Michele Marie Bachmann (/ˈbɑːkmən/; née Amble; April 6,
1956) is an American politician. A member of the Republican Party,
she is a former member of the
United States House of Representatives,
Minnesota's 6th congressional district
Minnesota's 6th congressional district from 2007 to
2015. The district includes several of the northern suburbs of the
Twin Cities, as well as St. Cloud.
Bachmann was a candidate for the Republican nomination in the 2012
U.S. presidential election, winning the
Ames Straw Poll
Ames Straw Poll in August
2011 but dropping out in January 2012 after finishing in sixth place
Iowa caucuses. She previously served in the
and is the first Republican woman to represent the state in
Congress. She is a supporter of the Tea Party movement and a
founder of the House Tea Party Caucus.
1 Early life, education, and early career
2 Personal life
3 Early political activism
Same-sex marriage constitutional amendment
4.2 Assistant Minority Leader
5 U.S. House of Representatives
5.1 110th Congress
5.1.1 Foreign affairs
126.96.36.199 Member of Congressional delegation
5.1.2 Higher education
5.1.3 Energy and environment
5.1.4 Lawsuit reform
5.1.5 Financial sector
5.1.6 Auto industry
5.1.7 Call for a media exposé of
Barack Obama and members of Congress
5.2 111th Congress
5.2.1 Global currency
5.2.2 2010 Census
5.2.3 Cap and Trade legislation
5.2.5 Health care
5.2.6 Criticism of President Obama's visit to Asia
5.3 112th Congress
5.3.1 Leadership run
5.3.2 Committee assignment
5.3.3 Repeal of Dodd-Frank reform
5.3.4 State of the Union response
5.3.5 Health care
5.3.6 Letter on
Muslim Brotherhood influence
5.4 113th Congress
5.4.1 Presidential campaign finance investigation
5.5 Committee assignments
6 Political positions
6.1 Education policy
6.2 Fiscal policy
6.3 Environmental policy
6.4 Social Security and Medicare phaseout
6.5 Foreign policy
6.6 Global economy
6.7 Immigration policy
6.8 Social issues
Same-sex marriage constitutional amendment
6.9 Federal-backed home loans
6.10 Opinion on President Obama's birth certificate
7 Political campaigns
7.1 2006 congressional campaign
7.2 2008 congressional campaign
7.3 2010 congressional campaign
7.4 2012 presidential campaign
7.5 2012 congressional campaign
8 Electoral history
10 See also
12 External links
Early life, education, and early career
Bachmann was born Michele Marie Amble in Waterloo, Iowa, "into a
family of Norwegian Lutheran Democrats"; her family moved from Iowa
Minnesota when she was 13 years old. After her parents divorced,
Bachmann's father, David John Amble, moved to California, and Bachmann
was raised by her mother, Arlene Jean (née Johnson), who worked at
the First National Bank in Anoka, Minnesota. Her mother
remarried when Bachmann was a teenager; the new marriage resulted in a
family with nine children.
She graduated from
Anoka High School in 1974 and, after graduation,
spent one summer working on kibbutz
Be'eri in Israel. In 1978, she
Winona State University
Winona State University with a B.A.
In 1979, Bachmann was a member of the first class of the O. W. Coburn
School of Law, then a part of
Oral Roberts University
Oral Roberts University (ORU). While
there, Bachmann studied with John Eidsmoe, whom she described in 2011
as "one of the professors who had a great influence on me".
Bachmann worked as a research assistant on Eidsmoe's 1987 book
Christianity and the Constitution, which argues that the United States
was founded as a Christian theocracy and should become one
again. In 1986 Bachmann received a J.D. degree from Oral
Roberts University. She was a member of the ORU law school's final
graduating class, and was part of a group of faculty, staff, and
students who moved the ORU law school library to what is now Regent
In 1988, Bachmann received an LL.M. degree in tax law from William
& Mary Law School. From 1988 to 1993 she worked as an
attorney for the
Internal Revenue Service
Internal Revenue Service (IRS). She left the IRS
to become a full-time mother when her fourth child was born.
Husband Marcus Bachmann and Michele at the 2011
Time 100 gala, where
Michele was an honoree
Michele Marie Amble was born in
Waterloo, Iowa on April 6, 1956, to
Norwegian-American  parents David John Amble (1929–2003) and
"Arlene" Jean Amble (née Johnson) (born c. 1932). One pair of her
great-great-great grandparents, Melchior and Martha Munson, left
Norway and arrived in Wisconsin in 1857. She was still
a young girl when her father, an engineer, moved the family to
Brooklyn Park, Minnesota. She was 14 years old when her parents filed
for divorce. Her father remarried and moved to California, and young
Michele and her mother Jean moved to Anoka, Minnesota. Her mother
remarried three years later to widower Raymond J. LaFave.
In 1978, she married Marcus Bachmann, now a clinical therapist with a
master's degree from
Regent University and a Ph.D. from Union Graduate
School, whom she met while they were undergraduates. After
she received an LL.M. in taxation from William & Mary School of
Law in 1988, the couple moved to Stillwater, Minnesota, a town of
18,000 near Saint Paul, where they run a
Christian counseling center
that provided gay conversion therapy. Bachmann and her husband
have five children: Lucas, Harrison, Elisa, Caroline, and Sophia.
Bachmann said in a 2011 town hall meeting that she suffered a
miscarriage after the birth of their second child, Harrison, an event
she said shaped her pro-life views.
Bachmann and her husband have also provided foster care to 23 other
children, all teenage girls. The Bachmanns were licensed from
1992 to 2000 to handle up to three foster children at a time; the last
child arrived in 1998. The Bachmanns began by providing short-term
care for girls with eating disorders who were patients in a University
Minnesota program. The Bachmann home was legally defined as a
treatment home, with a daily reimbursement rate per child from the
state. Some girls stayed a few months, others more than a year.
She is a former beauty pageant queen.
In May 2012, it was reported that Marcus Bachmann had registered for
Swiss citizenship and after it was finalized, Michele Bachmann
automatically became a citizen as well. The Bachmanns and their
three youngest children were granted citizenship on March 19, 2012.
They had been eligible for this under
Swiss nationality law
Swiss nationality law because
Marcus Bachmann's parents were Swiss. Bachmann denied that she or
her husband had applied for Swiss citizenship, saying that her husband
had already been a dual citizen as the son of Swiss immigrants, and
that she had automatically acquired Swiss citizenship under
then-current Swiss law when she married him in 1978. But in May 2012,
when a Swiss Television reporter said to her "I understand you just
got Swiss citizenship", Bachmann's reply was: "Yes, we did."
Marcus Bachmann did not register the marriage with the Swiss
authorities until 2012. Within two days of the first reports
of Bachmann's dual citizenship, she announced that she had written
to the Swiss consulate to have her Swiss citizenship withdrawn.
Bachmann was a longtime member of Salem Lutheran Church (Wisconsin
Evangelical Lutheran Synod) in Stillwater. She and her husband
withdrew their membership on June 21, 2011, just before she officially
began her presidential campaign. They had not attended the church for
over two years. More recently, according to friends, the Bachmanns
began attending Eagle Brook Church, an
Evangelical Protestant Baptist
church closer to their home.
