Scarborough: Newt Gingrich dismisses Michele Bachmann because she’s a woman

posted at 8:18 pm on December 16, 2011 by Tina Korbe

Anyone who watched last night’s debate surely detected the uneasiness between Newt Gingrich and Michele Bachmann. In true “fire-breather” fashion, Bachmann made no pretense of affection for or agreement with Gingrich on a couple of key issues. To my great delight, for example, she very transparently lambasted Gingrich’s defense of government-sponsored enterprises. To my slight confusion, she introduced a new line of attack on Gingrich — claiming that, at some point in the past, he plainly stated his intention to campaign for Republicans who supported partial-birth abortion. On that issue, the details were, admittedly, a bit hazy — but, on GSEs, at least, Bachmann was right on the money. Yet, against any brilliant militant advance of Bachmann’s (and against the less-brilliant advances, too), Gingrich forwarded only this defense: “Ms. Bachmann doesn’t have her facts straight.”

At last, Bachmann could take the condescension no longer. Half desperately, half determinedly, she reminded him, “I am a serious candidate for president of the United States,” and insisted that she did have her facts straight, thank him very much. Gingrich looked a little abashed. It wasn’t his best moment. For that matter, it wasn’t hers — but not because she wasn’t justified in her frustration.

This morning, pundits pondered the meaning of the exchange. MSNBC host Joe Scarborough offered, perhaps, the most interesting take on the tiff. The Daily Caller reports:

On Friday’s “Morning Joe” on MSNBC, host Joe Scarborough said that he perceived an exceptionally harsh tone from Gingrich when he addressed Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann in Thursday night’s Fox News debate.

“You know – did you notice something, too, Michael [Steele], about Bachmann and I think Bachmann’s getting tired of it,” Scarborough said. “Newt Gingrich when he attacks Michele Bachmann sort of speaks in a different tone and is far more condescending to Michele Bachmann than he is to the men on the stage. And she is starting – she’s actually starting to push back on the fact. It’s something we noticed a couple of debates ago. But I think Michele Bachmann’s about had enough of him being condescending to her.”

Former RNC Chairman Michael Steele, now a MSNBC contributor, agreed with Scarborough and praised Bachmann for pushing back.

“I think it’s the irritation that really came through there at several key moments where, you know, they were going back and forth and she just took the stance,” Steele said. “Look, I am a serious contender for this office just like you are. And the only thing I could write was, ‘you go girl.’ I tweeted that out. I mean she was just – she hit it in a way that made it very clear. You’re not going to get away with pushing back on me to make me look less than capable or less than worthy to being on the stage.”

Last night, I contentiously tweeted, “OK, I’ve been debating about tweeting this all night, but I kinda think I think it: If Bachmann were a man, she’d be in the top two.” Followers quickly corrected that idea, reminding me of all the ways she’s “crazy” (their word, not mine) — but it took Joe Scarborough to show me the error of my ways.

Hear me out. Bachmann is arguably the most conservative member of Congress and probably the most conservative GOP presidential candidate. She’s also one of the best debaters on the stage. She speaks clearly and compellingly — constructing broad themes, which she filigrees with knowledgeable detail. Yes, she went a bit overboard on Gardasil and some would say she was disingenuous when she suggested the government would be able to function without a debt ceiling increase (I’m not one of those “some,” however) — and, arguably, she’s even more culpable for her more “extreme” statements because she often utters them in TV interviews or other settings that are less pressured than a debate.

But, by and large, she has conducted her campaign with drive, she has presented an admirable grasp of the issues, and she has kept her record — insofar as she has a record — clean. What’s not to like — especially for the rightmost conservatives who’ve clamored from the beginning for a “full spectrum” representative of their views? So, I cast about for some explanation and came up with a superficial one: She doesn’t exactly look like a president. By that, I mean she’s a woman and she’s very, very tiny. Perhaps I was projecting my own sexism on the rest of the electorate: I have, all along, felt she lacked something presidential and I begin to think that that feeling arose vaguely from my subconscious, which has been taught to expect that a U.S. president is male.

Now, I see that I was wrong. It’s not that the electorate doesn’t take Bachmann seriously because she’s a woman. Republicans in Iowa, for example, voted her to the top of the Ames Straw Poll. And, while her support has been marginal, she’s consistently polled in the relative “middle” of the pack, always ahead of Rick Santorum and Jon Hunstman, both of whom — to state the obvious — are men. She was beating Gingrich for ages.

But a partial reason for her decline might be that Mitt Romney — and now Newt Gingrich — never seemed to be too troubled by her. Bachmann never caused Romney to break a sweat. Newt Gingrich swats her away like a gadfly. Perhaps the electorate absorbed the attitudes of Michele Bachmann’s competitors, who — with the exception of Tim Pawlenty — never saw her as someone to beat and, consequently, never saw her as someone who could win.

But, then, to bring up the other two underdogs again, neither Romney nor Gingrich has ever seemed the least bit threatened by Santorum or Huntsman.

