[Editor's Note: On Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012 Michele Bachmann announced at a press conference in West Des Moines, IA that she was suspending her presidential campaign. She placed sixth in the Iowa caucuses held on Jan. 3, 2012. In her statements, Congresswoman Bachmann stated: "I ran because 2012 is our last chance and our only chance to repeal Obamacare and Dodd-Frank… I ran because I wanted my children and all the children of this country to live free... I listened to the people of Iowa and all across America that the socialist policies of Barack Obama must be stopped… The people of Iowa spoke with a clear voice, and I have decided to stand aside." (unofficial transcript of speech)]
Republican Presidential Candidate
US Representative (R-MN)
Con: "I am 100 percent pro-life. I've given birth to five babies, and I've taken 23 foster children into my home. I believe in the dignity of life from conception until natural death. I believe in the sanctity of human life. And I think the most eloquent words ever written were those in our Declaration of Independence that said it's a creator who endowed us with inalienable rights given to us from God, not from government. And the beauty of that is that government cannot take those rights away. Only God can give, and only God can take. And the first of those rights is life. And I stand for that right. I stand for the right to life. The very few cases that deal with those exceptions are the very tiniest of fraction of cases, and yet they get all the attention. Where all of the firepower is and where the real battle is, is on the general -- genuine issue of taking an innocent human life. I stand for life from conception until natural death.”
CNN Republican Debate, Manchester, NH, June 13, 2011
[Editor’s Note: Bachmann cosponsored the Right to Life Act, H.R. 618(136 KB), which was introduced to Congress on Jan. 22, 2007. The bill seeks "equal protection for the right of life of each born and preborn human person."]
Not Clearly Pro or Con: "But parents are going to be excluded from Planned Parenthood as they write these clinics [school-based health clinics included in H.R. 3200(4018 KB)] because the bill orders that these clinics protect patient privacy and student records. What does that mean? It means that parents will never know what kind of counsel and treatment that their children are receiving. And as a matter of fact, the bill goes on to say what's going to go on -- comprehensive primary health services, physicals, treatment of minor acute chronic medical conditions, referrals to follow-up for specialty care -- is that abortion? Does that mean that someone's 13 year-old daughter could walk into a sex clinic, have a pregnancy test done, be taken away to the local Planned Parenthood abortion clinic, have their abortion, be back and go home on the school bus that night? Mom and dad are never the wiser."
Michele Bachmann, speech on the floor of the US House of Representatives, Sep. 30, 2009
Con: "We're continuing to spend money that we don’t have by an order of magnitude that we’ve never seen before. In all of my travels over South Carolina, New Hampshire, and Iowa it’s been fairly unanimous, Sean. People across the country and have said: 'Please stop the out of control spending and whatever you do, don’t increase the debt ceiling.' Because people see that under almost every scenario, President Obama gets this $2.1 trillion to spend and we’re giving $21 billion in cuts. And people are saying that's just not good enough and they want us to really change the ways of Washington and they're not seeing they're being listened to."
Interview, Hannity, Fox News, Aug. 1, 2011
[Editor’s Note: On Aug. 1, 2011, Bachmann voted no on S. 365(222 KB), which raised the national debt limit.]
Not Clearly Pro or Con: "Well, I support the right-to-work law [legislation that let employees decide for themselves whether or not they want to join a union or financially support it], both nationally and at the state levels as well. I think it's very important that all American workers have the right to work. South Carolina has that right. Unfortunately, President Obama has been seeking to deny that right, in particular when it comes to the Boeing Corporation, through the NLRB [National Labor Relations Board]. When President Obama appointed on the NLRB someone who has a pro-union vote and a pro-union world view, they have denied to the people of South Carolina literally thousands of high-paying jobs in this state. And it isn't just this one company that's being impacted. It's other companies from other nations that are looking at South Carolina. They would love to come and start businesses and build businesses here. I spoke with the governor of South Carolina. She told me that companies from as diverse areas as Japan, Canada and Germany would love to be able to put new jobs and new businesses in this state, but they're wondering what the ruling of the NLRB will be."
Not Clearly Pro or Con: "Free and fair trade agreements help spur economic growth; improve efficiency and innovation; create better, higher-paying jobs for hard-working Americans; and increase the availability of lower-priced products here in the United States. Furthermore, the role of free trade as an expression of liberty and opportunity for all individuals signifies the very principles our country was founded upon."
"Michele Bachmann (R-MN) on Free Trade Agreements," The Foundry, Oct. 16, 2009
Not Clearly Pro or Con: "I want to pull the regulatory burden back, and then I don’t think we’ll need the level of subsidies we’ve had in the past… That includes all energy. I really want to see a [level] federal playing field. We’ve seen what a disaster it is when the federal government picks winners and losers…
I fully believe all of these [energy] industries have the capacity to stand on their own.”