Bachmann has cited theologian
Francis Schaeffer as a "profound
influence" on her life and her husband's, especially his film series
How Should We Then Live?. She has also described Total Truth:
Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity by Nancy Pearcey
as a "wonderful" book. Journalist
Ryan Lizza has argued that
Bachmann's worldview is deeply influenced by the Christian movement
known as Dominionism, citing the influence of Schaeffer and Pearcey as
evidence. Others have criticized Lizza's article, especially its
connection of Schaeffer with Dominionism. Religion writer
Sarah Posner broadly concurs with Lizza, pointing to the influence of
Herb Titus and R. J. Rushdoony on
Bachmann via the curriculum at O. W. Coburn School of Law.
Bachmann and her husband own a
Christian counseling practice, Bachmann
& Associates. The clinic is run by her husband, who has a
Ph.D. with "a concentration in clinical psychology" from Union
Graduate School. Marcus Bachmann is not a licensed clinical
psychologist in Minnesota. The clinic received nearly $30,000 from
Minnesota government agencies between 2006 and 2010 in addition to at
least $137,000 in federal payments and $24,000 in government grants
for counselor training. When asked about the subject in an
interview, Bachmann indicated that she and her husband had not
benefited at taxpayer expense, saying, "the money that went to the
clinic was actually training money for employees". Marcus Bachmann
has denied allegations that Bachmann & Associates provides
conversion therapy, a controversial psychological treatment repudiated
American Psychological Association
American Psychological Association that attempts to transform
homosexuals into heterosexuals. A former client of Bachmann's
clinic and a hidden camera investigator with the activist group Truth
Wins Out have said that therapists at the clinic do engage in such
practices, but columnist Mariah Blake of
The Nation has
suggested the hidden camera investigator may have been intentionally
baiting the therapist to say something controversial. In a
subsequent interview with the Star Tribune, Marcus Bachmann did not
deny that he or other counselors at his clinic used the technique but
said they did so only at a client's request.
In personal financial disclosure reports for 2006 through 2009,
Bachmann reported earning $32,500 to $105,000 from a farm that was
owned at the time by her ailing father-in-law, Paul Bachmann. The farm
received $260,000 in federal crop and disaster subsidies between 1995
and 2008. Bachmann said that in 2006–2009, her husband acted as
a trustee of the farm for his dying father and so, out of "an
abundance of caution", she claimed the farm as income in financial
disclosures, though it was her in-laws who profited from the farm
during that period.
Early political activism
Bachmann grew up in a Democratic family, but she says she became a
Republican during her senior year at Winona State. She told the
Star Tribune that she was reading Gore Vidal's 1973 novel
Burr: "He was kind of mocking the Founding Fathers and I just thought,
I just remember reading the book, putting it in my lap, looking out
the window and thinking, 'You know what? I don't think I am a
Democrat. I must be a Republican.'"
While still a Democrat, she and her then-fiancé Marcus were inspired
to join the pro-life movement by Francis Schaeffer's 1976 Christian
documentary film How Should We Then Live? They prayed outside of
clinics and engaged in sidewalk counseling, a pro-life protest
activity in which activists approach people entering abortion clinics
in an attempt to dissuade women from obtaining abortions. Since
then, Bachmann has made statements supportive of sidewalk
counseling. Bachmann was a supporter of
Jimmy Carter in 1976, and
she and her husband worked on his campaign. During Carter's
presidency, Bachmann became disappointed with his liberal approach to
public policy, support for legalized abortion and economic decisions
she held responsible for increased gas prices. In the 1980
presidential election, she voted for
Ronald Reagan and worked for his
Her political activism gained media attention at a pro-life protest in
1991. She and approximately 30 other pro-life citizens went to a
Ramsey County Board meeting where a $3 million appropriation was
to go to build a morgue for the county at St. Paul-Ramsey Medical
Center (now Regions Hospital). The Medical Center performed abortions
and employed pro-choice activist Jane Hodgson. Bachmann attended the
meeting to protest public tax dollars going to the hospital; speaking
to the Star Tribune, she said that "in effect, since 1973, I have been
a landlord of an abortion clinic, and I don't like that
In 1993, she and other parents started the K-12 New Heights Charter
School in Stillwater. The publicly funded school's charter mandated
that it be non-sectarian in all programs and practices, but the school
soon developed a strong Christian orientation. Parents of students at
the school complained and the superintendent of schools warned
Bachmann that the school was in violation of state law. Six months
after the school's founding Bachmann resigned and the Christian
orientation was removed from the curriculum, allowing the school to
keep its charter. Bachmann began speaking against a
state-mandated set of educational standards, which propelled her into
the world of politics.
Bachmann became a critic and opponent of Minnesota's School-to-Work
policies. In a 1999 column, she wrote: "School-to-Work alters the
basic mission and purpose of K-12 academic education away from
traditional broad-based academic studies geared toward maximizing
intellectual achievement of the individual. Instead, School-to-Work
utilizes the school day to promote children's acquisition of workplace
skills, viewing children as trainees for increased economic
In November 1999, she and four other Republicans were candidates, as
the "Slate of Five", in an election for the school board of
Stillwater. All five lost.
In 2000, Bachmann defeated 18-year incumbent
Gary Laidig for the
Republican nomination for State Senator for
Minnesota District 56. In
the November 2000 general election, she defeated Ted Thompson of the
Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party (DFL) and Lyno Sullivan of the
Minnesota Independence Party, to win the seat. Two years later, in
November 2002, after redistricting due to the 2000 Census, Bachmann
defeated another incumbent, State Senator Jane Krentz of the DFL, in
the newly drawn State Senate District 52. In office, Bachmann's agenda
focused on the cultural conservative issues of opposition to abortion
and gay marriage.
Same-sex marriage constitutional amendment
On November 20, 2003, Bachmann and Representative Mary Liz Holberg
proposed a constitutional amendment that would bar the state from
legally recognizing same-sex marriage. In 2004, Bachmann and a
coalition of religious leaders announced plans for a "
Marriage" rally. Bachmann's effort to place a marriage amendment
on a referendum ballot in 2004 ultimately failed. She resurrected her
proposal in March 2005, but it stalled indefinitely in a senate
committee that April.
Assistant Minority Leader
In November 2004, Republican Senate Minority Leader
Dick Day appointed
Bachmann as Assistant Minority Leader in charge of Policy for the
Senate Republican Caucus. In July 2005, the Republican Caucus
removed her from her leadership position. Bachmann said that
disagreements with Day over her anti-tax stance were the reason for
U.S. House of Representatives
From January 2007 to January 2015 Bachmann represented Minnesota's 6th
congressional district, which includes the northernmost and eastern
suburbs of the
Twin Cities and St. Cloud. She is the first Republican
woman to be elected to the U.S. House from Minnesota.
In January 2007, a resolution was approved in the House of
Representatives opposing President George W. Bush's plan to increase
troop levels in Iraq. Bachmann voted "No". But before supporting the
proposed surge, Bachmann called for a full hearing, saying, "The
American people deserve to hear and understand the merits of
increasing U.S. troop presence in Iraq. Increased troop presence is
justifiable if that measure would bring a swift conclusion to a
difficult conflict." She hesitated to give a firm endorsement,
calling the hearings "a good first step in explaining to the American
people the course toward victory in Iraq". When pressed, she said
she had not come to any conclusion on the matter, saying, "I don't
believe we have all of the information in front of us. As a member of
Congress that's why I want to go to
Iraq as quickly as I can. I want
to get the best information in front of me."
Member of Congressional delegation
In July 2007, Bachmann joined a Congressional delegation visiting
Ireland, Germany, Pakistan, Kuwait, and Iraq. Bachmann met briefly
(due to security concerns) with U.S. personnel in the
Green Zone and
upon her return she said she "was encouraged by reports of progress
from Crocker, Gen. David Petraeus and other personnel in
to the surge". She said the surge "hasn't had a chance to be in
place long enough to offer a critique of how it's working. (Gen.