Who knows how these things go? Our attitudes toward presidential candidates are mercurial and all kinds of factors play a part. It’d be foolish to say we don’t take gender into account in our assessments of other people — and no doubt voters and fellow candidates alike have taken Bachmann’s apparent femininity into account as they’ve sized her up as a potential president — even if only subconsciously. But, in the end, to say Romney, Gingrich or the electorate has dismissed Bachmann because she’s a woman is to be the ultimate sexist, to reduce Bachmann solely to her womanhood, as though that’s the only factor by which she can be judged. Bachmann has been dismissed — by those who’ve dismissed her, that is — because she is Bachmann. Her person encompasses her gender, but her gender doesn’t encompass her person.


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It’s amazing ot me that Romney gets labeled a candidate of substance when it’s clear he has no core convictions and Bachman, who does seem to have a core is labeled a candidate with no substance.

Dr. Tesla on December 17, 2011 at 1:19 AM

I’m actually completely in agreement with you.

cpaulus on December 17, 2011 at 1:20 AM

But a partial reason for her decline might be that Mitt Romney — and now Newt Gingrich — never seemed to be too troubled by her.

Hey, Tina. Wake up! Any Bachmann decline (if any) is not among heroic Americans who fought against the political establishment with the Tea Party, the decline is among the traitor news media which represents the Republican establishment candidate. I mean, how can you even call these debates, “debates”, when the media chooses who gets the most speaking time. Are you serious? That’s not a debate. That’s called helping someone WIN the debate. I mean, what if you, Allahpundit, Ed, and I, had a debate and the moderator gave me the most speaking time (big grins). Would that be fair to you bozo’s? Of course not! So get out of here with Michele Bachmann’s decline is because of Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich. There’s no reason to down a lady who’s humble, classy, and has represented the American people better – nobody has represented the American people better than her! A woman who’s sincere and genuine. She represents everything what this nation should be about. I can’t think of another candidate running for President of the United States who’s positions whether we’re speaking about her position on American issues or whether we’re speaking about her commitment to Israel, as a Bible-believing Christian, are better than Michele Bachmann’s. But who cares. You people in the media are just disgusting. You’re just horrible, horrible, human beings.

But, then, to bring up the other two underdogs again, neither Romney nor Gingrich has ever seemed the least bit threatened by Santorum or Huntsman.

This is unbelievable. Why are you downing Santorum now? FOX barely gave him any speaking time in the debate. They turned him into a non-factor. He was off in the corner by himself. They forgot about him for half the debate and you wonder why Romney and Gingrich aren’t threatened by him? It’s unbelievable! The FOX News Hype Machine is in full effect… get outta here.

Who knows how these things go? Our attitudes toward presidential candidates are mercurial and all kinds of factors play a part.

Wrong. We do know how these things go. Uh, let me tell you something. Eventually you’re gonna have a two man race or a two person race. Eventually it’s gonna be Mitt Romney, who was the frontrunner, who is the establishment candidate, the left wing establishment candidate, then there’s gonna be the anti-Romney candidate, which is Newt Gingrich. It’s gonna eventually zero down to a two man or a two person race basically. Turn your TV on and you’ll see they are getting all of the coverage on FOX and we’ve only just began the Republican primaries. They are basically ignoring the real conservatives Bachmann and Santorum. So if you’re gonna write about who’s declining in the race and why Tina, with all due respect, don’t get your political advice from RINO’s anymore and stop bowing down to Karl Rove every time you see him. Thanks.

PS, I anticipate another Tea Party in the future.

apocalypse on December 17, 2011 at 1:21 AM

Which of our candidate is generally propped up by Republican media?

Romney is. It’s not even close.

He’s our Obama. Conservatives project their own beliefs onto him b/c he seems smart and likeable enough, even though he’s not demonstrated much interestin advocating conservative ideals.

Like I said before, his looks go a long way for him, because people always root for the better looking people. People are always brown nosing me because I’m handsome, and it gets uncomfortable and I have to call them out on it.

Dr. Tesla on December 17, 2011 at 1:24 AM

Chenman,

You’re going to have to back that up with something. I’ve done some looking into this because I’m interested in stuff like that and have found nothing to suggest that outside of the extremely rare circumstances, vaccines don’t hurt people. If you’re talking an extreme, extreme minority the same can be said for literally everything. She made it seem common, and refused to accept that there was an opt out in case of the rare circumstance, which hasn’t really been proven. That’s not looking out for the little guy, it’s demagoguery.

Dr T,

I think that’s where you and I might disagree. She’s just like Obama, but without the media propping her up. That’s why she has no chance of winning. That doesn’t, however, make her not like Obama the person, it just makes her an unlucky version of Obama, or a conservative one, which she is.

cpaulus on December 17, 2011 at 1:26 AM

He’s our Obama. Conservatives project their own beliefs onto him b/c he seems smart and likeable enough, even though he’s not demonstrated much interestin advocating conservative ideals.

Like I said before, his looks go a long way for him, because people always root for the better looking people. People are always brown nosing me because I’m handsome, and it gets uncomfortable and I have to call them out on it.

Dr. Tesla on December 17, 2011 at 1:24 AM

I think there’s some truth to what you’re saying, but the difference is this: He was an actual governor. Furthermore, he actually talks about policy. He was criticized for having a 59 point plan. But when people are projecting on a conservative hero it’s definitely Bachmann. She’s viewed as this conservative hero, but has literally done nothing but give speeches, like Obama. If she were to get the nomination she’d had spent two-thirds of her time in office running for president.

cpaulus on December 17, 2011 at 1:30 AM

Obama was never a vocal opponent of Bush. He was basically voting present on everything as Senator.