Russell Goldman,“Bachmann Says She Opposes Ethanol Subsidies at Iowa Forum,” abcnews.go.com, Nov. 1, 2011
Pro: Bachmann: "Our [Minnesota] law reads that we will teach abstinence until marriage in our sex-ed curriculum. And this legislator wanted to strike two words: 'until marriage.' And the reason why she wanted to strike that we will be teaching abstinence until marriage is because she said: 'well that’s not true for everyone, because your truth may be that you believe that people should be abstinent until marriage but not everyone does. Our society has changed,' she said, 'and so we need to strike the words, until marriage.' "
Todd Wilkin: "So in other words it sounds as though she was saying: because people disagree with abstinence until marriage…"
Bachmann: "We’ll adopt hedonism. [Laughter] In essence, that's what she is saying. That we will not have a standard. And the Bible presents a standard to which everyone can repair, whether you are a believer or not. It’s a wonderful standard, a glue that holds a society together."
Con: "NCLB makes it nearly impossible for local schools to tailor their educational programs and curricula to meet their students’ needs and give our children the education they deserve…
In fact, as a State Senator in Minnesota in 2004, I introduced a bill that would extract Minnesota from the strictures of the No Child Left Behind law…
If this latest assessment of Minnesota's public schools tells us anything, it's that No Child Left Behind must be repealed and control of our education returned to the local level. Our children and teachers deserve better.”
"No Child Left Behind Misses the Mark," bachmann.house.gov, Aug. 11, 2009
Con: "What I would do as president of the United States is pass the mother of all repeal bills on education. I would take the entire federal education law, repeal it. Then I would go over to the Department of Education, I'd turn off the lights, I would lock the door and I would send all the money back to the states and localities."
"Transcript: Fox News-Google GOP Debate," www.foxnews.com, Sep. 22, 2011
Pro: "The Second Amendment states that the people's right to keep and bear arms may not be infringed, and I believe that citizens who are in compliance with the law should not have that guaranteed right taken away."
"Minnesota Values," bachmann.house.gov (accessed on Oct. 5, 2011)
[Editor’s Note: Bachmann cosponsored H.R. 197(119 KB), National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2009. The bill sought "to provide a national standard in accordance with which nonresidents of a state may carry concealed firearms in the State."]
Not Clearly Pro or Con: "The Second Amendment states that the people’s right to keep and bear arms may not be infringed, and I believe that citizens who are in compliance with the law should not have that guaranteed right taken away."
"Minnesota Values," bachmann.house.gov, (accessed on Oct. 5, 2011)
[Editor’s Note: Bachmann voted yes on the Second Amendment Enforcement Act, H.R. 6842(137 KB), on Sep. 17, 2008. The bill repealed portions of a ban on possession and sales of firearms in Washington, DC.]
Con: "The signature issue of Barack Obama and his presidency has been the passage of Obamacare. This week, a study came out from UBS that said the number one reason why employers aren’t hiring is because of Obamacare. That’s why I introduced the bill to repeal Obamacare. And as president of the United States, that’s the very first thing I would do, is repeal Obamacare."
Fox News Republican debate, Orlando, FL, Sep. 22, 2011
Pro: "Amends the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 to make the basic employment eligibility confirmation pilot program permanent. Sets forth conditions for the mandatory use of the E-verify system. Requires: (1) employer/employee notification of social security number mismatches and multiple uses, and related information sharing with DHS; and (2) establishment of electronic birth and death registration systems. Amends the Internal Revenue Code to: (1) penalize specified employers for failure to correct information returns; and (2) prohibit employers from deducting from gross income wages paid to unauthorized aliens, with an exception for an employer participating in the basic employment eligibility confirmation program. Increases criminal alien program (CAP) personnel."
SAVE Act of 2009, introduced on July 23, 2009, govtrack.us (accessed Nov. 30, 2011)
Pro: “I would build a fence on America's southern border on every mile, on every yard, on every foot, on every inch of the southern border. I think that's what we have to do, not only build it, but then also have sufficient border security and enforce the laws that are on the books with the ICE agents, with our border security.”
"Transcript: Fox News-Google GOP Debate," www.foxnews.com, Sep. 22, 2011
Not Clearly Pro or Con: "As president of the United States, I would do what my job would demand of me. That’s to uphold the sovereignty of the United States of America. To do that, I would build a fence on America’s southern border on every mile, on every yard, on every foot, on every inch of the southern border. I think that’s what we have to do, not only build it, but then also have sufficient border security and enforce the laws that are on the books with the ICE agents, with our border security. And here’s the other thing I would do. I would not allow taxpayer-funded benefits for illegal aliens or for their children."
