the first candidate to sign a pledge to build a fence along the U.S.-Mexican border,  that she wants to repeal Obamacare, and that she supports drilling at ANWAR and other oil-rich areas.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Fighting the Feds: 2012 Candidates Want States to Control Education

Getty Images(WASHINGTON)-- It’s back-to-school time, as President Obama reminded the nation in his annual hit-the-books speech this week. And during election season, no school year begins without stirring up education reform debates.

But this election is all about the economy, and will likely revolve around what role the federal government should play in stimulating job growth, not how much it should spend on merit pay or standardized testing.

So when it comes to education policy debates, whether it’s the Democratic incumbent or the array of Republican challengers, all eyes are on two things: the federal government’s role and the overall cost of education.

From the president’s perspective, America’s schools are crumbling and Washington needs to step in and invest $30 billion to rebuild them, a move Obama claims will both “create a better learning environment,” and, “create good jobs for local construction workers.”

But more government spending is just about the last thing on the minds of any GOP presidential candidate -- and the millions of Americans who support them. Rather than pushing for further investments, White House hopefuls are touting their ability to rein in spending.

In New Jersey, Governor Christie used a line-item veto to strip $500 million from education funding. Christie also helped usher in public employee pension reform which will save the state $130 billion over the next 30 years, a move that, coupled with decreases in collective bargaining rights, infuriated teachers unions.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry signed off on $4 billion in cuts to education in the 2012 and 2013 budgets.  The Texas State Teachers Association estimates that as many as 49,000 teachers may be laid off as a result of the cuts, and 43,000 college students will lose all or part of their financial aid. But while Texas spends less per student than almost any other state, the Lone Star State’s test scores fall within a few points of the national average in both reading and math.

Perhaps the biggest beef Perry has had with the Department of Education was over the administration’s Race to the Top competitive state grant program. Texas was one of four states that chose not to participate in the $4 billion program that Perry said “smacks of a federal takeover of public schools” and “could very well lead to the ‘dumbing down’ of the rigorous standards we’ve worked so hard to enact.”
Perry is not alone in his dislike of the federal program. In fact, his fellow GOP candidates, Reps. Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul, as well as former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, not only condemn Race to the Top but have said they would do away with the entire Department of Education.

If Christie decides to jump in the race, he would be the only GOP contender that supports Race to the Top. Under Christie’s direction, New Jersey fiercely competed for the federal funds, but because of an application error lost out on a potential $400 million grant. Christie is one of the only candidates who has praised any part of the Obama administration’s education policies.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, on the other hand, has tried to distance himself from the Obama administration’s education policies. At a recent debate in Florida, he challenged accusations from Perry that he had flip-flopped on his support for Race to the Top, saying, “I don’t support any particular program that’s he’s describing.”

While Romney has not called for closing down the Department of Education, he stressed that “we need to get the federal government out of education.”

Geanne Allen, the president of the Center for Education Reform, said Romney and Christie are similar in their stances on education, in that they each take about half of their education policy from Obama’s book and about half from former President George W. Bush’s.

Under a Romney or Christie administration, there would be “a balance,” she said, between the federal role and the state role.

“It would be less heavy-handed than we are seeing now under Obama,” Allen said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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