Congresswoman Michele Bachman (R-MN) was the third prospective 2012 presidential candidate to speak at The FAMiLY Leader’s Presidential Lecture Series in Pella, Iowa. Congresswoman Bachmann’s speech was not quite as well as attended than the first two sessions with former Governor Tim Pawlenty (R-MN) and Congressman Ron Paul (R-MN) at the Pella Christian High School Auditorium with approximately 100 people.
I’m not sure entirely sure why this was the case, I suspect nicer weather and perhaps the novelty has worn off being the third time. With Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) being up in May, It will be interesting to see if this is an anomaly or a trend – whether or not it is the venue or the candidate.
Bob Vander Plaats, CEO of The FAMiLY Leader, opened the program by noting that she was one of the few that voted against the deal that avoided a government shutdown, but didn’t do anything to address the debt. Jen Green (formerly with Deace in the Afternoon on WHO Radio) introducing her saying “her friends, enemies and fruit give her credibility as a pro-family leader.” Green told me afterwards that she was happy to be asked to introduce her, but wanted to make it clear that she is not endorsing a candidate at this time.
Bachmann started her speech sharing her testimony saying she understood the Gospel for the first time at age 16 after growing up in a Lutheran Church and then she gave her life to Christ. She said that it “changed her life forever.” She said she had a hunger for the Word after then, and explained that the Holy Spirit “lifted the veil” from her eyes so she was then able to understand it. She participated in YoungLife and another Bible study when in high school. That first year in Christ was, Bachmann said, “was the defining year of my life.”
In college she participated the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship at her school, and cited Francis Schaffer’s film, How Now Shall We Live, made an impact on how she lives out her faith. During law school at Oral Roberts University Law School she did advocacy for better homeschooling laws. She and her husband, Marcus, homeschooled their five children in their early years. She got involved in public schools as they did foster care for 23 kids since they were not allowed by Minnesota law to put those kids in private school or to home school them.
She noted a change in public schools where “knowledge, facts, and information” were taking a back seat to indoctrination. She noted the 2000 Goals to Work standard implemented in the public schools that was a federal program implemented in all 50 states. She advocated for its repeal in Minnesota – the first state to do so. She said later this is where she got her start in politics.
She highlighted her prolife advocacy in the Minnesota Legislature – a requirement to fund prolife groups if they were going to fund Planned Parenthood and a woman’s right to know act.
She highlighted the fact that she broke with House Leadership on the deal that was reached with Senate Leadership and President Barack Obama by voting no on the short-term continuing resolution. She was disappointed that they did not defund Planned Parenthood and Obamacare, and felt they had the ability to do so. She talked about the prefunding for Obamacare in the stimulus bill citing it as a “crime against democracy.”
She called for not only the defunding of Planned Parenthood, but since it is a billion dollar a year industry it should lose it’s non-profit status saying that the director of the Illinois chapter has been quoted as saying they want to become “the LensCrafters of big abortion in Illinois.”
Expressing disappointment in the deal reached she said, “We will never win if we don’t fight, and now is the time to do that.”
On marriage, she commended Iowans for booting the three Iowa Supreme Court justices up for retention last fall. She said that Minnesota could possibly vote in favor of a Marriage Amendment now that Republicans She noted that Congress can limit the subject matter jurisdiction for Article Three courts federally denying them an opportunity to rule on marriage. “This is the first time in recorded history that we have seen marriage in society defined as anything other than between one man and one woman.” During the Q&A time she said that the House is fighting to defend DOMA in the Courts. She highlighted how Massachusetts they violated the separation of powers by telling the Massachusetts Legislature what law they had to pass on marriage. She said that is what the Iowa Supreme Court did and it is why she calls them the “black robed masters.”
On life she said that she and her husband has done more than just talk about life, but have tried to live it out through being sidewalk counselors and taking unwed mothers into their home. Quoting Francis Schaffer she, “life is the watershed issue of our time.” Bachman proclaimed her commitment to life, “I will not give up until we give life the position it deserves in the United States and is protected from conception until natural death.”
She explained how taxes has impacted the family where in the 1950s would pay approximately 5% of their income to taxes. She said now some families can pay up to 50% which explains why we have fewer one income families. She noted the spending which has fueled anti-family tax policy. She said the first thing on the House’s pro-family agenda was to rein in spending. Regarding education reform, she noted how the Supreme Court has recently ruled that tax credits for private religious schools is constitutional. She also said that she’d abolish the Federal Department of Education. She also called for the abolishment of the United States Tax Code.
On 2012, “We have the opportunity of a lifetime, a small window of opportunity, but we can win the triple crown.” She said we need in the House, Senate and in the White House is not just “the right person, but someone who can fight.” She said that the left knows how to fight, but that conservatives need to learn to fight as well. In the Q&A session she said that we need a president who has titanium in the spine.
Highlighting the recent victories in 2010 she said that fire that led to those victories is still there. The Tea Party came to be because they wanted to see fewer taxes, less spending and for Government to follow the Constitution. Joking she said, “how radical.” In the Q&A session she said that she is against raising the debt ceiling saying it is “morally indefensible” to spend on the backs of our future generations. She said that not raising the debt limit wouldn’t shut down the government, but rather they would need to prioritize spending. “We need to exercise some discipline and just say no.”