I think Bachman has been one of the most vocal critics of Obama along with Jim DeMint and Palin. That’s a form of leadership in my view.

Romney seems to think you have to wait until you are nominated to criticize Obama, or only do it in debates when the moderater is setting you up to do that. He just doesn’t seem like a leader to me. There’s a difference in being a CEO of a company and being a president, and Romney doesn’t seem to grasp that the political philsophy thing is kind of part of the job.

Dr. Tesla on December 17, 2011 at 1:32 AM

What good is Romney’s govenorship experience if he learned nothing from the mistake of RomneyCare? He gave Mass. RomneyCare and quit after 1 term. What’s so great about that experience? He other big accomplishment was a ban on assault weapons, right?

How did he move Mass. to the right? Isn’t that part of being a Republican leader?

Bachman seems to understand that governmenet intrusion into healthcare is a problem. I think the woman has some substance, if only for that. This is the huge issue this election. Romney fans want to wish it away.

Dr. Tesla on December 17, 2011 at 1:36 AM

I think a lot of people never took her seriously because she’s just a congresswoman, and one who’s never even held a leadership position in congress. To her credit she’s done remarkably well for a US rep, but most people never took her seriously. When is the last time a congressman was elected president? Has that ever happened in modern history?

juliesa on December 17, 2011 at 1:38 AM

Obama was never a vocal opponent of Bush. He was basically voting present on everything as Senator.

He made his name as an antiwar advocate. That’s how he became elected a senator in the first place. He then gave his red states blue states speech which was a direct critique of Bush.

You listed two people who made a name going around picking winners with endorsements, Palin and DeMint. Why is it that Bachmann didn’t do that? Or why was her endorsement, after those two, not really a big deal? Because she purposely let them lead the way, then would run in front and say, “I’m a leader!” Palin was a governor, Demint is a long serving senator. Bachmann has been in Congress for 5 years.

She’s not. There’s a reason that Palin refused to give her an endorsement for House leadership when she was asked about it. There’s a reason why DeMint always shies away from giving her help besides ambiguous, “I think she’s a good congressman” type of stuff.

cpaulus on December 17, 2011 at 1:39 AM

If Obama treated Bachmann like Gingrich does I would rightly call him on it. Bachmann is the congressional catalytic agent for conservative TP. None of you can take that from her. She (and Glenn Beck) did so much more than anybody (this side of Alaska) for the right during the past year.

GB blew it. But MB is still a contender. She’s a smart pol and will give Romney the bona fides he needs as VP hopeful. (He’ll pick Perry though. Yes, Rick Perry)

Capitalist Hog on December 17, 2011 at 1:40 AM

What good is Romney’s govenorship experience if he learned nothing from the mistake of RomneyCare? He gave Mass. RomneyCare and quit after 1 term. What’s so great about that experience? He other big accomplishment was a ban on assault weapons, right?

Dr. T,

I’m not arguing for Romney. I thought that was pretty clear. If you want to argue that they have both very little accomplishment of conservative policy I think that’s fair. Though, of course, she could be doing stuff in Congress now because her party’s finally in the majority, but instead she’s running for president and selling books on her presidential website.

She’s not a serious candidate because, unlike Romney, she doesn’t have policy solutions that go beyond standard Republican talking points. She’s the least qualified in the field.

cpaulus on December 17, 2011 at 1:43 AM

juliesa,

Garfield and Lincoln.

Also this idea that she’s some tea party leader, I just don’t get. She created the Tea Party Caucus, put it on her resume, and ran for president. She’s done absolutely nothing with it in Congress, which to me tells me how devoted she actually is to it, now that it’s clear that she’s running to be VP.

cpaulus on December 17, 2011 at 1:47 AM

She’s not a serious candidate because, unlike Romney, she doesn’t have policy solutions that go beyond standard Republican talking points. She’s the least qualified in the field.

cpaulus on December 17, 2011 at 1:43 AM

Really?

I thought MB’s positions of eliminating the Dept of Education, the EPA, and reducing the Fed to the size of a peanut are pretty solid positions.

Who else other than RuPaul are really going to make some serious cuts?

BTW, you could say Rick Perry, but he should be disqualified for in state tuition to illegals.

LevinFan on December 17, 2011 at 2:04 AM

I think a big part of beiing qualified is being an adovocate for conservatism. That’s not Romney.

Would it kill Romney to go on Fox News ever now and then and at least fake anger at Obama about something? Fake like he cares about political philosophy. The guy’s running for president but he acts like it’s just like managing a Burger King or something.

What the heck has he been doing the past 6 years outside of campaigning and a few debates? Building a mansion in California? The man’s been idle, saying little about anything, but somehow this country can’t survie without his talents? I don’t know, the more I hear how electable he is, the more I start to cringe as I think about his flaws. I have epilepsy and I almost had a seizure when I saw his campaign ad about being the consistent conservative. He’s a gadfly who will say anything.

Dr. Tesla on December 17, 2011 at 2:10 AM

Who else other than RuPaul are really going to make some serious cuts?

BTW, you could say Rick Perry, but he should be disqualified for in state tuition to illegals.

