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CBS "Face the Nation" - Transcript


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BACHMANN: Good morning, Bob. Good to be with you.

SCHIEFFER: Thank you. And to get the economy going, you and most of the Republicans -- I want to just dive right in here -- are calling for reducing taxes on corporations. But yesterday Sarah Palin went all of you one better. She called for just eliminating all corporate taxes. Listen to this.


PALIN: I propose to eliminate all federal corporate income tax. And hear me out on this. This is how we create millions of high- paying jobs to balance out any loss of federal revenue from this tax cut, we eliminate corporate welfare and all the loopholes and we eliminate bailouts.


SCHIEFFER: So you're a tax lawyer, congresswoman. Would you go that far? Would you eliminate all corporate income taxes?

BACHMANN: Well, you're right, I am a tax lawyer. And I'm also a private business woman as well. We've started our own company. And we've created jobs here in Minnesota. And I think the very first thing that I would do today as president of the United States is to bring about repatriation of income from American corporations that have earned money overseas. We have, according to 60 Minutes on your own network, we have over $1.2 trillion in earnings that we could bring immediately to kick-start the economy which would be a true stimulus.

We could bring that money in at a 0% tax rate. Have it be 0% through December 31. And then have it permanently fixed at 5%. After that, I think we do need a reduction permanently in the corporate tax rate. And that's the difference I think between what I want to do versus President Obama. His solutions, Bob, have all been government focused and very temporary gimmick fixes.

What is destabilizing as a private businessperson like myself, if you don't have permanent fixes. I want to see permanency in the tax code. That's what will change and make dynamic job creation and pro- growth policies.

SCHIEFFER: But congresswoman what I asked you was, would you go as far as Sarah Palin and eliminate all corporate income taxes?

BACHMANN: Well, of course to do that we'd have to have a fundamental restructuring of the tax code. What we would have to do then is rejigger other elements to define revenue and what revenues would be needed to the economy. We could go that route. If we went that route, then we'd have to have a fundamental restructuring of the tax code.

I'm open to having that debate. And as a former federal tax lawyer, I've dealt with whether it's a national consumption tax, a flat tax or some variation on the current system.

This is what I do know. It needs to be simplified. It needs to be fair and it needs to be reduced. What we do know is that the current corporate tax rate is killing job creation.

SCHIEFFER: So you could see a way to do that? You're not ready to just say, yes, I'll do that, but you could see by making other adjustments a way to eliminate corporate taxes?

BACHMANN: It would be possible if we have a fundamental restructuring of the tax code, but immediately what we could do is repatriation of bringing this money in from American companies that are earning the money overseas. But second I do believe that the president at minimum should lower the corporate tax rate to 20% so that businesses can see that they will have a more competitive rate.

We certainly could get down to a 0 percent corporate tax rate, but it would mean a fundamental restructuring of the tax code.

SCHIEFFER: All right, speaking of the president -- and I expect you'll be speaking of him several times during our broadcast -- you've been beating him up pretty bad for not creating jobs and they dismal unemployment figures. It's certainly a fair comment in the presidential campaign to be doing that. But you have not given very many details besides saying we have to restructure the tax system and eliminate some deductions and loopholes.

The main part of your plan to bring down taxes and get people back to work seems to be, number one, repeal the president's health care plan and number two defeat President Obama at the polls. Aren't you going to have to do a little more, give a few more details than that?

BACHMANN: Well, I've been on the campaign trail regularly. And I've been giving quite a few details out as a matter of fact, because I've lived this life both as a tax lawyer and as a job creator. And when I talk to business people all across the United States, they agree with me.

The principles that I adopt are permanent fixes rather than temporary gimmicks like we've seen from the president. And also private-sector solutions versus government solutions which the president has put forward. That's a very -- that's a large distinction in principle. And operating from permanency, that would deal again with repatriation of income earned overseas and also reductions in the corporate tax rates, but also permanency in dealing with the EPA, putting on hold as the president wisely did on Friday, the EPA rules.

The president recognized that that would bring about more job losses at a time when we could ill afford them. But if the president would also announce a moratorium on implementation of Obamacare, Bob, I'm just telling you all across America that would just have a sigh of relief for businesses because Obamacare quite literally is killing jobs all across the country even today.

SCHIEFFER: All right. Let me just play for you something, because you guaranteed something that really set people back on their heels last week I think it was in South Carolina. Here's what you said. Here's what you guaranteed under a Bachmann administration.


BACHMANN: The day that the president became president gasoline was $1.79 a gallon. Look at what it is today. Under President Bachmann, you will see gasoline come down below $2 a gallon again. That will happen.


SCHIEFFER: Now congresswoman, I think that's a great idea. And I think everybody hopes that. But who would you propose to do that?

BACHMANN: Well, by embarking on an all of the above energy strategy. What the president has been doing is strangling the United States energy sector. The good news is, Bob, that many Americans still don't know is that the United States is the number one energy resource rich nation in the world. We have 25 percent of all the coal in the world. One of the largest natural gas finds, trillions of cubic feet of natural gas was recently discovered in Pennsylvania. And of course from ANWR, to the east Gulf region to the Atlantic, to the Pacific, to the Bakken oil fields, we also have billions of barrels of oil.

The president has just put all of that off limits. When the president put a moratorium on drilling in the Gulf region, that devastated the energy industry in the United States. I want to do what House Republicans have been talking for a long time. And that is embrace an all of the above energy solution so that we can be our own answer. We all realize we can no longer be dependent on foreign sources of oil and energy.

