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Public Statements

CBS "Face the Nation" - Transcript

Interview

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REPRESENTATIVE MICHELE BACHMANN: Great to be with you.

NORAH O'DONNELL: Let me ask you about the breaking news this morning and that is one of your fellow challengers, a fellow Minnesotan--

REPRESENTATIVE MICHELE BACHMANN: Mm-Hm.

NORAH O'DONNELL: --Governor Tim Pawlenty has dropped out of the race. Why do you think he lost?

REPRESENTATIVE MICHELE BACHMANN: Well, I have a great respect for the governor. I've known him for a long time and I thought he brought an important voice to the race and I'm-- I'm grateful for the competition that we had. And I think that the results that came in yesterday were ones that indicated that the field was-- it-- it was going to thin.

NORAH O'DONNELL: Were you asked for his endorsement?

REPRESENTATIVE MICHELE BACHMANN: I look forward to talking to him. I hope-- hopefully, I'll be calling him very soon.

NORAH O'DONNELL: Let me show you some of the headlines of the newspapers this morning, because they note your victory, but you also share the headlines with the Governor of Texas Rick Perry, who has thrown his hat into this crowded ring.

REPRESENTATIVE MICHELE BACHMANN: Mm-Hm.

NORAH O'DONNELL: How will you compete against him?

REPRESENTATIVE MICHELE BACHMANN: Well, I think what I'll be bringing to this race, quite clearly, is how I have been a champion and voice for people in Washington, DC. I've been at the tip of the spear. The last two months, for instance, I have been leading on this issue of not raising the debt ceiling. People want us to get our-- our House in order financially, it's not happening. They want someone who's going to stand up and do what they say and say what they mean and that's what I have been doing in Washington. They want-- they really sent a signal yesterday--

NORAH O'DONNELL: Mm-Hm.

REPRESENTATIVE MICHELE BACHMANN: --in a strong message to Washington that they want someone who is going to fight for them.

NORAH O'DONNELL: I know you've talked about that--leading that fight, being at the tip of this spear. How do you respond to, then that many Republicans, half of the Republicans ending up voting to raise the debt ceiling, half of the Tea Party caucus voted to raise the debt ceiling. How did you provide leadership if they disagree with you?

REPRESENTATIVE MICHELE BACHMANN: Well, I brought that voice into Washington, and I think that at we saw is that, unfortunately, I think we should have listened to the voice of the people. I've--

NORAH O'DONNELL: Not Republicans?

REPRESENTATIVE MICHELE BACHMANN: Well, the good fortune that I have been having is traveling all across Iowa, I will be going up to Waterloo, where I was born later today just to thank Iowans for this vote. But I've been traveling all across Iowa. I will tell you Norah, there hasn't been one time where someone has said to me Michele, I want my taxes increased and I want to make sure government can keep spending more money we don't have. That's never happened. And so, I took that voice back to Washington and we gained a lot of attraction. We had a big debate and it was important that we have that debate.

NORAH O'DONNELL: The debt and the deficit are a big deal, but even more important to voters is jobs--

REPRESENTATIVE MICHELE BACHMANN: Yes, with a doubt--

NORAH O'DONNELL: --and the economy.

REPRESENTATIVE MICHELE BACHMANN: --number one.

NORAH O'DONNELL: You're going to Waterloo. You're going to share the stage there with Governor Rick Perry. Almost half of the jobs created in America in the last two years were created in Texas. How do you feel like you have helped create jobs? What's your record on jobs?

REPRESENTATIVE MICHELE BACHMANN: Well, I am a job creator. I'm a-- I'm a former federal tax attorney and I-- I have a post doctorate degree in tax and I spent years in the United States Federal Tax Court. I've seen up close--

NORAH O'DONNELL: How is-- was that creating jobs?

REPRESENTATIVE MICHELE BACHMANN: Sure. Because I understand how high taxes destroy jobs. And then, my husband and I also started our own successful company. We've created jobs and we-- as a job creator myself, I understand how difficult it is to actually make a profit in a business. I think that's a good thing to make a profit. We need more profitable businesses. And so, what I have been doing in Washington very successfully, I think, is bringing that voice to why we need to get rid of Obamacare, the Dodd-Frank Bill and the chief author of both of those repeal bills. We need to repeal these--

NORAH O'DONNELL: Mm-Hm.

REPRESENTATIVE MICHELE BACHMANN: --because I will tell you--from Cement Tech to Competitive Edge, companies I've been to here in Iowa, they tell me that those bills are leading them to not be able to create jobs.

NORAH O'DONNELL: Other than repealing Obamacare, are there other ways that you would try and help create jobs in the shore term.

REPRESENTATIVE MICHELE BACHMANN: Oh, sure. What we-- what we knew-- need to do, quite frankly, is repeal the tax code, in its current form. It is 3.8 million words. We need a tax code that is job friendly. This is not a job-friendly tax code. When you have one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world at thirty-four percent, that's not going to incentivize people to start new businesses. We need to make sure we lower our tax rate and there's a number of things in the tax code that I would change and that would help job creation.

NORAH O'DONNELL: You have spent five years in the United States Congress, what can you point to as a record of accomplishment there?

REPRESENTATIVE MICHELE BACHMANN: Well, I-- for the bulk of my time, Speaker Pelosi has been the speaker of the House. She's not embraced my pro-growth agenda. But that hasn't deterred me, I've continued to give a voice and bring message to why the policies of President Obama has put into place have been so detrimental. That's the voice that people now want to see go into the White House, the message that we sent yesterday is the one people want in the White House because they want job creation.

