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ABC "This Week" - Transcript


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STEPHANOPOULOS: Let's get a Republican view now from former -- from Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, former presidential candidate. Thanks for coming on "This Week."

BACHMANN: Good morning. Good to talk to you, George.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Good morning. Well, let's first get a response to what David Plouffe there had to say about Speaker Gingrich's comments on the Trayvon Martin case. What did you make of that?

BACHMANN: Well, I think what Newt Gingrich said is that race shouldn't be a factor. All human life is valuable. And it's interesting the second part of David Plouffe's answer, he said the same thing. All human life is valuable.

That should be the bottom line. I'm a mother, a mother of five biological children, but also a mother of 23 great foster children. And when you're a mother, of course, when something tragic like this happens, you want to know what the truth is, what's the result. That's why an investigation is so important. We have to get to the truth about what really happened, not imagine what happened, but actually get to the truth.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Let's talk about the presidential campaign. You've said that Republicans are getting campaign fatigue and that it's time for the party to unify. And I guess the question is, how and when will the GOP unify? The Romney campaign is arguing that this whole process is making it harder to beat President Obama. They put out a statement on Thursday that went on to say this. "Senator Santorum continues to drag out this already expensive, negative campaign. It is clear that he is becoming the most valuable player on President Obama's team."

Is that what you think?

BACHMANN: Well, I think this is the people's race, and it's the primary voters who are going to make their decision. They -- they spoke very loudly yesterday in Louisiana, and they spoke very loudly in Illinois.

As we saw in 2008 between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, this is a highly contested race all the way until June. I think the quicker that the Republicans can unify behind our candidate and make Barack Obama and his failed policies the focus of this election, the better off we all will be, but the people need to decide.

I know that I've made a decision. Whoever the people choose, I will back that candidate, because I want mine not to be a divisive voice. I want to help unify the party and bring together the Tea Party element, the evangelical, and the establishment, and then reach out to independents and disaffected Democrats. We have a wonderful positive message, and we need to continue to advance that message until November.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But as you know, a lot of your colleagues say that that's not -- that's not what's happening right now. You saw former Florida Governor Jeb Bush come out and say, no, now is the time to unify. He got behind Mitt Romney. Your tea party colleague, Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina, said exactly the same thing. Why not now?

BACHMANN: Well, it's up to the people. The people will make the choice, not the politicians. And that's why I think it's important that they have their say in the primary process. We will unify. There's no question. Here it is, March, and we will unify, and I think long before the Democrats did in 2008.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Governor Romney's senior adviser, Eric Fehrnstrom, gave the Democrats and Rick Santorum all kinds of fodder this week when he was asked a question about how Governor Romney would move to the center, given some of the positions he's taken in the primaries, during a general election campaign. Here's what he had to say.


FEHRNSTROM: Well, I think you hit a reset button for the fall campaign. Everything changes. It's almost like an Etch A Sketch. You can kind of shake it up and we start all over again.


STEPHANOPOULOS: You know, I know a lot of conservatives are concerned that that is exactly what Governor Romney is going to do, that he's an Etch A Sketch candidate who's going to abandon some of the positions he's taken in the primaries. Are you concerned about that?

BACHMANN: Well, I think, again, I'm going to unite behind the candidate, as our party will, no matter who that candidate will be. These kind of things are the minors that become majors, these statements, but the real major is going to be this issue of Obamacare. It's been talked about all this last week. And I have a ticket. I will be in the Supreme Court chamber to hear these oral arguments live.

I was the chief author of the bill to repeal Obamacare, the first member of Congress to do so. I helped lead 40,000 Americans to the Capitol in opposition to the passage of Obamacare. And during the course of the presidential race, I made a distinct difference and a contribution, because now when the nominees first started many of them were looking at dealing with Obamacare through waivers and through executive orders. Now our nominees, all four of them or all four candidates, have just one answer, and that's full-scale repeal. That's 180 degrees different from President Obama, who fully stands behind this very unpopular bill. Whoever our nominee is, they will repeal Obamacare.

STEPHANOPOULOS: I do want to ask you about that, but -- so you're not worried about this label "Etch A Sketch candidate"?

BACHMANN: No, I'm not. Our candidate will be strong. We will be united as a party.

STEPHANOPOULOS: On -- on health care, you just heard David Plouffe say that he and the White House, the president is very confident that the Supreme Court is going to uphold the president's plan. And a lot of independent analysts have said they see that what's most likely, legal Supreme Court followers, is a 6-3 or maybe even a 7-2 decision in favor of the president's plan. Do you agree?

BACHMANN: Well, it -- it depends on what the Supreme Court decides to rule on. The one issue that they may try to narrowly construe is the Anti-Injunction Act. And it's interesting. When Obamacare was being passed through Congress, President Obama adamantly said this is not a tax. Now, when this bill is before the Supreme Court, President Obama is adamantly saying this is a tax, a complete flip-flop, and that's dealing with this issue of an Anti-Injunction Act.

But the real issue that most Americans are concerned about is the constitutionality of the government forcing Americans to pay for a very expensive insurance policy, which some people are estimating could cost $20,000 a year for families. This is extremely expensive. Families won't have a choice. They're going to be forced to buy an insurance product that government tells them they have to purchase. If they don't, they'll have to pay a fine to the federal government. This is absurd. It's never happened before in the history of the country.

And that's why most people today, 72 percent of the people, according to a Gallup poll, say this is unconstitutional. The people do not like this bill at all. They do not like the federal government forcing them to spend their money in a way that they don't want to spend it. It's wildly unpopular. It's why the Republicans gained control of the House in 2010.

I believe it will be why we have a Republican president this year, because of President Obama's signature piece of legislation, Obamacare. He has to now stand before the American people and defend it. And interestingly, George, Friday was the two-year anniversary of his signing of Obamacare, not a peep out of the president of the United States. He can't even go before the public and defend it.

So our nominee will make this the number-one issue, and I think it's -- again, it's wildly unpopular and should be found unconstitutional, because it is.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Congresswoman Bachmann, thanks very much for your time this morning.

BACHMANN: Thank you, George.


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