LevinFan on December 17, 2011 at 2:04 AM

Right, parroting ideas. As for her being serious about the things you mention, neither of those things are on her website, because she doesn’t actually take positions, she parrots things that conservatives say, but never offers an actual plan on how to do it.

If you asked Ron Paul, how would you get rid of those 5 departments, he’d explain how he’d replace them, most likely giving it to the states or something. Same with Newt or Perry.

Bachmann does this: 1. I’m against X 2. Repeal x. 3. ? 4. Success.

cpaulus on December 17, 2011 at 2:12 AM

What did Glenn Beck really do other than maybe get Obama to dump Van Jones?

I’m not sold on Glenn Beck. I like to think a man can talk politics without crying. THat’s jsut to weird. Who wants to come home from work after a long day and listen to his doomsday weepy approach to politics. Good grief.

Dr. Tesla on December 17, 2011 at 2:14 AM

Can’t you argue that everybody parrots somebody else?

It’s not like conservative ideals are new. Read a book like Crime and Punishment, the basic elements of conservativism vs liberalism are put forth by the author, and it’s Russia in the 1860′s.

Dr. Tesla on December 17, 2011 at 2:18 AM

Dr. Tesla,

You and I agree that Romney could do more to promote conservatism. The debate isn’t is Romney better than Bachmann, I think he is because he actually has laid out some ideas in full, which she really hasn’t. Nor has he really tried to demagogue the way she has. All she does is attack attack attack in order to never have to actually say anything she’d actually do.

I think that the best candidates probably didn’t run, with Newt being the best one because he actually explains what he believes and why and doesn’t rely on attacking other Republicans. Sure, he’s made mistakes, but that’s called being a politician, especially in a leadership position where you have to compromise in order to get anything done (as the founders wanted.)

cpaulus on December 17, 2011 at 2:21 AM

Can’t you argue that everybody parrots somebody else?

It’s not like conservative ideals are new. Read a book like Crime and Punishment, the basic elements of conservativism vs liberalism are put forth by the author, and it’s Russia in the 1860′s.

Dr. Tesla on December 17, 2011 at 2:18 AM

In a sense you’re right. But it goes back to being able to explain what you’re parroting and why. She seems to never get past, “I voted for the Ryan plan” or “I want to eliminate Dept of Education too.” But she never explains in a policy sense why she would or how she’d replace it with a better conservative model.

As for Beck, I’m actually in agreement with you. I’d place Beck and Bachmann in a similar category. Very popular for doing red meat stuff, but not really accomplishing anything in a leadership capacity that would make you think either should be president.

cpaulus on December 17, 2011 at 2:24 AM

Right, parroting ideas. As for her being serious about the things you mention, neither of those things are on her website, because she doesn’t actually take positions, she parrots things that conservatives say, but never offers an actual plan on how to do it.

If you asked Ron Paul, how would you get rid of those 5 departments, he’d explain how he’d replace them, most likely giving it to the states or something. Same with Newt or Perry.

Bachmann does this: 1. I’m against X 2. Repeal x. 3. ? 4. Success.

cpaulus on December 17, 2011 at 2:12 AM

Funny guy.

The most important thing is we need someone we can trust not to bend on core issues.

Newt Romney: Waffled on the mandate (Romney is still for it), illegal immigration, TARP (Romney was always for it) global warming, etc.

Perry: In state tuition for illegals/ crony capitalist

Santorum: Good conservative but voted for Medicare Part D and No Child Left Behind.

MB: Doesn’t have any major flaws on conservative issues. She is the most trustworthy person, someone who’s not going to sell us down the river.

LevinFan on December 17, 2011 at 2:26 AM

I think a big part of beiing qualified is being an adovocate for conservatism. That’s not Romney.

Would it kill Romney to go on Fox News ever now and then and at least fake anger at Obama about something? Fake like he cares about political philosophy. The guy’s running for president but he acts like it’s just like managing a Burger King or something.

What the heck has he been doing the past 6 years outside of campaigning and a few debates? Building a mansion in California? The man’s been idle, saying little about anything, but somehow this country can’t survie without his talents? I don’t know, the more I hear how electable he is, the more I start to cringe as I think about his flaws. I have epilepsy and I almost had a seizure when I saw his campaign ad about being the consistent conservative. He’s a gadfly who will say anything.

Dr. Tesla on December 17, 2011 at 2:10 AM

Very well said. Romney is the 2nd worst candidate in the race behind RuPaul.

LevinFan on December 17, 2011 at 2:28 AM

If Gingrich wins the 2012 nomination, he’ll lose the female vote and perhaps push women away from the GOP for a long, long, long time.

Conservative Samizdat on December 17, 2011 at 2:29 AM

MB: Doesn’t have any major flaws on conservative issues. She is the most trustworthy person, someone who’s not going to sell us down the river.

LevinFan on December 17, 2011 at 2:26 AM

Not having a record because you’ve been in congress for less than three terms does not make you a trustworthy person or someone who’s some trusted conservative. It makes you like an Obama supporter who figured Obama would do what you hoped because he didn’t have a record to disprove your hopes when he spoke in ambiguity. She says stuff you want to hear, then when she has no negative votes, because in politics, especially primaries, not being anything is better than not being wrong, you feel good about her position.