Petraeus) said al-Qaida in
Iraq is off its plan and we want to keep it
that way. The surge has only been fully in place for a week or
Bachmann also spoke of the delegation's visit to
Islamabad to meet
Pakistani Prime Minister Aziz at the same time as the siege of Islamic
fundamentalists at the Lal Masjid mosque elsewhere in the city.
She reported that "The group [of U.S. Legislators] had to travel in
armored vehicles and was constantly accompanied by Pakistani
military ... We were all able to see extremely up close and
personal what it's like to be in a region where fighting is occurring.
We constantly felt like we were in need of security." Bachmann
told reporters upon her return that "the dangers posed by Islamic
terrorism in Iraq, Britain and
Pakistan justified the continued
American military presence in Iraq." She said "We don't want to
see al-Qaida get a presence in the United States.
seem to show any signs of letting up. We have to keep that in
On July 11, 2007, Bachmann voted against the College Cost Reduction
and Access Act that raised the maximum
Pell grant from $4,310 to
$5,200, lower interest rates on subsidized student loans to 3.4
percent from 6.8 percent, raise loan limits to $30,500 from $7,500,
disfavor married students who file joint tax returns, provide more
favorable repayment terms to students who fail to use their education
to prosper financially and favor public sector over private sector
workers with much more favorable loan forgiveness benefits.
Supporters of the bill said "it would allow more students to attend
college". Bachmann said her opposition was because "it fails
students and taxpayers with gimmicks, hidden costs and poorly targeted
aid. It contains no serious reform of existing programs, and it favors
the costly, government-run direct lending program over nonprofit and
commercial lenders." The bill passed the House and was signed
by President Bush.
Energy and environment
During the summer of 2008, as national gasoline prices rose to over $4
a gallon, Bachmann became a leading Congressional advocate for
increased domestic oil and natural gas exploration in the Arctic
National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) and the Outer Continental Shelf.
She joined ten other House Republicans and members of the media on a
Congressional Energy Tour to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory
in Golden, Colorado, and to Alaska. The trip was set up by Arctic
Power, an Alaskan lobbying group that advocates for ANWR development.
The purpose of the trip was to receive a firsthand account of emerging
renewable energy technologies and the prospects of increased domestic
oil and natural gas production in Alaska, including ANWR.
Bachmann has said that global warming is "all voodoo, nonsense, hokum,
a hoax" and has been called "one of the GOP's loudest global
warming skeptics". She has said that carbon dioxide is "a natural
byproduct of nature" and a beneficial gas required by plant life. She
stated that because life requires carbon dioxide and it is part of the
planet's life cycle, it cannot be harmful. In a statement she made on
the House floor on Earth Day, April 22, 2009, Bachmann stated she was
against the cap and trade climate legislation, stating: "Carbon
dioxide is not a harmful gas, it is a harmless gas.
Carbon dioxide is
natural; it is not harmful ... We're being told we have to reduce
this natural substance to create an arbitrary reduction in something
that is naturally occurring in the earth."
In March 2008 Bachmann introduced H.R. 849, the Light Bulb Freedom of
Choice Act. The bill would have repealed two sections of the Energy
Independence and Security Act of 2007 signed into law by George W.
Bush. The 2007 Energy Act mandates energy efficiency and labeling
standards for incandescent and fluorescent bulbs. Bachmann's bill
would have required the
Government Accountability Office
Government Accountability Office to show that
a change to fluorescent bulbs would have "clear economic, health and
environmental benefits" before enforcing lighting efficiency
regulations. The bill would have allowed these standards to remain in
place if the comptroller general found they would lead to consumer
savings, reduce carbon-dioxide emissions and pose no health risks to
consumers (such as risks posed by the presence of mercury in
fluorescent bulbs). The bill languished in the House and became
inactive at the end of the 110th Congress. Bachmann reintroduced the
bill in March 2011.
On June 3, 2008, President Bush signed the Credit and Debit Card
Receipt Clarification Act (H.R. 4008) into law. The bipartisan bill,
which Bachmann cosponsored with Congressman
Tim Mahoney (D-Fla.),
removes statutory damages for violations of a 2003 federal law
prohibiting merchants from printing consumers' credit card numbers and
expiration dates on sales receipts, in order to end class-action
lawsuits aimed at businesses that violated the law.
Bachmann opposed both versions of the Wall Street bailout bill for
America's financial sector.
She voted against the first proposed $700 billion bailout of
financial institutions, which failed to pass, 205–228. She also
advocated breaking up
Fannie Mae and
Freddie Mac and barring
executives from excessive compensation or golden parachutes, and
advocated a plan that would suspend mark-to-market accounting rules
and suspend the capital gains tax.
See also: Effects of the 2008–10 automotive industry crisis on the
The American auto companies approached Congress to ask for roughly
$15 billion in loans to keep them operational into 2009. Bachmann
criticized that bill, fearing that the initial sum of money would be
followed by subsequent ones without the companies making changes to
revive their business. Bachmann supported an alternative rescue for
the American auto companies and the rest of the auto industry that
would have set benchmarks for reducing their debt and renegotiating
labor deals and have set up the financial assistance as interim
insurance instead of a taxpayer-financed bailout.
Call for a media exposé of
Barack Obama and members of Congress
On October 17, 2008, Bachmann gave an interview on MSNBC's Hardball
with Chris Matthews in support of the presidential campaign of Senator
John McCain that brought the
Minnesota 6th Congressional District race
national attention. During the interview she criticized Barack Obama
for his association with
Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayers, saying
"... usually we associate with people who have similar ideas to
us, and it seems that it calls into question what Barack Obama's true
beliefs, and values, and thoughts are ... I am very concerned
that he [Barack Obama] may have anti-American views." She noted the
bombing campaign orchestrated by
Bill Ayers before discussing his
association with Obama, arguing that "
Bill Ayers is not someone the
average American wants to see their president have an association
with." Matthews followed up by asking "But he [Obama] is a Senator
from the state of Illinois; he's one of the members of Congress you
suspect of being anti-American. How many people in the Congress of the
United States do you think are anti-American? You've already suspected
Barack Obama, is he alone or are there others?" Bachmann answered,
"What I would say is that the news media should do a penetrating
exposé and take a look ... I wish they would ... I wish the
American media would take a great look at the views of the people in
Congress and find out are they pro-America, or anti-America. I think
people would love to see an exposé like that."
The five Democratic members of Minnesota's congressional delegation
– Tim Walz, Betty McCollum, Keith Ellison,
Collin Peterson and Jim
Oberstar – issued a joint statement in which they questioned her
ability to "work in a bipartisan way to put the interests of our
country first in this time of crisis". Former Secretary of State
Colin Powell and former
Minnesota Governor Arne Carlson
said her comments had influenced their decisions to endorse Obama for
Bachmann brought up the interview before business leaders and
Republicans during a campaign stop in St. Cloud, Minnesota, on October
21, 2008. She stated that she never intended to question Obama's
patriotism. "I made a misstatement. I said a comment that I would take
back. I did not, nor do I, question Barack Obama's patriotism ...