Fox News Republican debate, Orlando, FL, Sep. 22, 2011
Pro: "The United States has been blessed with a strong, dedicated military which can and will defend our nation’s security and preserve the freedoms we cherish each day. I believe in the mission of our men and women fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan and support providing them with the necessary funding they need to achieve success overseas. Our commanders on the ground deserve praise as they have taken the fight to the enemy in both Afghanistan and Iraq and have prevented terrorists from striking us here at home. I support their efforts to combat terrorism, to ensure the safety of our country, and to further democracy in other parts of the world…
Leaving Iraq too soon would jeopardize our national security and give the terrorists a tremendous victory in the war on terror."
"Homeland Security Issues," bachmann.house.gov (accessed on Oct. 5, 2011)
Pro: "After that tragedy that day, our country not only survived but we united with greater resolve to proudly stand for freedom. We fought back and we brought the war on terror to the terrorists. In the past few years, the United States has been successful in eradicating some of freedom's worst enemies. In many ways, Sep. 11, 2001, was not only a day of tragedy, but it was also a day of new beginnings for our country. Because that day reminded us anew that we are America. We're the home of the free and the home of the brave. And God has so abundantly blessed this country. When we are united as one nation under god, nothing on earth can defeat us."
"Reflections on the Tenth Anniversary of 9/11", posted on Michele Bachmann's YouTube page, Sep. 9, 2011
Con: "The Palestinians are not in a position to become a sovereign nation. They have failed to commit to serious negotiations with Israel that are necessary before statehood and full UN membership can even be discussed. They have failed to demonstrate any commitment to eradicating terrorism; the Palestinian Authority does not even control its own 'territory' as the Gaza Strip is controlled by Hamas, a designated terrorist organization. Furthermore, they have failed to demonstrate, through their negotiations with Hamas that they are seriously interested in peace in any way."
"The Case Against Palestinian Statehood," bachmann.house.gov, Sep. 22, 2011
Not Clearly Pro or Con: [Editor's Note: Bachmann voted no on H. AMDT. 674 on July 25, 2007. The Hinchey amendment would have prohibited the Department of Justice from using funds to enforce federal anti-medical marijuana laws in states where the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana has been legalized.]
Con: "A vocal minority called Occupy Wall Street believes that the problem we face is capitalism or free markets. It’s not. The problem is government doing what both the constitution and decent morality prohibit, that is cronyism capitalism, or forcefully taking your money for the purpose of paying off a politician’s political friends. For your sake and your future, America, and Occupy Wall Street in particular, needs to wake up and stop blaming job creators for the failures created by selfish politicians who wink at their political donors."
Russell Goldman, "Bachmann Targets Occupy Wall Street, Warns of U.S. Becoming Banana Republic," abcnews.go.com, Nov. 3, 2011
Not Clearly Pro or Con: "Obamacare only makes things worse by taking $500 billion out of Medicare, and the President’s so-called Payroll Tax Holiday has accelerated the insolvency of Social Security, requiring additional funds from general revenue to cover current benefits for seniors.
There are those in Washington who overlook not only these programs’ efficiency problems, but also the fact they will bankrupt the United States if reforms are not put in place. Unfortunately, many Americans have been unduly frightened by scare talk about alleged attempts to potentially eliminate these programs. Michele understands the concerns of seniors who have been frightened into thinking that their Social Security could be taken away. As President, she will ensure that any reform to Social Security or Medicare will only affect those 55 and younger, and she will work to find a way to ease the next generation into a program that is solvent, fiscally responsible, and empowering to the individual. Michele has also pledged to protect Medicare by repealing Obamacare."
"Michele Bachmann on Social Security and Medicare," www.michelebachmann.com, Sep. 12, 2011
Not Clearly Pro or Con: "In my perfect world we'd take the 35% corporate tax rate down to nine so that we're the most competitive in the industrialized world. Zero out capital gains. Zero out the alternative minimum tax. Zero out the death tax."
"'On the Beach I Bring von Mises,' " Wall Street Journal, June 11, 2011
Pro: "Well in my home state I was the chief author of a constitutional amendment to define marriage as between a man and a woman. That’s consistently been my position. And I do support that position at a federal level."
Interview, Good Morning America, CBS News, June 14, 2011
Pro: "If I were president, I would be willing to use waterboarding. I think it was very effective. It gained information for our country, and I - and I also would like to say that today, under Barack Obama, he is allowing the ACLU to run the CIA. You need to understand that today, today we - it - when we - when we interdict a terrorist on the battlefield, we have no jail for them. We have nowhere to take them. We have no CIA interrogation anymore. It is as though we have decided we want to lose in the war on terror under President Obama. That’s not my strategy. My strategy will be that the United States will be victorious in the war on terror."