Seriously, you’re criticizing Santorum voting for a plan proposed by a Republican president, if he hadn’t you’d probably have called for a primary against him, and if you wouldn’t, ten others here would have. We have parties for a reason.

You have absolutely no reason to believe she wouldn’t bend on core issues. She’s never been in power (except of course right now, but she’s too busy wanting to be president to actually work in Congress, like Obama was).

cpaulus on December 17, 2011 at 2:34 AM

Why do women care so much that Gingrich had affairs back in the 1990s? It sppears he’s been commited to his current wife for a long time now.

Alexander Hamilton was a smart guy and one of the more important founding fathers in a lot of ways. He also cheated on his wife, and then stupidly agreed to a duel and was shot and killed, leaving his wife alone with a lot of kids. Are we to throw Hamilton under the bus simply for being a flawed human being, despite the fact he was instrumental along with Washington and Madison in making this country viable?

Dr. Tesla on December 17, 2011 at 2:38 AM

If Gingrich wins the 2012 nomination, he’ll lose the female vote and perhaps push women away from the GOP for a long, long, long time.

Conservative Samizdat on December 17, 2011 at 2:29 AM

Just like Clinton did with the Democrats…or was it the divorced Reagan with the Republicans…

Women actually care about things like the debt or tax policy, and even the economy. He might lose women, but the divorces won’t be why.

cpaulus on December 17, 2011 at 2:39 AM

Off to bed, good night everyone.

cpaulus on December 17, 2011 at 2:42 AM

Can you see Romney joining the Revolutaries who later became our founding fathers? I see him playing it safe and remaining a British Loyalist as nobody thought the colonists were going to beat the British empire. It was the greatest upset of all time…it rocked conventional wisdom like few other examples in history.

Can you see Romney contributing to the Federalist papers like Hamilton, Madison and John Jay? I don’t. The man’s not an empty suit but he’s just not a philosophy kind of guy. I think that will be problematic because presidents have to battle on philosophoical grounds to make a case for their policies.

Dr. Tesla on December 17, 2011 at 2:44 AM

Not having a record because you’ve been in congress for less than three terms does not make you a trustworthy person or someone who’s some trusted conservative. It makes you like an Obama supporter who figured Obama would do what you hoped because he didn’t have a record to disprove your hopes when he spoke in ambiguity. She says stuff you want to hear, then when she has no negative votes, because in politics, especially primaries, not being anything is better than not being wrong, you feel good about her position.

Seriously, you’re criticizing Santorum voting for a plan proposed by a Republican president, if he hadn’t you’d probably have called for a primary against him, and if you wouldn’t, ten others here would have. We have parties for a reason.

You have absolutely no reason to believe she wouldn’t bend on core issues. She’s never been in power (except of course right now, but she’s too busy wanting to be president to actually work in Congress, like Obama was).

cpaulus on December 17, 2011 at 2:34 AM

I think RINO Progressives are a huge part of the problem. I don’t like big gov’t period. That’s why Medicare Part D is a disaster.

MB fought against Obamacare. She led 40,000 Tea Party patriots to DC to protest.

MB fought against the establishment in her own party. She fought Boehner and company over the $108B in funding for Obamacare that was in the continuing resolutions from last spring. MB fought against raising the debt ceiling when some many like Tea party favorite Allen West went along with it.

LevinFan on December 17, 2011 at 2:46 AM

cpaulus,

I understand your concerns about Bachman. The only reason we are talking about her at all is that some pundits who don’t support her are starting to talk her up so conservatives currently on the Gingrich bandwagon will flip over to her, and the divided vote aids Romney is his 6 year quest for the presidency.

I’ve seen pundits like Jennifer Rubin who really isn’t a conservative outside of foreign policy stuff suddendly start telling us we conservatives ought to support Bachman or Santorum or we are hypocrites, or something like that. She’s angry we know the game is to divide the conservative vote and we are choosing the the most viable Not Romney at the moment, and right now that appears to be my sweet Newtie poo.

Dr. Tesla on December 17, 2011 at 2:51 AM

If Bachman wins, she’s goign to have a lot more incentive to remain true to conservative ideals than Romney will. Romney’s running as a moderate this time,a nd a victory for him will only encourage him to remain the moderate course. He won’t be some Trojan horse of conservatism as Ann Coulter wants us to believe.

Dr. Tesla on December 17, 2011 at 2:53 AM

Levinfan,

She didn’t “lead” them. She joined them. As for the debt ceiling, as my post said I’m off to bed, but there was literally no way to not raise the debt ceiling without having some major problems in the market. I know that a lot of people like Bachmann wanted to compare it to the urgency for which Obama said we needed the stimulus, but that’s just basic demagoguery. It wasn’t the same.

Basically, we need to extend our credit in order to reorganize ourselves, like a lot of businesses do when they declare bankruptcy to get out of bad contracts or when they give bridge loans. The problem is that we don’t have Republicans in all the offices so we don’t get to control the budget. That’s how politics as designed by the founders works and is why you have to forgive some people for achieving actual reform by making concessions instead of just praising those who sit on the policy sidelines and say that they aren’t doing a job. One’s being a leader, the other just a critic at best, a demagogue at worst.

cpaulus on December 17, 2011 at 2:55 AM

If Bachman wins, she’s goign to have a lot more incentive to remain true to conservative ideals than Romney will. Romney’s running as a moderate this time,a nd a victory for him will only encourage him to remain the moderate course. He won’t be some Trojan horse of conservatism as Ann Coulter wants us to believe.