I did not say that
Barack Obama is anti-American nor do I believe that
Barack Obama is anti-American ... [But] I'm very concerned about
Barack Obama's views. I don't believe that socialism is a good thing
for America." In March 2010, Bachmann said, "I said I had very
serious concerns that
Barack Obama had anti-American views—and now I
look like Nostradamus" while speaking at a fund-raiser for the Susan
B. Anthony List. A year later, in March 2011, Bachmann was
Meet the Press
Meet the Press if she still believed that Obama held
un-American views. She responded, "I believe that the actions of this
government have—have been emblematic of ones that have not been
based on true American values." Pressed for clarification, she said,
"I've already answered that question before. I said I had very serious
concerns about the president's views."
Further information: 111th
United States Congress
Bachmann speaking in April 2010
On March 26, 2009, following comments by China proposing adoption of a
global reserve currency, Bachmann introduced a resolution calling for
Constitutional amendment to bar the dollar from being replaced by a
foreign currency. Current law prohibits foreign currency from being
recognized in the U.S., but Bachmann expressed concerns relating to
the president's power to make and interpret treaties. Earlier
that month, at a Financial Services Committee hearing, Bachmann asked
both Treasury Secretary
Timothy Geithner and Federal Reserve Chairman
Ben Bernanke whether they would reject calls for the U.S. to move away
U.S. dollar and they replied that they would.
In a June 17, 2009, interview with The Washington Times, Bachmann
expressed concern that the questions on the 2010
United States Census
had become "very intricate, very personal" and that ACORN, a community
organizing group that had come under fire the previous year, might be
part of the Census Bureau's door-to-door information collection
efforts. She stated, "I know, for my family, the only question we will
be answering is how many people are in our home. We won't be answering
any information beyond that, because the Constitution doesn't require
any information beyond that." According to Politifact, her
statement was incorrect, as the Constitution does require citizens to
complete the census. Fellow Republican Representatives Patrick
Lynn Westmoreland (Ga.) and
John Mica (Fla.) –
members of the Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on
Information Policy, Census and National Archives, which oversees the
census – subsequently asked Bachmann not to boycott the population
Along with Congressman
Ted Poe (Tex.-02), Bachmann introduced the
American Community Survey
American Community Survey Act to limit the amount of personal
information solicited by the U.S. Census Bureau. She reiterated
her belief that the census asks too many personal questions.
Cap and Trade legislation
In March 2009, Bachmann was interviewed by the Northern Alliance Radio
Network and promoted two forums she was hosting the next month in St.
Cloud and Woodbury about Obama's proposed cap-and-trade tax policy to
limit greenhouse gas emissions. Bachmann said she wanted Minnesotans
"armed and dangerous on this issue of the energy tax because we need
to fight back." Bachmann's office quickly clarified that she was
speaking metaphorically, meaning "armed with knowledge." According to
the Star Tribune, her quote went viral across the Internet.
In 2009, Bachmann became a critic of what she characterized as
proposals for mandatory public service. Of the Edward M. Kennedy
Serve America Act, an expansion to
AmeriCorps (a federal community
service organization), she said in April:
It's under the guise of—quote—volunteerism. But it's not
volunteers at all. It's paying people to do work on behalf of
I believe that there is a very strong chance that we will see that
young people will be put into mandatory service. And the real concerns
is that there are provisions for what I would call re-education camps
for young people, where young people have to go and get trained in a
philosophy that the government puts forward and then they have to go
to work in some of these politically correct forums.
The original bill called for an exploration of whether a mandatory
public service program could be established, but the section on
creating a "Congressional Commission on Civic Service" was stripped
from the bill.
In August 2009, Bachmann's political opponents publicized in the local
media and the blogosphere what they described as the "ironic" fact
that her son, Harrison, joined Teach for America, part of
Bachmann contributed to the "death panel" controversy when she read
from a July 24 article written by
Betsy McCaughey from the floor of
Sarah Palin said that her "death panel" remark was inspired
by what she called the "Orwellian" opinions of
Ezekiel Emanuel as
described by Bachmann, who accused him
of advocating health care rationing by age and disability.
According to PolitiFact and TIME, Bachmann's euthanasia
remarks distorted Emanuel's position on health care for the elderly
and disabled. FactCheck.org stated, "We agree that Emanuel's meaning
is being twisted." When many doctors wanted to legalize
euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide, Emanuel opposed it.
On August 31, 2009, Bachmann spoke at an event in Colorado, saying of
Democratic health care overhaul proposals that:
This cannot pass. What we have to do today is make a covenant, to slit
our wrists, be blood brothers on this thing. This will not pass. We
will do whatever it takes to make sure this doesn't pass.
She outlined ideas for changing the health care system, including:
"Erase the boundaries around every single state when it comes to
health care", enabling consumers to purchase insurance across state
lines; increase the use of health savings accounts and allow everyone
to "take full deductibility of all medical expenses", including
insurance premiums; and tort reform.
Bachmann denounced the government-run health insurance public option,
calling it a "government takeover of health care" that would "squeeze
out private health insurance".
Criticism of President Obama's visit to Asia
In an interview with
Anderson Cooper on November 3, 2010, when
discussing cuts in government spending for Medicare and Social
Security suggested by Congressman Paul Ryan, Bachmann was asked what
cuts in government spending she would make to reduce the deficit. She
cited President Obama's then-upcoming visit to Asia as an example,
saying it "is expected to cost the taxpayers $200 million a day.
He's taking two thousand people with him. He'll be renting out over
870 rooms in India. And these are 5-star hotel rooms at the Taj Mahal
Palace hotel. This is the kind of over-the-top spending, it's a very
small example, Anderson." Bachmann was apparently referring to
information in a story from the Press Trust of India, attributed to "a
top official of the Maharashtra Government privy to the arrangements
for the high-profile visit", information that was also published in
U.S.-based media such as The Drudge Report. In response to the
news report's claim that 34 warships were accompanying the President,
a Pentagon spokesman, Geoff Morrell, dismissed the account as
White House said that the press report figures were
"wildly inflated" and had "no basis in reality". While stating
that they could not give the actual projected figures for security
reasons, staffers maintained costs were in line with the official
travel costs of previous presidents Bush and Clinton.
See also: List of Tea Party politicians
Bachmann in February 2011
After the 2010 elections and the announcement from Rep. Mike Pence
that he was stepping away from his leadership position in the House,
Bachmann announced on her Facebook page her intention to seek the
position of House Republican Conference Chair. As Bachmann is the
founder of the House's Tea Party Caucus, her announcement caused some
to see the leadership election as "an early test of how GOP leaders
will treat the antiestablishment movement's winners". Many among
the House's Republican leadership, including
Eric Cantor and the
retiring Mike Pence, were quick to endorse Rep.
Jeb Hensarling for the
John Boehner remained neutral on the
issue. Supporters of Bachmann's run include Reps. Steve King,
John Kline, Louie Gohmert, Chip Cravaack, Erik Paulsen, as well as
media personality and political commentator Glenn Beck. Listing
her qualifications for the position Bachmann noted "I've done an
effective job speaking out at a national and local level, motivating
people with our message, calling attention to deficits in Obama's
policy. I was instrumental in bringing tens of thousands of people to
the U.S. capitol to rally against Obama care and to attend our press
conference." She noted her work to keep the Tea Party within the
GOP rather than having it become a third party thereby helping the
party capture the House, stating "I have been able to bring a voice
and motivate people to, in effect, put that gavel in John Boehner's
hands, so that Republicans can lead going forward. …It's important
that leadership represents the choice of the people coming into our
caucus….I think I have motivated a high number of people to get
involved in this cycle who may have sat it out and that have made a
difference on a number of these races. I gave a large amount of money
to NRCC and individual candidates and started Michele PAC, which
raised $650,000 for members since July, so I was able to financially
help about 50 people out."
