Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann said that in light of having a Real Clear Politics Iowa Caucus poll average of 8.4% and with news that some of her New Hampshire staff defected her campaign is making Iowa their priority. “We’re here a bulk of the time,” she said to me in a phone conversation yesterday afternoon.
She reiterated that she had not been told that there were resignations, and they were reaching out to the New Hampshire field staff. (The campaign later confirmed that two of their staffers had quit, but that three to five are still on the payroll). She affirmed that Iowa is the priority, then they’ll focus on New Hampshire and South Carolina. She was confident of their ground game in the state, “we feel that we have a much stronger organization than anyone else.”
In light of the recent changes with the frontrunners she believed that was due to people are pulling back the layers. She said people are discovering that a candidate, referring to Texas Governor Rick Perry, won’t build the fence. She pointed out, referring to Herman Cain, that they are also discovering that a candidate may say they are prolife, but the believes that the Government shouldn’t do anything to intervene. She said, “they are finding out where the candidates truly are.”
I asked her about a report that she said that a late term abortion ban is a state issue. She sounded like she didn’t know what I was talking about. She said that she was 100% prolife. “I don’t think that I ever said that…. I don’t recall that, and I don’t recall being asked that,” she said while affirming that she does indeed believe abortion is a federal issue.
Craig Robinson of The Iowa Republican reported last week that Bachmann said in response to a question about the late-term abortion ban debate she said that it was a state issue. He quotes her saying:
I think that’s referring to late term abortion and I think that’s something that most people find anathema and they would prefer to see it outlawed. That’s a state issue. So it’s up to the people of Iowa to decide what they want to do. I only know for myself, and as President of the United States I am 100% percent pro-life from conception to natural death and I will stand up for the unborn (emphasis mine).
Robinson told me last night after the Iowa Faith & Family Coalition’s Presidential Forum that it was possible she didn’t understand the question. She did say it, and he has her on video saying what he transcribed above. In Congresswoman Bachmann’s defense, she gets asked a lot of questions during the course of a day, let alone a week. So her not remembering the question seems entirely plausible to me. Also a quick glance at her record demonstrates that she has worked on prolife legislation in the House. If she believed abortion was a state issue she wouldn’t have done that.
Bachmann describes herself as a decisive leader who knows how to delegate. She said she has lived a consistent life modeling a core set of values who has been a champion for people on issues. She also described herself as “very strong” and “an activist” who is “very persistent and determined.”
She believes that celebrating Qaddafi’s death is premature that he “was the devil we knew” and that we are not sure what will replace him. She is concerned about the number of weapons that are currently missing, especially the shoulder-fired missiles. She said before she would commit any boots on the ground that their has to be a national interest and that the objective would be to win, not nation build.
She also criticized President Obama’s handling of Iraq saying that the announcement that troops will be pulled out of Iraq by the end of the year demonstrates that he doesn’t know how to handle the situation. She noted we’ve spent over a $1 Trillion over in Iraq and that she has called on them to reimburse the United States for helping with their liberation. She pointed out that instead “we’re being kicked out.”
She is concerned with Iran who is waiting in the wings and she said we “must not allow Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon.” If they were to receive one she believes they will used. She said that President Obama has given them the gift of time.
She touted her jobs plan saying she wants to flatten the tax rate, and to make it simple. She then wants to repeal the tax code as written, repeal Obamacare, repeal Dodd-Frank, scale back the EPA, legalize American energy, eliminate the Department of Energy. She also wants to real back the spending; scaling back the size of government. She said she’d cut back 40% of spending. She would also repeal Race to the Top and all federal education law. She is also open to backing a gold standard to help return our country back to having sound money.
You can listen to this interview using the player above.
Photo by Dave Davidson – Prezography.com