Dr. Tesla on December 17, 2011 at 2:53 AM

You don’t really have any reason to believe that though. That’s my point. Plus competence does matter. Look at Obama, he’s as liberal as you can get and had a filibuster proof majority and all he did was Obamacare and I guess Dodd Frank. As soon as he lost the super majority he’s been helpless because he’s incompetent. What exactly would be Bachmann’s incentive? She’s already president and would face the same likelihood of a primary challenge in 4 years.

cpaulus on December 17, 2011 at 2:58 AM

I miss the Bush vs McCain primary in 2000. It was a a simpler time. It was like having a primary runoff to settle things. I don’t mind if a moderate is the choose of the majority of Republican voters in a two-man race. I have a problem with our nomination going to men like McCain and Romney who win b/c of a divided conservative vote. Until there is a primary run-off, these primaries are going to keep getting more and more contentious. A lot of conservatives rather not vote for Gingrich but we know we only have one shot at preventing Romney. Despite the claim we are purists, we are being pragmatists here, yet the republican pundits still hate us. :)

Dr. Tesla on December 17, 2011 at 2:59 AM

Dr. T,

I think you and I have come to the same conclusion on Newt.

cpaulus on December 17, 2011 at 2:59 AM

Dr. T,

I think you and I have come to the same conclusion on Newt.

cpaulus on December 17, 2011 at 2:59 AM

C-Paul, I enjoyed talking to you and look foward to future debates.

Good night.

Dr. Tesla on December 17, 2011 at 3:02 AM

My point in saying all he did is Obamacare is not to say that that was not a big deal. It is. But imagine what Reagan or Clinton would have done with a filibuster proof majority, or even W.

cpaulus on December 17, 2011 at 3:02 AM

Who the heck cares what Scarborough thinks?

racquetballer on December 17, 2011 at 3:54 AM

At last, Bachmann could take the condescension no longer. Half desperately, half determinedly, she reminded him, “I am a serious candidate for president of the United States,” and insisted that she did have her facts straight, thank him very much. Gingrich looked a little abashed.

As far as I am concerned Michael Bachmann’s words to Newton Gingrich should go down in history along side those of Joe Wilson’s to Barack Obama, “You lie.” and those of Joseph Welch’s (the head counsel for the United States Army) to Joseph McCarthy, “Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?”.

VorDaj on December 17, 2011 at 3:54 AM

those of Joseph Welch’s (the head counsel for the United States Army) to Joseph McCarthy, “Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?”.

Except Joe McCaarthy has been vindicated as there were Communist spies in every part of our government. It sounds crazy but it was true. Some military guy didn’t want to admit they did a piss poor job in vetting some of the people that got in, and so he demonizes McCarthy.

Dr. Tesla on December 17, 2011 at 4:15 AM

At last, Bachmann could take the condescension no longer. Half desperately, half determinedly, she reminded him, “I am a serious candidate for president of the United States,” and insisted that she did have her facts straight, thank him very much. Gingrich looked a little abashed.

As far as I am concerned Michael Bachmann’s words to Newton Gingrich should go down in history along side those of Joe Wilson’s to Barack Obama, “You lie.” and those of Joseph Welch’s (the head counsel for the United States Army) to Joseph McCarthy, “Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?”.

VorDaj on December 17, 2011 at 3:54 AM

Well that would be all well and good except for one little detail… Joe Wilson was being accurate; Michelle Bachmann – not so much.

Having Politifact strongly discounting her claim that they had said her previous statements had been accurate when in fact they weren’t kind of undercuts your argument.

The moment she uttered “I am a serious candidate”; she proved that she wasn’t.

Snorkdoodle Whizbang on December 17, 2011 at 5:19 AM

I was for Michele Bachmann before I was against her. I don’t know why her handlers don’t get why she slipped out of the top tier. I think her constant harping, over the edge, false attacks in debates and in interviews with the media have hurt her. She would have made more of a positive impression if she toned it down.

Seems like she wants special treatment because she happens to be a female candidate. She’s a woman, and woe to any male candidate that attacks a woman ie Pawlenty. Yet, she should be allowed to level the same misleading, untrue accusations over and over without being reprimanded in some way by the person she attacks. They should just acquiesce and be harangued by her vitriol.

Nope, ain’t buying it Michele. You haven’t got your facts straight according to politifact. Liar liar pants on fire.

Buck up, don’t complain about it when your lies are called out, and don’t use the ‘sexist’ card.

ps Love that video of you extolling the virtues of Newt Gingrich!

IndeCon on December 17, 2011 at 6:03 AM

I was for Michele Bachmann before I was against her.

She jumped the shark hard, not a serious candidate at all.

At one time I thought she would be a good speaker of the house, now I’m not even sure of that.

gdonovan on December 17, 2011 at 7:29 AM

Thanks for posting this article. I was talking last night to a Redneck (He proclaimed himself proudly Redneck)and he brought up this point. I totally agree. I am not a Newt fan, in fact, I am a fan of anyone but Newt, however, strategically speaking Newt looked awful beating up on Bachmann, and really, he had no reason to do so since her polling numbers are so low.