Bachmann's bid suffered a setback when she was passed over for the
GOP's transition team on which Hensarling was placed. Despite
Bachmann's leading all other Representatives in fund raising, a
Republican aide stated some "members are getting resentful of
Bachmann, who they say is making the argument that you're not really a
Tea Party supporter unless you support her. That's gone through the
formation of the
Tea Party Caucus
Tea Party Caucus and the formation of this candidacy
of hers. It's just not so." Sarah Palin, with whom Bachmann had
campaigned earlier in the year, declined to endorse her leadership
bid, while other Tea Party favorites Reps Adam Kinzinger and Tim Scott
were placed on the transition team. According to some senior
House staff members, the party leadership was concerned about some of
Bachmann's high profile faux pas, the high rate of turnover among her
staff, and how willing she would be to advance the party's messaging
rather than her own.
On November 10, Bachmann released a statement ending her campaign for
Conference Chair and giving her "enthusiastic" support to
Bachmann was selected by House Speaker
John Boehner for a position "on
the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, giving her a new
role as overseer of the Central Intelligence Agency, the National
Security Agency and the rest of the U.S. intelligence community."
Bachmann, who had "not served on any committee that deals with foreign
policy issues" requested the position, "a move that has fueled
speculation that she may be planning to carry the Tea Party banner
into the GOP presidential primaries."
Repeal of Dodd-Frank reform
Soon after being sworn into her third term, Bachmann introduced
legislation to repeal the Dodd-Frank financial reform law. She stated,
"I'm pleased to offer a full repeal of the job-killing Dodd-Frank
financial regulatory bill. Dodd-Frank grossly expanded the federal
government beyond its jurisdictional boundaries. It gave Washington
bureaucrats the power to interpret and enforce the legislation with
little oversight. Real financial regulatory reform must deal with
these lenders who were a leading cause of our economic recession. True
reform must also end the bailout mind-set that was perpetuated by the
last Congress." She also took issue with the law for not addressing
the liabilities of the tax-payer funded
Fannie Mae and Freddie
Mac. Bachmann's bill was endorsed by conservative groups such as
Club for Growth
Club for Growth and Americans for Prosperity. It gained four other
Republican co-sponsors, including Rep. Darrell Issa, who became the
new chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee at
the start of the 112th Congress. Bachmann's call for total repeal
was seen as more drastic than the approach advocated by her fellow
Spencer Bachus who became the House Financial Services
Committee Chairman with the change of majority in the House. Bachus
"plans to provide 'vigorous' oversight of regulators efforts to reform
banking and housing ... reform Fannie and Freddie", and
"dismantle pieces of [the] Dodd-Frank Act that he believes
'unnecessarily punish small businesses and community banks.'" In
response to Bachmann's legislation Rep
Barney Frank stated, "Michele
Bachmann, the Club for Growth, and others in the right-wing coalition
have now made their agenda for the financial sector very clear: they
yearn to return to the thrilling days of yesteryear, so the loan
arrangers can ride again—untrammeled by any rules restraining
irresponsibility, excess, deception, and most of all, infinite
leverage." The chances of Bachmann's legislation passing were
viewed as unlikely, the
Financial Times wrote that "Like the
Republican move to repeal healthcare reform, Ms Bachmann's bill could
be passed by the House of Representatives but be blocked by the Senate
or White House."
State of the Union response
Bachmann responded to President Obama's 2011 State of the Union speech
Tea Party Express
Tea Party Express website; this speech was broadcast live by
CNN. She insisted that her response was not intended to counter the
official Republican party response by Rep.
Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.
When asked if the speech was an indication of competition with Ryan
and Speaker Boehner's leadership team, Bachmann dismissed such a view
as "a fiction of the media", she had alerted Ryan and the leadership
team that her response might go national and no objections were
Bachmann has characterized the Patient Protection and Affordable Care
Act as "ObamaCare", and has continually called for its repeal.
She recalled to reporters that she called for debate to repeal the act
"the morning after Obamacare passed". Joining with Rep. Steve
King she introduced "the Bachmann-King repeal of health care bill"
stating that it "is our intent in our heart to make sure that
Obamacare is completely repealed." In light of a Democratic held
Senate and Presidency that oppose repeal, Bachmann called on the
Republican held House of Representatives to not provide any funds for
the implementation of the act "But until we can see that [repeal]
happen, we want to fully defund this bill so that, like, it would be
akin to a helium balloon that gets no helium inside so that it can't
take off the ground, and that's what we're planning to do. I'm very,
very grateful for nothing else; having a majority in the House of
Representatives so that we have the ability of the power of the purse
to not fund Obamacare, and this is exactly the right way to go."
On March 4, 2011, Bachmann (who was one of the six House Republicans
to vote against the continuing resolution) expressed her unhappiness
with the move that gave a two-week reprieve to the fear of government
shutdown, stating "I am vowing to vote 'no' on future Continuing
Resolutions to fund the government unless there is specific language
included to defund Obamacare and rescind the funding that has already
been appropriated. Defunding Obamacare, along with defunding Planned
Parenthood, must be non-negotiable planks in our budget
In an appearance on
Meet the Press
Meet the Press on March 6, 2011, and during a
March 7, 2011, interview with Sean Hannity, Bachmann declared that the
Obama administration and the Congressional Democrats had hidden
$105 billion in spending in the overhaul of the American Health
Care System. She portrayed the Democratic leadership as timing the
release of the bill's text to avoid detection of the spending "We
didn't get the bill until a literally couple of hours before we were
supposed to vote on it." She also stated the spending was split
up within different portions of the bill to mask its total cost.
Bachmann was alerted of the situation by the conservative Heritage
Foundation which read the tallies of the Congressional Research
Service and Congressional Budget Office.
Reports listed a partial breakdown of the costs which include "about
$40 billion would go to the Children's Health Insurance Program,
$15 billion would go to Medicare and Medicaid innovation
programs, and $9.5 billion would go to the Community Health
Centers Fund." As the funds are designated mandatory spending
(they are not controlled by the annual appropriations acts), the funds
would remain even if the move to defund the reform law succeeded.
Bachmann stated that $16 billion of the money gives Health and
Human Services Secretary
Kathleen Sebelius a "slush fund ... [to
do] whatever she wants with this money." She called on the bills
supporters to return the money, "I think this deception that the
president and [former House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi and [Senate Majority
Leader Harry] Reid put forward with appropriating over
$105 billion needs to be given back to the people."
When asked during the
Meet the Press
Meet the Press interview if she would take back
her previous comments that Obama "may have anti-American views" and
that his administration had "embraced something called gangster
government", Bachmann backed her statements, saying "I do believe that
actions that have been taken by this White House—I don't take back
my statements on gangster government. I think that there have been
actions taken by the government that are corrupt ... I said I
have very serious concerns about the president's views, and I think
the president's actions in the last two years speak for
In response to Bachmann's charges Chief Deputy Democratic Whip Rep.
Jan Schakowsky, who serves on the House health subcommittee, pointed
out that the report Bachmann refers to is an update of a report that
came out in October 2010 and that the costs were spelled out in both
the bill and the Congressional Budget Office's estimate of its cost,
Michele Bachmann obviously didn't read the bill, because there was
absolutely nothing hidden in that legislation." Schakowsky held that
the costs were not kept secret, citing the $40 billion for the
Children's Health Insurance Program as an example "There was a robust
debate about whether or not that should be included, etc. So this idea
of somehow, now at the last minute, there was a secret addition to
some kind of funding ... is absolute nonsense."
