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MICHELE BACHMANN, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Chris, good to talk with you. Thank you.
WALLACE: Your reaction to Herman Cain dropping out of the race. Did he do the right thing?
BACHMANN: Well, that was his decision. I do know this: He brought so much energy and goodwill to this race. I think he has a marvelous personality. Everyone enjoys him.
And he is an intriguing candidate, a good candidate. The race was better for having Herman Cain in the race. I really enjoyed talking to him all throughout the race.
WALLACE: Let's drop some practical politics, because some of the polling shows with Cain out, Newt Gingrich picks up more of his support than any of you other candidates. First of all, do you believe that? And secondly, how do you reach out to Cain supporters and try to get them to support you?
BACHMANN: Well, actually, beginning yesterday, our office had call after call after call of people who wanted to switch over and come and support me, because people realize that I'm the true Tea Party candidate in the race. I started the Tea Party caucus in Washington. And I've brought 40,000 people to Washington, D.C., to fight against Obamacare.
People recognize that I'm the real deal. I'm authentic. I'm genuine. And I think we're going to pick up a lot of the support from across the country, people who formerly supported Herman Cain.
WALLACE: Congresswoman, you have spent more than 60 days in Iowa this year, and you held more 120 events. And yet, as we just showed in the latest "Des Moines Register" poll, you're tied for fourth place at eight percent. What's the problem?
BACHMANN: Well, there is no problem. We are within about 30 days of all-important Iowa caucuses. And as we have seen, this is like a political Wall Street. Candidates go up and down.
And what people are finding, they're looking for the true consistent conservative in this race. And they are getting surprises. We launched a Web site called NoSurprises2012.com. And on that Web site, people see, of all of the candidates in the race, I am the true consistent conservative.
And as the layers are peeled back and as the candidates are being examined, people see in me someone who opposed the $700 billion Wall Street bailout. That's not true of Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich. I opposed Obamacare. That 's not true of Romney and Newt Gingrich.
And also on climate change, both of them were in support of the efforts regarding climate change. I oppose it.
So, as the candidates are looking at who is the true conservative and who's going to fight for them and who's going to stand on the stage and debate Barack Obama and shred his radical policies during the course of the debate, I'm the only one who can do it because I'm the only candidate who's not compromised.
WALLACE: Well, you make a convincing argument, but people in Iowa aren't convinced. Evangelicals and other social conservatives have been talking for months about trying to get together and endorse a single candidate because they understand if they split their vote among several of you, they're not going to have as big a voice. So far, they cannot come up with a single endorsement.
How important is it, do you think, for the value's voters in Iowa to stand united?
BACHMANN: Well, I think that, again, January 3rd will be the day that tells us what the result will be. There is recently some polling that was done in Iowa showing that voters don't even necessarily look at endorsements, they look at the candidates.
Ultimately, that's what they want to know. They want someone who will beat Barack Obama.
I have an opportunity to beat Barack Obama because of all the candidates in the race, I'm the one that will hold him accountable for his principles and his policies. I have done that for the last five years and I will do that as nominee of the Republican Party.
WALLACE: All right. you have talked about Mitt Romney and Gingrich. I want to follow up because you and Newt Gingrich have been going at each other a little bit in the last week, after you accused him of supporting amnesty for illegals. He fired back at you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NEWT GINGRICH, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: When I was a teacher, I occasionally had a student who couldn't figure out where things were or what things were or what the right date was. You know, when that happens, you feel sorry that they are so factually challenged.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: You feel sorry for someone who is so factually challenged. What do you think, Congresswoman, of Newt Gingrich comparing your relationship to he's the wise student and you're the -- he's the wise teacher, rather, and you are the student who needs some help?
BACHMANN: Well, professors don't like to be challenged. But I think in this case, he's memory challenged because Newt Gingrich signed a letter in The Wall Street Journal where he was in full support of George Bush's immigration program which was commonly referred to as amnesty. It makes 11 million illegal workers legal overnight. And he was in support of the federal DREAM Act, which is federal taxpayer subsidies for the children of illegal aliens for their college tuition.
This is not where the American people are at. I have opposed these measures. And there's a clear line of distinction when it comes to immigration.
Newt Gingrich has the lowest grade of a D-minus on immigration. I have the highest grade of anyone in the field.
I will build a fence. I will secure the border. And I'll make English the official language of the United States government.
WALLACE: You have also accused of Speaker Gingrich of peddling his influence here in Washington with relationships to health care companies, and especially to Freddie Mac. He says he's never lobbied for anyone here in Washington, and that, in fact, because of his experience, he is the one who can shake up the way Washington does business.
BACHMANN: Well, it's impossible, Chris, because he's been a part of Washington, D.C., for over 30 years. He's as establishment as you get. His address is located on rodeo drive of Washington, which is K Street. His organizations have taken over $100 million just this year alone to pedal influence.
You don't have to be a lobbyist within the letter of the law in order to influence the outcome of legislation. These special interests aren't paying him $100 million for nothing. They're paying him $100 million because he's influencing legislation in Washington, D.C.