I thought Bachmann’s rebuttal to Newt was one of the best moments of the debate. It showed her to have a true sense of worth and it showed her true sense of passion. Also, this site has an entry on Gov Haley, and I am amazed how she is dismissed for her endorsement of Mitt. Republican women have been a true blessing to the Party. Though I have always been for Mitt Romney, and I hope he gets the nomination, I sure would not mind if Bachmann was our nominee too.

Final note: For the Newt lovers, remember he still hasn’t given the Republican Party his list of clients that the Gingrich Group has lobbied (No, I mean historical consulting) for. He owes it to the Party to divulge the list so if he is the nominee, we can see what the Billion Dollar Obama machine and MSM is going to throw at us.

mark cantu on December 17, 2011 at 7:32 AM

Gingrich DOES continue to display some unusual need to demean, and behaviors aimed at demeaning, Michelle Bachmann — to render her trashy in the public domain — that is the behavior of some men who are both intimidated by and jealous of some women.

Lourdes on December 17, 2011 at 7:37 AM

Hear me out. Bachmann is arguably the most conservative member of Congress and probably the most conservative GOP presidential candidate.

Yes, yes she is.

What’s taking place is that bitter, homosexual-ranting, gossipy ill tempered thing that they do: ridicule females who they think are easier targets and more deserving of ridicule than the beefy guys they still want to keep popular with.

Bachmann’s positions on homosexuality are primarily what rankles her with emotionally unstable guys, such as Gingrich.

And Gingrich just reaffirms he’s emotionally immature, unstable, with his ongoing denouncement of Bachmann as being “fundamentally incorrect” and “essentially wrong on the facts” and whatever else he ponies up to try to look bigger than he is.

Lourdes on December 17, 2011 at 7:42 AM

Gingrich or the electorate has dismissed Bachmann because she’s a woman is to be the ultimate sexist, to reduce Bachmann solely to her womanhood, as though that’s the only factor by which she can be judged. Bachmann has been dismissed — by those who’ve dismissed her, that is — because she is Bachmann. Her person encompasses her gender, but her gender doesn’t encompass her person.

I think it’s far simpler than all this intense analysis of just what the bug in Gingrich’s pants is as to Bachmann.

He appears genuinely resentful of Bachmann being “up there” where he is and where the men, or “real” Presidential material, is.

Gingrich’s biting at Bachmann is unusual in the context of candidate competition BECAUSE he continues to malign her credibility AS A PERSON, what with the ongoing snaps about her == so he says — lying and otherwise not being capable of discerning truth from falsehood (which is a pathetic but well known method used by insecure men who think being nasty to females works to get them out of the way, and it does, unfortunately, often, or it turns women into seething emotional wrecks which is another way of getting them out of the way).

Gingrich’s chewing on Bachmann’s character like he does (and making sure he gets it done in very, very public venues, which is also part of this pathetic behavior by Gingrich, done intentionally to attack and malign a female’s social standing) is revealing as to his emotional instability.

Lourdes on December 17, 2011 at 7:50 AM

I dismiss Joe Scarborough because he’s Joe Scarborough. What kind of “ist” does that make me?

Ocean Rift on December 17, 2011 at 7:51 AM

From factcheck.org:

We’re still reviewing some of the claims for accuracy, and may post more findings in the days to come. Meanwhile, here’s what we found so far:

Bachmann vs. Gingrich on Abortion

During a sharp exchange over abortion, Gingrich accused Bachmann of not getting her “facts very accurate” and the Minnesota congresswoman insisted “my facts are accurate.” She was right — although her facts could have used some important context.

Bachmann criticized Gingrich’s leadership as House speaker on two fronts: federal funding for Planned Parenthood and so-called “partial-birth” abortion.

Bachmann: When Speaker Gingrich was speaker of the House he had an opportunity to defund Planned Parenthood, and he chose not to take it. That is a big issue. And also what I think is even more troubling, when he was in Washington, D.C., he made an affirmative statement that he would not only support but he would campaign for Republicans who were in support of the barbaric procedure known as partial-birth abortion. I could never do that. …

Gingrich: Sometimes Congresswoman Bachmann doesn’t get her facts very accurate.

Gingrich launched into a defense of his abortion record without addressing either Planned Parenthood or “partial-birth” abortion. Bachmann responded with outrage. “I think it is outrageous to say over and over through the debates that I don’t have my facts right when as a matter of fact I do,” she said.

On the abortion claim, Bachmann is referring to an intra-party dispute over “partial-birth” abortion in 1998.

Anti-abortion forces pressed the Republican National Committee to cut off funding for Republicans who did not support a ban on “partial-birth” abortions. Gingrich opposed such procedures, but he also opposed efforts to deny funding to Republican congressional candidates who had won their party’s nomination. At the RNC winter meeting on Jan. 16, 1998, Gingrich and other GOP congressional leaders argued that it would hurt the party in the general election and, ultimately, cost the GOP control of Congress and dash any hope of passing a ban on the late-term abortions. (At this point, President Clinton had twice vetoed the legislation, but the GOP-controlled Congress could not override his vetoes.)