NORAH O'DONNELL (overlapping): And how do you get something done in terms of-- for people that are hurting in America, in terms of the jobs picture. Even in a divided government, could you only govern well as President if you had a Republican Congress?

REPRESENTATIVE MICHELE BACHMANN: Well, President Obama had an all Democrat Congress and look what we got. This last week, we got a punch to the gut in the United States, like we've never seen before. We've never lost our AAA credit rating before. We've have absolutely anemic growth in the job creation numbers are-- are terrible. This isn't what we want and that's why everywhere I go across the United States, Democrats, independents, apolitical people say to me, Michele, I am voting for you because I want a new voice, I want something fresh in Washington.

NORAH O'DONNELL: The S&P, there was a downgrade of course, that led to a lot of the market torm-- turmoil that we have had, and they specifically cited the brinkmanship in Washington that has led to a less stable, less-effective government. Do you feel partly responsible for that brinkmanship?

REPRESENTATIVE MICHELE BACHMANN: I offered a plan, which is different from President Obama, who offered no plan. My plan was to tell the markets there is no problem with default. We will not default. And we'll-- we'll prioritize our spending. President Obama knew in January, that we were in trouble, but he presented a budget that had 1.5 trillion in failure. So he-- he in essence, his policies planned for this failure that we are in.

NORAH O'DONNELL: But that horse has left the barn. We've already raised the debt ceiling. What would you do now in terms of the state of the economy?

REPRESENTATIVE MICHELE BACHMANN: The-- well, the-- the horse left the barn a-- against the better judgment of the American people. That's what I brought to bear, the better judgment of the American people. What I would do now, is I would-- I would call all of Congress back into Washington and I would say this. We will get that AAA credit rating back and this is what we'll do. We'll announce to the markets that in no case will we default. We'll pay our men and women and the military. We'll make sure all senior citizens that are currently on entitlements get their checks. But we know the entitles are-- are destroying the country, the-- this system as it's in its current form. So we're going to reform it and modernize it because my mom is eighty years old, my stepdad is eighty-seven.

NORAH O'DONNELL: Mm-Hm.

REPRESENTATIVE MICHELE BACHMANN: I love senior citizens. The last thing I want is to see one go out to the mailbox and get an IOU when they're depending on that check. So we have to reform that system.

NORAH O'DONNELL: Congresswoman, let me turn to something you said in 2006. I want to play the audio so our--

REPRESENTATIVE MICHELE BACHMANN: Sure.

NORAH O'DONNELL: --viewers can hear this as well. Let's listen.

REPRESENTATIVE MICHELE BACHMANN (October 2006; recording, Speech at Living Word Christian Center): My husband said, "Now you need to go and get a post-doctorate degree in tax law. Tax law? I hate taxes. Why should I go into something like that? But the lord says, be submissive. Wives, you are to be submissive to your husbands."

NORAH O'DONNELL: Congresswoman, what do you mean wives should be submissive to their husbands?

REPRESENTATIVE MICHELE BACHMANN: Well, there was a debate earlier this week and that question was asked in the debate and for my husband and I, submission means respect, mutual respect. I respect my husband, he respects me. We've been married thirty-three years. We have a great marriage. We've built a business together. We've had five children together. We raised twenty-three foster children together in our home. And respecting each other, listening to each other is what that means.

NORAH O'DONNELL: Would you use a different word today other than submissive?

REPRESENTATIVE MICHELE BACHMANN: You know, I guess it depends on-- on what word people are used to, but respect is really what it means.

NORAH O'DONNELL: Do you think submissive means subservient?

REPRESENTATIVE MICHELE BACHMANN: Not to us. To us it means respect. We respect each other, we listen to each other, we love each other and that is what it means.

NORAH O'DONNELL: And then finally, you are headed on to Waterloo today. What's next? How do you compete for the Republican nomination?

REPRESENTATIVE MICHELE BACHMANN: Well, as we are now, we're going person to person, state by state. I've been taking my message all across Iowa, and people resonate with that message. We'll be in South Carolina this week and then on to New Hampshire. And so, we'll be going person to person, voter to voter, state by state, to take my pro-growth, pro-jobs message. And as President of the United States, I will repeal Obamacare and I will not rest until we do.

NORAH O'DONNELL: And do you feel like your campaign has received fair coverage? I want to point specifically to the cover of Newsweek magazine. And your friend Sarah Palin was here in the Iowa this week and she said that she thought that the headline was worse than the picture, the headline reads Queen of Rage. How do you feel about that?

REPRESENTATIVE MICHELE BACHMANN: Well, you know this last week I was focused on what was happening in the country. I was trying to prevent President Obama from getting that 2.4 trillion dollar check.

NORAH O'DONNELL (overlapping): I know and you won. So what about the cover?

REPRESENTATIVE MICHELE BACHMANN: Well, quite honestly, when-- when you lose your AAA credit rating and when you lose thirty Americans in Afghanistan, a magazine cover is really the least of your problems. So it really didn't make any impact on me. I was more focused on the country and how we're going to create jobs and turn the economy around.

NORAH O'DONNELL: Congresswoman Michele Bachmann congratulations on your victory.

REPRESENTATIVE MICHELE BACHMANN: Thank you.

NORAH O'DONNELL: Thank you for being here. We appreciate it.

REPRESENTATIVE MICHELE BACHMANN: We'll talk to you again.

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