In a September 2011 Republican presidential debate in Tampa, FL,
Rick Perry for his support for the humanpapilloma
virus (HPV) vaccine and his support for mandating the HPV vaccine for
Texas girls. The American Academy of Pediatrics,
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Academy of Family
Physicians, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists,
Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and other medical
organizations worldwide are in favor of immunizing girls and boys
against HPV. HPV can cause lesions and genital warts, and
has been linked to cervical cancer as well as genital and oral cancers
in people of any gender. Because the vaccine is effective only if
given before the onset of sexual activity and subsequent exposure to
the virus, medical groups recommend the three dose vaccine be given to
11- and 12-year-olds. Bachmann, during the debate and
in interviews following the event, accused Perry of “crony
capitalism” (because Perry’s former chief of staff was chief
lobbyist for a drug company manufacturing the vaccine), and claimed
that the HPV vaccine was dangerous and caused mental
retardation. She repeatedly referred to an anecdotal account
from a mother of a girl who been immunized for HPV. “She told me
that her little daughter took that vaccine, that injection, and she
suffered mental retardation thereafter,” Bachmann said. “There is
no second chance for these little girls if there is any dangerous
consequences to their bodies." Shortly after Bachmann’s
statements at the debate, the
American Academy of Pediatrics
American Academy of Pediatrics released
a statement: “The
American Academy of Pediatrics
American Academy of Pediatrics would like to
correct false statements made in the Republican presidential campaign
that HPV vaccine is dangerous and can cause mental retardation. There
is absolutely no scientific validity to this statement. Since the
vaccine has been introduced, more than 35 million doses have been
administered, and it has an excellent safety record."
Fewer than one percent of those receiving the vaccine reported
neurological side effects or, in rare cases, severe allergic
reactions, none linked to changes in cognitive ability.
Bachmann later acknowledged that she was not a doctor or a
Muslim Brotherhood influence
In June–July 2012, Bachmann and several other Republican
legislators sent a series of letters to oversight agencies at
five federal departments citing "serious security concerns" about what
Bachmann has called a "deep penetration in the halls of our United
States government" by the
Muslim Brotherhood. They requested formal
investigations into what Bachmann called "influence operations" by the
Bachmann also accused Huma Abedin, an aide to Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton and former Rep. Anthony Weiner's wife, of having
family connections to the
Bachmann's comments have drawn what the Washington Post calls "fierce
criticism from fellow lawmakers and religious groups." In a
speech on the Senate floor, 2008 Republican presidential candidate
John McCain denounced Bachmann's charges as "specious and
degrading". He defended Abedin as a "hard-working and loyal servant of
our country and our government" and stated "these attacks on Huma have
no logic, no basis and no merit. They need to stop now." House
John Boehner termed Bachmann's allegations "dangerous", and
other Republicans have also criticized the remarks.
In a letter to Bachmann, Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., a Muslim, asked
for evidence backing her claims and stated, "Your response simply
rehashes claims that have existed for years on anti-
and contains no reliable information that the
Muslim Brotherhood has
infiltrated the U.S. government".
Bachmann has replied that "the intention of the letters was to outline
the serious national security concerns I had and ask for answers to
questions regarding the
Muslim Brotherhood and other radical group's
access to top Obama administration officials". In a July 19
interview with radio and TV show host Glenn Beck, Bachmann repeated
and expanded her allegations, accusing Ellison of having "a long
record of being associated with the Council on American–Islamic
Relations and with the
Muslim Brotherhood". Ellison replied that
"I am not now, nor have I ever been, associated with the Muslim
Presidential campaign finance investigation
In 2013, Bachmann was under investigation by the House Ethics
Committee, the Federal Election Commission, the
Iowa Senate Ethics
Committee, the Urbandale Police Department and the Federal Bureau of
Investigation because of alleged campaign finance violations in her
2012 campaign for President.
It is alleged that members of her staff made under-the-table payments,
that funds were illegally transferred from her leadership PAC to pay
consultants for her presidential campaign and that hidden payments
were made to
Iowa State Senator Kent Sorenson.
Additionally, a lawsuit was filed alleging that Bachmann and several
former staffers stole and misused an
Iowa homeschool group's e-mail
distribution list. The trial, Heki v. Bachmann, had been set for May
14, 2014, but the case was settled out of court on June 28,
On July 26, 2013, the
House Ethics Committee announced they were
conducting a full investigation of Bachmann, saying that they had
received a referral from the Office of Congressional Ethics.
On May 29, 2013, Bachmann announced that she would not seek
re-election to her Congressional seat in 2014. Bachmann stated in
an interview with
Fox News in June 2013 that she was "not going
silent," and would remain involved in politics. She did not rule out a
future run for office, or even for the White House. She also said
that probes into her campaign finance and the narrow margin of victory
for her election were not a part of her decision against seeking
re-election. With her retirement from Congress, the ethics
investigations against her were dropped. Bachmann indicated,
during a December 2017 New Year's weekend interview with televangelist
Jim Bakker, that she is considering running for the U.S. Senate seat
vacated by Al Franken, but that she is waiting on counsel from God
before making up her mind.
Committee on Financial Services
Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government-Sponsored Enterprises
Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations
Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
According to an article in the Stillwater Gazette, a local newspaper
in Minnesota, Bachmann supports the teaching of creationism alongside
evolution in public school science classes. During a 2003
interview on the KKMS Christian radio program
Talk The Walk, Bachmann
said that evolution is a theory that has never been proven one way or
the other. She co-authored a bill (that received no additional
endorsement among her fellow legislators) that would require public
schools to include alternative explanations for the origin of life as
part of the state's public school science curricula. In October
2006, Bachmann told a debate audience in St. Cloud,
is a controversy among scientists about whether evolution is a fact or
not ... There are hundreds and hundreds of scientists, many of
them holding Nobel Prizes, who believe in intelligent design."
However, at least one news report, presenting a "sampling of
Bachmann's ... ludicrous or plain old false claims", stated that
this was untrue, and that "when the science isn't on [Bachmann's]
side, she simply improvises."
Bachmann has praised the Christian youth ministry You Can Run But You
Cannot Hide International (YCRBYCH), hailing "the group's work of
sharing the gospel in public schools". She appeared as a keynote
speaker at their fundraisers in 2006 and 2009.
Following a 2011 controversial invocation for the Minnesota
House, Bradlee Dean (the founder of YCRBYCH), declared that
criticisms of him and his ministry were also "intended to harm and
destroy the presidential campaign of Congresswoman Michele
Bachmann ... [who] previously praised and prayed for the work of
Bachmann has a history of opposing anti-bullying legislation. In 2006,
she told the
Minnesota Legislature that passing an anti-bullying bill
would be a waste of time. "I think for all of us, our experience in
public schools is there have always been bullies," Bachmann said.
"Always have been, always will be. I just don't know how we're ever
going to get to the point of zero tolerance ... What does it
mean? ... Will we be expecting boys to be girls?"
Bachmann addressing a
Tea Party Express
Tea Party Express rally in Minneapolis
Minnesota Senate, Bachmann opposed minimum wage increases.
In an interview in late June 2011, Bachmann did not back away from her
earlier proposal to eliminate the federal minimum wage, a change she
said would "virtually wipe out unemployment."
In a 2001 flyer, Bachmann and Michael J. Chapman wrote that federal
policies manage a centralized, state-controlled economy in the United
States. She wrote that education laws passed by Congress in 2001,
including "School To Work" and "Goals 2000", created a new national
school curriculum that embraced "a socialist, globalist worldview;
loyalty to all government and not America." In 2003, Bachmann
said that the "Tax Free Zones" economic initiatives of Republican
Tim Pawlenty were based on the
Marxist principle of "from
each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs."