The RNC sided with Gingrich and other party leaders and voted against the so-called abortion litmus test. Prior to the vote, Gingrich invoked Ronald Reagan’s name in seeking to unify the party in opposition to the litmus test, as CNN reported at the time. Gingrich said “our focus should be on why is he (Clinton) stopping this legitimate ban of an inappropriate act, rather than allowing the news media to have a field day trying to divide us.”

According to a recent item by conservative blogger Jennifer Rubin in the Washington Post, Gingrich also said at the RNC meeting that he would “actively campaign” for all Republican nominees — even those who “are to my left.”

Des Moines Register, Nov. 28: Gingrich addressed the RNC meeting on Jan. 16, 1998, calling for tolerance of candidates who support partial-birth abortion, saying he would campaign for them: “It’s the voters of America who have a right — in some places they’re going to pick people who are to my right, some places they’re going to pick people who are to my left and in both cases, if they’re the Republican nominee, I am going to actively campaign for them, because when they get to Congress, whether they are a moderate Republican from the northeast, whether they are a very conservative Republican from the south or west, whatever their background.”

That promise is what Bachmann is talking about.

Gingrich did later explain his position during the intra-party dispute over the “partial-birth” abortion ban. He said he did not want to “purge Republicans,” and he questioned whether someone can govern the nation “when you run around and decide who you are going to purge.” He did not challenge Bachmann’s statement on Planned Parenthood, so we will not get into that — except to say that other conservatives, including Christian broadcaster James Dobson — have criticized Gingrich on this point.

sonnyspats1 on December 17, 2011 at 8:01 AM

Bachman may have ideals but she is not a leader in the sense of being able to fashion a majority in Congress for her positions. She is a backbencher and that is not because she is a woman but because she is good only at giving speeches some of which she actually gets her facts correct. She is a moral relativist not conservative to the extent that she believes and acts with the premise that what she hopes is true because it would benefit her campaign is actually and objectively true. Two examples her politifact lie and her lie that cashless Newt was somehow buying Tea Party support. Seems that if someone wispers in her ear something she is predisposed to believe she will run with it without the necessity for doing something hard like verifying whether the facts are true.

eaglewingz08 on December 17, 2011 at 8:05 AM

Scarborough is an axx!
When desperate, always revert to the race or gender card!
America Needs Newt Now!

Pragmatic on December 17, 2011 at 8:31 AM

Scarborough is an employee of MSNBC . . . enough said.

rplat on December 17, 2011 at 8:53 AM

I have a hard time believing that Bachmann can redeem herself in the least. First of all, her attack on Gardasil was baseless. Bachmann clearly didn’t have the facts and to raise a public outcry with no basis was extremely unwise. The main problem with Bachmann, if you listen to former advisors and people who have worked for her, is that she doesn’t really fact-check before she comes out and says something. Hence, the Gardasil fiasco. The truth is that since has no background in vaccinology or epidemiology she shouldn’t be making statements like that. I know people want to just look past that and say “everyone makes mistakes”, but this kind of thinking that has been at the forefront of the anti-vaccine movement is scary on the public health front. Just look up what has happened to the Measles since the 1997 Wakefield MMR-Autism paper (which was fabricated) and you’ll see how Bachmann’s type of rhetoric is damaging to public health. And cervical cancer is a big problem, maybe not so much in our nation but in the developing world that vaccine could lower the burden of disease immensely. The last person I want for President is someone who acts as if they have the facts but they really don’t. All of this on her part to gain traction over Perry, a front-runner at the time.

I don’t know about you guys but Bachmann strikes me as a good attacker if anything. She is very good at knocking other people down, but she can’t quite build enough credibility that she would make a reasonable Presidential candidate. It has nothing to do with her gender, it’s just that the only thing she is really great at in politics is pointing out other’s faults.

epimom on December 17, 2011 at 9:08 AM

Of course he’s sexist. Look at house he’s treated the women in his life. Ridiculous to even discuss it.

BrideOfRove on December 17, 2011 at 9:51 AM

No, Newt dismisses Bachmann because she is an idiot and a liar.

mitchellvii on December 17, 2011 at 10:03 AM

I was for Michele Bachmann before I was against her.

She jumped the shark hard, not a serious candidate at all.

At one time I thought she would be a good speaker of the house, now I’m not even sure of that.

gdonovan on December 17, 2011 at 7:29 AM

It’s too bad really. I thought she had real potential too. Michele seems to have a control problem. Even before the whole gardasil freak out re mental retardation, she seemed prone to getting her facts scrambled and committed many gaffes.

Everyone makes mistakes, but she’s not a good Christian witness when she knowingly lies about her rivals to advance her own self interest. To top it off she’s claiming to be the victim because after all she is a poor little woman. She’s too intent on winning the presidency and is sacrificing her principles in the process. She’s done.

IndeCon on December 17, 2011 at 2:05 PM

This is typical debate/campaign rhetoric, without any deeper meaning. Candidates, when challenged on their records, frequently go to the default “Candidate A does not have the facts right,” usually without being accused of deeper, more sinister motives. Mitt Romney famously bet Rick Perry $10,000 when Perry made a factual assertion that Romney disagreed with, and Romney claimed Perry had the facts wrong. Ascribing sexism to Newt’s comment is simply MSNBC’s way of tearing into a GOP candidate on style, not substance.

KYpatriot on December 17, 2011 at 2:27 PM

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