That's not what we want to see in the White House. We want someone who is actually fight Washington, not someone who's been paid over $100 million in one year alone to influence it.
WALLACE: Well, you say influence legislation. How has he done that?
BACHMANN: Well, he's taken money from special interest and organizations to put forward ideas that they agree with before members of Congress -- whether he's come in to meetings that Republicans or whether he's worked together with Republicans or Democrats to bring forth their special interest.
There is a strict definition of lobbying and influence peddling, and that's clearly what Speaker Gingrich has done.
WALLACE: You oppose extending the payroll tax cuts for another year, which means that middle class families if that payroll tax cut lapses at the end of 2011, would face somewhere between $1,000 and $1,500 a year more in taxes. Question: by opposing the extension of the payroll tax cut, aren't you breaking the Republican pledge not to raise taxes?
BACHMANN: Not at all. I opposed it last December and I urged my Republican colleague not to go forward with it. This is Barack Obama's idea. He said that we would create millions of jobs if we lower the payroll tax.
That's not true. It didn't happen. And his administration admits it didn't work. So, why would you continue a policy that doesn't work?
Plus, the other fact that people need to know, this blew hole of $111 billion in the Social Security trust fund.
BACHMANN: Senior citizens need to have their Social Security checks. This pulled out $111 billion out of Social Security. And so, that's something that I am unwilling to do.
The Social Security trust fund, when they run out of money, they have to go to the general fund to get the money to pay for Social Security checks. Well, we are broke. There is no money in the general trust fund and so we have to borrow more money from China. Why would we do this?
This is a failed policy. It doesn't work. And I won't vote to continue it.
WALLACE: But what Democrats are saying here is someone like you who's against extending the payroll tax cut which helps the middle class and the working calls, but favor extending the Bush tax cuts especially for the wealthy?
BACHMANN: Well, in the deal that was struck last year, there was an effort to establish the tax table so that businesses would know how much to withhold. I voted against the bill last year, which was the payroll tax deduction. When you talk about extending the current reduced tax rate on the people who are job providers, that only makes sense in a down economy. We want to create jobs. That helps to create jobs, to keep more money in the pockets of the job creator.
When you pull more money out of the pockets of the job creators, you're going to have less jobs. What do we need in the United States right now? More jobs, millions of jobs, high-paying jobs.
President Obama hasn't delivered. The only way to do that, Chris, is make sure businesses have all of the money they need to be able to create jobs. Right now, they don't.
BACHMANN: And if the tax increases go into effect that President Obama wants to have, it's not going to help anyone.
WALLACE: Congresswoman, you held a town hall meeting in Iowa this past week, and you ended up taking to some Iowa high school students about same-sex marriage. We want to play the exchange.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BACHMANN: There shouldn't be any special rights or special set of criteria based upon people's preferences. We all have the same civil rights.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Then why can't same sex couples get married?
BACHMANN: Well, they can get married. They abide by the same law as everyone else. They can marry a man if they are a woman or they can marry a woman if they're a man.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: But, Congresswoman, same-sex marriage is legal in Iowa. So, does that mean it is all right?
BACHMANN: No, I don't believe it is. Marriage, historically, for all human history has been between a man and a woman. It hasn't been the same-sex marriage. And remember that in Iowa, it was judges that made the decision -- not the legislature, which are the people's representatives, and certainly, not the people. That's why the people of Iowa threw out three of those Supreme Court judges. That's something that should give pause to all judges.
The people of Iowa are sick and tired of the judges tell them what their laws are. They are not a super legislator. They are judges. And they need to act like judges.
As president of the United States, I will only appoint judges that will apply the strict construction or the original intent of the Constitution of the United States.
WALLACE: Finally, Congresswoman, we got less than a minute left. As we said, you have invested heavily in both time and money in Iowa. If on January 3rd, you don't finish first or a strong close second, how can you go on?
BACHMANN: Well, we'll talk about that after January 3rd. But we fully intend to win in Iowa. You know, Chris, no one thought I was going to win the straw poll in Iowa this summer and I did. No one thought I would win my tough races in the state of Minnesota. I was the first Republican woman ever to get elected in that state to go to Congress, but I did.
And I think what people will find is that in this case, too, the underdog has a very good chance of winning and we are working hard because I am the only consistent, core conservative in this race and ultimately, I think that people are going to come back home on January 3rd and I think I'll get their vote and go on to New Hampshire and unto South Carolina and Florida, and ultimately be the Republican nominee who defeats Barack Obama because I fully intend to repeal Obamacare, repeal Dodd-Frank, abolish the tax code and turn the country around. I know how to do it.
WALLACE: Congresswoman Bachmann, we're going to have to leave it there and we're going to be along for the ride in any case. Thank you. Thanks for talking with us. And we want to note that you, in addition to running, have a new book out called "Core of Conviction: My Story."
Congresswoman, safe travels on the campaign trail.
BACHMANN: Thank you, Chris. We'll do it again.
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