She also said that the administration was attempting to govern and run
centrally planned economies through an organization called the
Minnesota Economic Leadership Team (MELT), an advisory board on
economic and workforce policy chaired by Pawlenty. Prior to her
election to the state senate, and again in 2005, Bachmann signed a "no
new taxes" pledge sponsored by the Taxpayers League of
Minnesota. As a state senator, Bachmann introduced two bills
that would have severely limited state taxation. In 2003, she proposed
Minnesota state constitution to adopt the "Taxpayers'
Bill of Rights" (TABOR).
In 2005, Bachmann opposed
Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty's proposal
for a state surcharge of 75 cents per pack on the wholesale cost of
cigarettes. Bachmann said that she opposed the state surcharge "100
percent—it's a tax increase." She later was criticized by the
Taxpayers' League for reversing her position and voting in favor of
the cigarette surcharge.
She has promised to bring the price of gasoline down to $2 per gallon,
without specifying a plan for how to accomplish this.
Bachmann supports increased domestic drilling of oil and natural gas,
as well as pursuing renewable sources of energy such as wind and
solar. She is a strong proponent of nuclear power.
Bachmann has stated a strong opposition toward the Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA), pledging at an August 2011 campaign rally,
"... I guarantee you the EPA will have doors locked and lights
turned off and they will only be about conservation." In 2007 and
2010, Bachmann was actively soliciting for funds from the EPA on
behalf of constituents in her congressional district.
Social Security and Medicare phaseout
Bachmann has called for phasing out Social Security and Medicare:
... what you have to do, is keep faith with the people that are
already in the system, that don't have any other options, we have to
keep faith with them. But basically what we have to do is wean
everybody else off.
Bachmann speaking as a candidate for President in September 2011
Bachmann says in dealing with Iran, diplomacy "is our option", but
that other options, including a nuclear strike, shouldn't be taken off
She has also said that she is "a long time supporter of Israel".
In a discussion about the G-20 summit in Toronto, during an interview
with conservative radio host Scott Hennen, Bachmann stated that she
does not want America to be part of the international global
I don't want the
United States to be in a global economy where our
economic future is bound to that of Zimbabwe, We can't necessarily
trust the decisions that are being made financially in other
countries. I don't like the decisions that are being made in our own
country, but certainly I don't want to trust the value of my currency
and my future to that of like a Chavez down in Venezuela.
On economists who have influenced her views, Bachmann told The Wall
... the late Milton Friedman as well as Thomas Sowell and Walter
Williams]]. "I'm also an Art Laffer fiend—we're very close," she
adds. "And [Ludwig] von Mises. I love von Mises," getting excited and
rattling off some of his classics like Human Action and Bureaucracy.
"When I go on vacation and I lay on the beach, I bring von
'The Republic is at Stake', WorldNetDaily, June 13, 2013.
Bachmann believes that strengthened enforcement of immigration laws is
required for the growth of the American job market. She supports
amending the Immigration and Nationality Act to allow only the
immediate family of legal immigrants (not extended family members)
priority consideration in the immigration process. She voted
against the DREAM Act. She has also stated that the current law
does not need modification but proper enforcement.
Bachmann said: "... the immigration system in the United States
worked very, very well up until the mid-1960s when liberal members of
Congress changed the immigration laws."
Bachmann has expressed support for immigration of highly skilled
professionals such as chemists and engineers.
She is against the 2013 immigration reform bill, indicating that
passing it would mean the end of the Republican Party. On
WorldNetDaily she stated "This is President Obama's number one
political agenda because he knows we will never again have a
Republican president ever if amnesty goes into effect."
Same-sex marriage constitutional amendment
Bachmann supports both a federal and state constitutional amendment
banning same-sex marriage and any legal equivalents.
In August 2006, the
Star Tribune reported that, in March
2006, Bachmann was on a
Minneapolis radio show advocating for a state
constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. A caller asked her
to explain how he, a heterosexual, would be harmed if his gay
neighbors were allowed to marry. Bachmann replied by saying: "Public
schools would have to teach that homosexuality and same-sex marriage
are normal, natural and that maybe children should try them." The Star
Tribune also reported that Bachmann has publicly referred to
homosexuality as "sexual dysfunction", "sexual identity disorders",
and "personal enslavement" that leads to "sexual anarchy".
Bachmann has identified herself as pro-life and has been endorsed in
her runs for Congress by the
Susan B. Anthony List
Susan B. Anthony List and Minnesota
Citizens Concerned for Life. At a debate among presidential
candidates in New Hampshire, when asked if abortion should be allowed
in cases of rape or incest, Bachmann responded that she is "100
percent pro-life". In the state senate, Bachmann introduced a
bill proposing a constitutional amendment restricting state funds for
abortion. The bill died in committee.
Federal-backed home loans
According to an article in the Washington Post, in 2008 Bachmann may
have taken advantage of a federal program for a home loan, then called
for dismantling the program, though the article notes that the public
and other members of Congress have taken advantage of such loans
despite seeing reasons to criticize them. When asked about it,
she said: "This is the problem. It is almost impossible to buy a home
in this country today without the federal government being
Opinion on President Obama's birth certificate
Bachmann was never a part of the birther movement but said that
President Obama could resolve the dispute by producing his long-form
birth certificate. In April 2011, after Obama released the
certificate, Bachmann was asked about the issue on Good Morning
America by George Stephanopoulos. She said that its release "should
settle the matter", that "I take the President at his word", and that
"We have bigger fish to fry".
Official photo, c. 2007
2006 congressional campaign
Minnesota's 6th congressional district
Minnesota's 6th congressional district election, 2006
Bachmann won her Congressional seat in the 2006 election with 50
percent of the vote, as she defeated
Party (DFL) candidate
Patty Wetterling and the Independence Party's
The U.S. 6th District's congressman since 2001, Mark Kennedy,
announced in late 2005 that he would be running for the U.S. Senate
seat being vacated by
Mark Dayton of the DFL. Bachmann states "God
then called me to run" for the U.S. House seat, and that she and her
husband fasted for three days to be more sure.
According to Bloomberg.com news, evangelical conservative leader James
Dobson put the resources of his organization behind her 2006 campaign.
Focus on the Family
Focus on the Family planned to distribute 250,000 voter
Minnesota churches to reach social conservatives, according
to Tom Prichard, president of the
Minnesota Family Council, a local
affiliate of Dobson's group. In addition to Minnesota, Dobson's group
also organized turnout drives in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Michigan,
New Jersey and Montana.
During a debate televised by
WCCO-TV on October 28, 2006, news
reporter Pat Kessler quoted a story that appeared in the Minneapolis
Star Tribune and asked Bachmann whether it was true that the church
she belonged to taught that the Pope is the Anti-Christ. Bachmann
stated that her church "does not believe that the Pope is the
Anti-Christ, that's absolutely false ... I'm very grateful that
my pastor has come out and been very clear on this matter, and I think
it's patently absurd and it's a false statement."
Bachmann received support from a fundraising visit in early July 2006
from Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert. On July 21, 2006, Karl
Minnesota to raise funds for her election. In
George W. Bush
George W. Bush was the keynote speaker at her
congressional fundraiser, which raised about $500,000. Bachmann
also received fundraising support from Vice President Dick
National Republican Congressional Committee put
nearly $3 million into the race, for electronic and direct-mail
ads against DFLer Wetterling. The amount was significantly more than
Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee
Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spent on behalf of
Wetterling. On November 7, 2006, Bachmann defeated opponents Patty
Wetterling and John Binkowski, taking 50 percent of the vote to
Wetterling's 42 percent and Binkowski's eight percent.