Let's have our solution home grown. That's millions of high- paying jobs. And that will change our economy. But with the president's direction on the EPA, that's not possible.

Let's embark on a pro-growth policy.

SCHIEFFER: Let me just ask you this. I mean, I know you believe in the free market. And the market sets the price.


SCHIEFFER: So if the market was unable to do that in order to get gas down to $2 a gallon, which you say you're guaranteeing, would you put in price controls or how would you do that because all of these things, people have tried a lot of these things. And the gas prices are where they are.

How can you guarantee that you're going to get gas prices down to $2.

BACHMANN: Well I'm an unashamed apologist for the free market. And the last thing I would do is price controls. But this is what I know, we haven't been doing these things, Bob. We haven't been opening up American energy production.

There are many, many companies that would love to. We can do this responsibly. And if we ask access American energy again we will create millions of jobs and high-paying jobs.

We also need to recognize this, when energy is at a high price, that brings up the price of everything in this country: goods, services as well. For every ten cent change that there is in increasing the price of gasoline that negatively impacts the economy $14 billion.

BACHMANN: So one thing that we know, again, gasoline was $1.79 a gallon when President Obama came into office. We can bring the price of gasoline down, but not with the current policies of this administration. My pro-growth, pro-energy policies will bring the prices down. Because, again, it's not government-directed; it's private-sector directed.

SCHIEFFER: You know, one of the things that got a little attention was when you said, as part of this policy, that maybe we ought to start drilling oil wells in the Everglades. Folks down in Georgia -- in Florida, I should say, took some exception to this. They pointed out that's where they get their drinking water, and this is, kind of, a natural resource down there that people from the NRA to even some folks you would call tree- huggers want to protect.

Did you really mean that you're ready to start drilling oil wells in -- in the Everglades?

BACHMANN: Well, of course, I didn't bring this up. I didn't say that we should drill in the Everglades. What I said -- because we know that thousands of Floridians receive their drinking water from the Everglades.

What I said is that we need to open up resources across the United States of America but do it responsibly. Because we need to make sure that, of course, that we don't do anything that has degradation for habitat or for drinking water or for air quality. But the good news is we can do this. We have the technology in the United States to responsibly access America's energy resources.

The problem is...

SCHIEFFER: Even in the Everglades?

BACHMANN: Anywhere in the United States, even if it's Iowa or Minnesota or Washington, D.C. If we can access energy responsibly in a way that does not degrade the environment nor cause problems to humans or to animals or to the environment, then we can access these resources.

So, wherever it is, we can access these resources if we do so responsibly. The good news is we have so many fields where we can look. We need to look where the energy is the most plentiful, and later we can look at other sources.

We aren't even looking at the sources right now, Bob, where we know we have plenty of resources.

SCHIEFFER: Let me ask you about something else. I've, sort of, made a list of things you've said since the last time you were on the broadcast. I want to play something else. And this is what you said about the recent hurricane.


BACHMANN: I don't know how much God has to do to get the attention of the politicians. We've had an earthquake. We've had a hurricane.


He said, are you going to start listening to me here? Listen to the American people, because the American people are roaring right now. Because they know what needs to be done. They know that government is on a morbid-obesity diet. It's got to rein in the spending.


SCHIEFFER: Now, Congresswoman, you, kind of, walked that statement back afterward. Your staff quickly said, well, she was only joking, that that was just a joke.

But I guess I would ask you the broader question. Do you believe that God does use the weather to send people messages here on earth?

BACHMANN: Well, of course, with Irene, this was a terrible tragedy. We saw destruction of property but more importantly of human life. And everyone across the United States was devastated by those views. And my prayers and thoughts were with those families as well.

Obviously, I was speaking metaphorically. That was clear to the audience. It was clear to me. Because the American people have been desperately trying to get the president's attention. He's not paying attention. I've spent my time all across the United States listening to people.

I want -- that's why I'm running for president, Bob. I want to bring the voice of the American people and their concerns into the White House, where their voice hasn't been heard for a long time. They're trying to get the president's attention, and that was the metaphor that I was making.

SCHIEFFER: So were you, or do you believe -- and this is the question I asked you -- do you believe that God uses the weather to send people messages?

BACHMANN: Well, I believe in God. I'm not ashamed to say that I believe in God. I'm a woman of faith and a woman of prayer. But the comment that I made right then was a metaphor. That was very simply what I was doing.

SCHIEFFER: If someone were to ask you, Congresswoman, because he seems to be saying a lot of the things that you've been saying and he's getting a lot of attention, what is the difference between you and Rick Perry?

Why should someone decide to vote for you rather than Rick Perry?

BACHMANN: Well, one thing people have seen from me, Bob, I have spent, now, the last -- since 2006, since my election, I have been at the tip of the spear on issue after issue after issue in Washington D.C., fighting against the implementation of Obamacare, fighting against the EPA rules and also fighting against the out-of-control government spending.

I didn't sit back when I had the chance in Washington. I have taken these issues on. That's what people want to know. Will the next president of the United States understand the problem? Will they know what to do? And most importantly, will they demonstrate the political courage to bring about the bold actions that need to be done to get the economy back on track and create millions jobs?

I've done that. I have a proven track record of doing that in Washington. And that's what sets me apart from all the other candidates.

SCHIEFFER: All right. Congresswoman, thanks. I hope we'll talk to you again. Enjoyed having you on the broadcast.

BACHMANN: It would -- it will be a pleasure.

SCHIEFFER: We'll be back in a minute to talk to Jon Huntsman.


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