Bachmann responds to Pawlenty’s repeat criticisms

posted at 10:40 am on July 11, 2011 by Tina Korbe

On NBC’s “Meet the Press” yesterday, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty criticized rival Rep. Michele Bachmann’s (R-Minn.) congressional record, which, admittedly, is a little thin. It wasn’t the first time T-Paw has singled Bachmann out, nor would it be the last. But to the “Meet the Press” appearance, Bachmann issued a response.

Here’s what Pawlenty had to say, first:

I like Congresswoman Bachmann. I’ve campaigned for her. I respect her. But her record of accomplishment in Congress is nonexistent. … And so we’re not looking for folks who, you know, just have speech capabilities. We’re looking for people who can lead a large enterprise in a public setting and drive it to a conclusion. I’ve done that and she hasn’t.

Yep, exactly the sort of backhanded compliment that does more for other candidates than it does for Pawlenty, who, unfortunately and in the vein of his early “quit worrying about bus tours” comment, comes across looking a little insecure himself.

Bachmann spun it all beautifully in the statement her staff sent out yesterday evening, casting herself as the upbeat candidate against Pawlenty’s dreary carping:

This is an election about the future of our nation – one where voters will have to decide who is best equipped to lead our nation by looking at our records, as well as our vision for the nation. Instead of negativity, I want to focus on my accomplishments.

I have fought the cap-and-trade agenda, rather than implement it, and I will work to end cap-and-trade as President of the United States. I stood up against President Obama’s support of the $700 billion bailout rather than defend it.

I was a leading voice, fighting against Obamacare and the unconstitutional individual mandates; I did not lift my voice in praise of it. My message brought tens of thousands of Americans to Washington D.C. to oppose Obamacare. As President I will not rest until Obamacare is repealed. And I will not vote to raise the debt ceiling.

People can count on me as a fighter; I am proud of my record of fighting with resolve, and without apology, for our free markets, for sane fiscal policies, and in opposition to the advancement of the big government left. As President, the American people can count on me to stand by my record of advancing pro-growth policies to put our nation back on the right track.

Arguably, the statements she makes about the future (“As President I will not rest until Obamacare is repealed. And I will not vote to raise the debt ceiling.”) matter more than the statements she makes about her past. They indicate what her presidential priorities would be — and the issues she selected as a representative sample hint at just how in-touch with the electorate she’d be.

As far as that actual past goes, she can’t magically make it substantive — and she’ll have to keep battling the obvious observation that she has no executive experience throughout the primaries (if not from her competitors, than from outside outlets). But, to make another obvious observation, neither did President Barack Obama. At any rate, at least one analyst thinks “tilting at windmills” in Congress could actually help Bachmann’s campaign:

Bachmann’s purity makes her largely irrelevant in Congress. She’s not part of the debt ceiling negotiations or someone the leadership consults with on much of anything.

That same purity — coupled with Republican voters’ widespread disdain for “the way Washington works” — is a major strength for Bachmann in the presidential race.

Rating Bachmann’s chances on the numbers of bills she’s sponsored or passed into law is a mistaken measure. Her strength in a Republican primary is based in her willingness to charge at windmills. And, she has done plenty of that during her congressional tenure.


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Comment pages: 1 2

If we’re talking about the media and their Democrat masters, you know as well as I that they will attack her for any reason or no reason at all. They’ll make sh*t up. It’s what they do.

SKYFOX on July 11, 2011 at 2:41 PM

Yes, that’s true. But should we give them a candidate about whom their criticism is accurate?

MJBrutus on July 11, 2011 at 2:51 PM

…criticized rival Rep. Michele Bachmann’s (R-Minn.) congressional record, which, admittedly, is a little thin.

But it sure looks good when compared to Obama’s senate record.
I like both candidates but because they are from a state that elected Al Franken and Jesse Ventura, I keep my guard up a little.

P.S. Hey can we ban all forms of name mashing (T-Paw) on HotAir? Sometimes these posts look like they were either written by teenagers or by columnists at TMZ.

RMCS_USN on July 11, 2011 at 2:59 PM

The bigger story here is the fact that Bachmann does in fact have a résumé that’s absurdly thin for someone seeking the White House. She has no foreign-policy experience, no executive experience, has never sponsored or cosponsored a bill that became law, and has never chaired a committee or subcommittee.

Her supporters are choosing the person who’ll preside over the armed forces, negotiate with foreign leaders, manage the bureaucracy, shepherd legislation through Congress, execute the nation’s laws, and otherwise fulfill the many obligations of the presidency.

What makes them think she’s qualified?