2008 congressional campaign
United States House of Representatives
United States House of Representatives elections in
Minnesota, 2008 § District 6
In 2008, Bachmann won re-election over her DFL and Independence Party
endorsed opponent Elwyn Tinklenberg. With all precincts reported,
Bachmann won, 46.41% to 43.43%. Because Tinklenberg was running
as a DFLer in the Democratic primary this allowed candidate Bob
Anderson to run in the Independence Party primary unopposed despite
not having the Independence endorsement. Anderson received 10% of the
2010 congressional campaign
United States House of Representatives
United States House of Representatives elections in
Minnesota, 2010 § District 6
Bachmann was challenged in 2010 by DFL nominee
Tarryl Clark and
Independence Party candidate Bob Anderson. With more than
$8.5 million, Bachmann spent more than any other House of
Representative candidate, although her opponent, Tarryl Clark, was
able to raise $4 million, one of the largest fundraising efforts
in the nation for a U.S. House challenger. On November 2, 2010,
Tarryl Clark by 52% to 40% of the vote.
2012 presidential campaign
Michele Bachmann presidential campaign, 2012
In early 2011, there was much speculation that Bachmann would run for
president in 2012. Bachmann participated in the second Republican
presidential debate in
New Hampshire on June 13, 2011; during the
debate she announced she had filed paperwork with the Federal Election
Commission (FEC) earlier that day to become a candidate for the GOP
nomination. Bachmann formally announced her candidacy for the
2012 Republican presidential nomination on June 27, 2011, during an
appearance in Waterloo, Iowa.
Although she won the
Ames Straw Poll
Ames Straw Poll hosted by the
Iowa GOP on August
13, 2011, becoming the first woman ever to win the poll, when the
actual caucuses were held on January 3, 2012, she finished sixth with
4.98% of the vote. Bachmann announced on January 4 that she would be
cancelling her scheduled campaign trips to South Carolina, as she
was suspending her presidential campaign.
2012 congressional campaign
United States House of Representatives
United States House of Representatives elections in
Minnesota, 2012 § District 6
On January 25, 2012, Bachmann announced that she would run for
reelection for her seat in Congress.
According to Politico.com, as of July 2012, Bachmann has "raised close
to $15 million" for the 2012 election, a figure it called
"astounding ... more than some Senate candidates will collect
this year." From July to the end of September, Bachmann raised
$4.5 million. This amount put her ahead of all other members of
congress (including Allen West who was in second place with $4
million) for the third quarter. Bachmann said that she was "humbled by
the enormous outpouring of grassroots support for my campaign focused
on keeping America the most secure and prosperous nation in the
Despite a more favorable district Bachmann only narrowly won
re-election, receiving just 4,298 more votes than her DFL challenger
Main article: Electoral history of Michele Bachmann
In November 2011 Bachmann published her autobiography, Core of
Conviction, in which she outlines the events and people who have
shaped her values and beliefs including her parents' divorce when she
was in the ninth grade. She describes the financial struggles her
mother suffered as a single parent in trying to provide for her family
and the work ethic she developed as a result of it. She writes of that
time, "I took every baby sitting job I could get, because by ninth
grade, I was growing conscious of my appearance. In those days, girls
had to wear dresses to public school, and if I wanted pretty dresses,
I had to buy them, because mom couldn't afford them for me; she
couldn't afford lunch money."
Bachmann writes about her political conversion as a young adult when
Jimmy Carter, whom she voted for, let her down. "It was in the
perilous fires of the Carter administration that my ideology was
forged," she wrote. "In the seventies, Carter taught me what I was
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Service. She says it was because she wanted to change the tax code,
"from the inside out." She also commented on her role as a Tea Party
leader. "I once said that the Tea Party represents 90 percent of
Americans. I now realize that I misspoke," she admitted. "I should
have said 100 percent, because I believe that nearly all Americans
retain faith in the ordered liberty that the Constitution
United States congressional delegations from Minnesota
United States Representatives from Minnesota
Women in the
United States House of Representatives
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Minnesota Legislators Past & Present
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Member of the
from the 56th district
Member of the
from the 52nd district
U.S. House of Representatives
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Minnesota's 6th congressional district
Party political offices
Chair of the Tea Party Caucus
Members of the
U.S. House of Representatives
U.S. House of Representatives from Minnesota
Districts 1–8 (active)
Territorial Delegate, 1849–1858
Districts 9–10 and Statewide General Ticket (obsolete)
United States presidential election, 2012
United States elections, 2012
Statewide polls (pre-2012, early 2012)
General election debates
Incumbent nominee: Barack Obama
Incumbent VP nominee: Joe Biden
Challengers: Bob Ely
Nominee: Mitt Romney
VP nominee: Paul Ryan
Michele Bachmann (campaign)
Herman Cain (campaign)
Newt Gingrich (campaign)
Jon Huntsman (campaign)
Gary Johnson (campaign)
Thaddeus McCotter (campaign)
Ron Paul (campaign)
Tim Pawlenty (campaign)
Rick Perry (campaign)
Buddy Roemer (campaign)
Rick Santorum (campaign)
Nominee: Gary Johnson
VP nominee: Jim Gray
Candidates: Jim Duensing
R. J. Harris
R. Lee Wrights
Jill Stein (campaign)
VP nominee: Cheri Honkala
Candidates: Stewart Alexander
Other third-party and independent candidates
American Independent Party
Nominee Tom Hoefling
Candidates Wiley Drake
Virgil Goode (campaign)
Edward C. Noonan
American Third Position Party
Nominee Merlin Miller
VP nominee Virginia Abernethy
Nominee Tom Hoefling
Virgil Goode (campaign)
VP nominee Jim Clymer
Candidates Darrell Castle
Freedom Socialist Party
Nominee Stephen Durham
Nominee Jim Carlson
Nominee Rocky Anderson
VP nominee Luis J. Rodriguez
Nominee Tom Stevens
Party for Socialism and Liberation
Nominee Peta Lindsay
Peace and Freedom Party
Nominee Roseanne Barr
VP nominee Cindy Sheehan
Candidates Stewart Alexander
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Candidates James Hedges
Nominee Andre Barnett
Candidates Laurence Kotlikoff
Buddy Roemer (campaign)
Robert David Steele
Socialist Equality Party
Nominee Jerry White
Socialist Workers Party
Nominee James Harris
Stewart Alexander (campaign)
VP nominee Alejandro Mendoza
Candidates Lee Abramson
Michael Bloomberg (movement)
District of Columbia
Other 2012 elections: House
Minnesota's delegation(s) to the 110th–113th United States
Congresses (ordered by seniority)
Senate: N. Coleman A. Klobuchar
House: J. Oberstar J. Ramstad C. Peterson
B. McCollum J. Kline T. Walz K. Ellison
Senate: A. Klobuchar A. Franken
House: J. Oberstar C. Peterson B. McCollum
J. Kline T. Walz K. Ellison M. Bachmann
Senate: A. Klobuchar A. Franken
House: C. Peterson B. McCollum J. Kline
T. Walz K. Ellison M. Bachmann E. Paulsen
Senate: A. Klobuchar A. Franken
House: C. Peterson B. McCollum J. Kline
T. Walz K. Ellison M. Bachmann E. Paulsen
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