Wednesday, 03 January 2018

Former Rep. Michelle Bachmann May Run for Senate Seat Previously Held by Al Franken

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Speaking during an interview on The Jim Bakker Show that aired last week, former Representative and presidential candidate Michelle Bachman (R-Minn.; shown) said that after multiple people have urged her to run for the Senate seat once held by Al Franken she is considering such a run. Bachman said she has prayerfully asked God if she should enter the race.

“The question is: Should it be me, should it be now?“ Bachmann said during the interview. “The only reason I would run is for the ability to take these principles into the United States Senate.” 

The former congresswoman added: “But there’s also a price you pay. And the price is bigger than ever because the swamp is so toxic.”

Bachmann told Bakker and his co-host and wife, Lori Bakker, that if she runs for the Senate she fears she will be unfairly attacked by Washington insiders.

“My husband and I aren’t money people. And that’s the thing. We’re normal…. If you’re a billionaire, you can maybe defend yourself. We’re not money people. You know, you can have frivolous lawsuits filed against you all the time, and then what do you do?”

“It is really tough if you are going against the tide in D.C. — if you are trying to stand for biblical principles in D.C. and you stick your head up out of the hole, the blades come roaring and they come to chop you off,” she said.

Bachmann served Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District from 2007 to 2015, but first came to national prominence during her unsuccessful campaign for the White House in 2011, dropping out of the race in January 2012 after finishing in sixth place in the Iowa caucuses.

As a writer for The New American observed when Bachmann first considered running for the presidency in January 2011: “She has been elected from a very ‘progressive’ state, but Michelle Bachmann has remained as true to the principles of limited, constitutional government as any member of Congress.”

During the Republican presidential debates held later that year, Bachmann had an opportunity to make her position known on a number of issues.

During the first Republican debate of the election cycle, held at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire on June 13, the candidates were asked for their position on ObamaCare. Bachmann replied, in part:

I was the very first member of Congress to introduce the full-scale repeal of ObamaCare. And I want to make a promise to everyone watching tonight: As president of the United States, I will not rest until I repeal ObamaCare. It’s a promise. Take it to the bank, cash the check. I’ll make sure that that happens. 

During that same debate, the candidates were asked about how they would help job growth in the United States. Bachmann said:

Every time the liberals get into office, they pass an omnibus bill of big spending projects. What we need to do is pass the mother of all repeal bills, but it's the repeal bill that will get a job killing regulations. And I would begin with the EPA, because there is no other agency like the EPA. It should really be renamed the job-killing organization of America.

During another debate in Iowa in August 2011, Bachmann was quick to retaliate when another candidate, former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty, attacked her record. Standing directly at her side, Pawlenty accused her of “making false statements” and having “a record of misstatements.”

Bachmann responded immediately, saying that Pawlenty had pursued policies as Minnesota governor that sound “a lot more like Barack Obama, if you ask me.” She cited Pawlenty’s support for cap-and-trade environmental policies and for individual health care mandates.

Another Republican debate was held that year in September in Orlando, Florida. One of the questions asked the candidates views on education. Bachmann replied:

What I would do as president of the United States is pass the mother of all repeal bills on education. I would take the entire federal education law, repeal it. Then I would go over to the Department of Education, I'd turn off the lights, I would lock the door and I would send all the money back to the states and localities.

When the topic turned to securing our borders, Bachmann adopted a position that would later on become one of Donald Trump’s hallmarks, stating:

As president of the United States, I would do what my job would demand of me. That's to uphold the sovereignty of the United States of America.

To do that, I would build a fence on America's southern border on every mile, on every yard, on every foot, on every inch of the southern border. I think that's what we have to do, not only build it, but then also have sufficient border security and enforce the laws that are on the books with the ICE agents, with our border security.

And here's the other thing I would do. I would not allow taxpayer-funded benefits for illegal aliens or for their children.

On most issues, Bachmann demonstrated her commitment to principles that few conservatives could disagree with. However, during the December 15, 2011 Fox News Debate held in Sioux City, Iowa, she and former Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), who was a leading constitutionalist and noninterventionist on foreign policy throughout his career in Congress, expressed views on what U.S. policy toward Iran should be that could not have been more divergent. Forbes magazine summarized their exchange at that debate in a December 15, 2011 report.

Paul warned that the greatest threat to the United States was not a nuclear Iran but rather an American overreaction to the perceived threat of Iranian nuclear weapons.

Bachmann lashed out at Paul for expressing an opinion that differed greatly from the usual Republican Party line. 

“With all due respect to Ron Paul, I think I have never heard a more dangerous answer for American security than the one that we just heard from Ron Paul,” Bachmann said. “I’ll tell you the reason why, the reason why I would say that is because we know without a shadow of a doubt that Iran will take a nuclear weapon, they will use it to wipe our ally Israel off the face of the map and they stated they will use it against the United States of America.”

Paul responded:

Obviously, I would like to see a lot less nuclear weapons. I don’t want Iran to have a nuclear weapon. I would like to reduce them because there would be less chance of war. But to declare war on 1.2 billion Muslims and say all Muslims are the same, this is dangerous talk. Yeah, there are some radicals. But they don’t come here to kill us because we’re free and prosperous. Do they go to Switzerland and Sweden? That is absurd.

They come here and explicitly explain it to us. The CIA has explained it to us. It said they come here and they want to do us harm because we are bombing them! …

“This is another Iraq coming,” Paul continued with a warning. “This is war propaganda going on. And to me, the greatest danger is that we will have a president that will overreact and we will soon bomb Iran.”

This exchange indicates that while Bachmann is constantly conservative on economic and immigration issues, and her record indicates she is also conservative on social issues such as marriage and abortion, her foreign policy views differ little from interventionist hawks such as John McCain.

If Bachmann does decide to run, she will face former Minnesota Lt. Governor Tina Smith in a special Senate election scheduled for November. Smith was named by Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton to fill the vacancy created when Franken resigned, and she was sworn in on January 3.

Photo of Michelle Bachmann: AP Images

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Is Michelle Bachmann the "Real Deal"?

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