If you listen to the media you’d think that the qualities most important to a politician’s success are charisma, an ability to win news cycles, adeptness at formulating sound bites, and success in zinging rivals. In comparison, ability to do the job is seldom discussed.

Bachmann rose to prominence by adeptly leveraging media appearances. That she did so despite having accomplished nothing of significance in public life is impressive. But it doesn’t make her qualified to be president. She is manifestly unqualified to be president, as Republicans would quickly point out were someone with her résumé running as a Democrat.

In fact, the GOP argued four years ago that Barack Obama was too inexperienced for the Oval Office. By their lights, they’ve been vindicated: his performance is almost universally panned within the party. Is the partisan mind so powerful that they’re now prepared to elevate someone based on the strength of her TV interviews and floor speeches?

Can anyone offer a persuasive argument why Bachmann should win the nomination? The silence is deafening.

Jayrae on July 11, 2011 at 3:10 PM

Someone besides me needs to hammer home the point that NO Conservative, and very few non-Pelosi-drone-Democrats, got ANYTHING done under Queen Nancy’s iron-fisted control of the House. She violated every rule, probably the constitution, and ran the House like a dictator. At least MB continued to storm the castle and not retreat or “reach across the aisle” or lie to constituents or praise the Queen for the few crumbs she flicked from her feast table. Tepid Timmy needs to get a new theme besides attacking Conservatives like Michele Bachmann; this one is destroying his brand with CONSERVATIVES.

opaobie on July 11, 2011 at 3:48 PM

…Can anyone offer a persuasive argument why Bachmann should win the nomination? The silence is deafening. Jayrae on July 11, 2011 at 3:10 PM

{{{{{{{{NOW HEAR THIS!}}}}}}}}

If the other Conservative Patriot Warrior with a pair, aka Gov. Palin decides she is more effective defending the USA from her self-built redoubt/Bully Pulpit — then Congresswoman Bachmann, regardless of her blemishes, will carry the Victory banner while riding as the Palin stalking horse into the 2016 – 2020 election cycles!

“Let’s Roll”

On Watch on July 11, 2011 at 3:58 PM

Perfect statement from Bachmann. I noticed in the piece quote, she never once mentioned Pawlenty’s name. This wasn’t a personal attack on him, this was her showing only her positives. Brilliant.

A certain other politician probably would’ve called him a “knuckle-dragging Neanderthal”. I’m proud of Bachmann for playing a genuine attack on her by Pawlenty, as cool as can be.

-Aslan’s Girl

Aslans Girl on July 11, 2011 at 5:08 PM

was a leading voice, fighting against Obamacare and the unconstitutional individual mandates; I did not lift my voice in praise of it. My message brought tens of thousands of Americans to Washington D.C. to oppose Obamacare

So Bachmann is saying she was what?

unseen on July 11, 2011 at 5:46 PM

Rating Bachmann’s chances on the numbers of bills she’s sponsored or passed into law is a mistaken measure. Her strength in a Republican primary is based in her willingness to charge at windmills. And, she has done plenty of that during her congressional tenure.

THIS. As for the experience canard — bollocks. What matters is the vision and conviction.

We had a complete idiot/naif/socialist inexperienced actor and considering his vision & goals he succeeded rather well. Imagine if he was as experienced a la Rendell, Selbelius or some other Donk Governor. Instead of us talking about game on, it’d already be game over.

What we don’t need is an insider who’s 1st instinct will be to do it “the way we always did it”. In this case, someone who is “inexperienced will be more apt to challenge CW, traditions et al with a “Why?” or “I don’t care, just do it”. In that sense, the snubbings MB has had from the elite inner circle should motivate her to rearrange the party from the inside out–sweet revenge.

Give me HC, MB or SP, but don’t give me one of the good ole boy CINOs.

AH_C on July 11, 2011 at 7:21 PM

Rating Bachmann’s chances on the numbers of bills she’s sponsored or passed into law is a mistaken measure. Her strength in a Republican primary is based in her willingness to charge at windmills. And, she has done plenty of that during her congressional tenure.

Applied as well to Bob Dornan, circa 1996.

Bachmann spun it all beautifully in the statement her staff sent out yesterday evening, casting herself as the upbeat candidate against Pawlenty’s dreary carping:

Wow. HA contributors aren’t usually that partisan among GOP candidates.

ddrintn on July 11, 2011 at 7:33 PM

I’m inclined to agree that Bachmann lacks a record of achievement and any level of executive experience.

That said, it seems obvious she’s a much, much better campaigner than Pawlenty. And that is not insignificant.

tom on July 11, 2011 at 8:24 PM

knuckle-dragging Neanderthal”.

Was that pointed, and accurate, remark attached to a name?…

Gohawgs on July 12, 2011 at 1:26 AM

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