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Michele Bachmann: The Newsmax Interview

Sunday, 26 Jun 2011 04:40 PM

By David A. Patten

Image: Michele Bachmann: The Newsmax Interview
Bachmann to Newsmax: "I think it is because of the corrupt paradigm that has become Washington, D.C., whereby votes continually are bought rather than representatives voting the will of their constituents." (AP Photo)
Rep. Michele Bachmann, the three-term member of Congress from Minnesota, is a former federal tax attorney, founder of the House Tea Party Caucus, and an honoree on Time Magazine’s list of the world’s 100 most influential people. A staunch opponent of the current administration’s healthcare reforms, Bachmann has been called “the gold standard” of grass-roots conservatism.

In her in-depth, exclusive Newsmax Magazine interview, Bachmann decries what she calls the “corrupt paradigm” of special-interest influence in the Nation’s Capital. The key to putting people back to work, she says, is making America the best place in the world for job creation. And she predicts that the tea parties will be stronger than ever in the 2012 elections.

Editor's Note: Read Newsmax's Exclusive Interview with Rep. Michele Bachmann — Go Here Now!

Newsmax: There’s been a great deal of attention lately over raising the debt ceiling, but you oppose that. Why?

Rep. Michele Bachmann: I think it’s important that people know what raising the debt ceiling is. It’s Congress giving permission to the federal government to borrow more money that we don’t have, and we borrow it for the purpose of spending it. So we need to know what this is about: President Obama wants the Congress to go to other countries and borrow $2 trillion that we don’t have, and that our children will have to pay back some day, and to use that to spend right now. And that isn’t over many years, that’s in a very short period of time -- probably within a year.

Has the administration exaggerated the danger of not raising the debt ceiling?

Rep. Michele Bachmann: Treasury secretary Tim Geithner unfortunately resorted not only to scare tactics, [but] in my opinion it was outright blatant lies when he said that we would see the collapse of various things if we didn’t allow the government to continue to borrow money, and spend money, that we don’t have. What the Treasury secretary has failed to tell the American people is that we have it within our discretion to pay our debts first.

You sit on the Permanent House Select Committee on Intelligence, and you’re a strong supporter of Israel. What was your reaction to President Barack Obama’s call for Israel to return to its 1967 borders in return for peace?

Rep. Michele Bachmann: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel isn’t what’s wrong with the Middle East, Israel is what is right with the Middle East. Israel wants to have a peaceful solution. If Israel would do what President Obama has called for -- giving up yet more land and reducing their borders to the 1967 borders, only worse, actually cutting Israel in two so that the Palestinians have a highway through Israel -- in effect [that would mean] cutting Israel off from itself. Netanyahu demonstrated there wouldn’t be peace, there would be all out war. And it would be war against a Jewish state. So the prime minister rightly said Israel recognizes that Palestinians should have a state, and can have a state, but Palestinians need to recognize that the Jewish state of Israel has a right to exist. They also understand that there cannot be a “right of return” of the descendants of Palestinian refugees into Israel, because then the Jewish state of Israel would be no more. That’s certainly reasonable and understandable. And finally, what we understand is that if Hamas is tied to the Palestinian authority -- Hamas is the version of al-Qaida in Palestine -- we cannot expect Israel to negotiate with the al-Qaida version in Palestine.

Can the tea parties exert the sort of influence in 2012 that they had on the 2010 midterm?

Rep. Michele Bachmann: Without a doubt. The tea party hasn't gone away, and the polling data bears that out. It's going to be a very strong [GOP field] in 2012, and the tea party won't sit it out.

Democrats hope to make a major campaign issue out of Rep. Paul Ryan’s plan to reform Medicare entitlements through a voucher system. You have some concerns yourself about the plan…

Rep. Michele Bachmann: I absolutely agree with the Ryan plan on the trajectory of spending. My asterisk, if you will, on the Ryan plan is on how we message this idea of reducing federal government spending. What I believe is that we want to offer a better quality of life for senior citizens and people need to know that this plan should be called “The 55 and Under Plan.” We don’t want anyone who is 78 years of age, who is depending on Medicare, to think that their Medicare is going to be pulled out from under them. It won’t be. We’re talking about people who are 55 years of age and younger, who will actually have a far better plan to choose from than the one that will be de-facilitated, if we continue down Medicare. Also, I think it’s important that people know that we want to focus not just on numbers, and not just on insurance options, but we want to focus on cures -- cures for Alzheimer’s, cures for diabetes.

Unemployment continues to be historically high for this far into what is supposed to be an economic recovery. What should we do to fix the economy?

Rep. Michele Bachmann: [President Obama’s] policies are depriving this nation of a golden future. We see that in how we’re being eclipsed in manufacturing with China. Now we’re seeing OPEC hold the price of gasoline over our heads. All of that can be solved if we make America the best place for job creation. We can easily do that by making this one of the cheapest places to have job creation, and by finding the answer to our own problems -- energy. America is the No. 1 energy-rich nation in the world. We should be drilling for oil, for natural gas. We should be accessing coal, water, wind, solar -- every source that we have … energy we need to utilize. And better than being an importer, we can be an exporter and we can be on top of the world again. I want America to be not the tail, but the head.

To a lot of Americans, it seems rather obvious that our government shouldn’t spend $1 trillion dollars more each year than it collects in tax revenues. But commonsense doesn’t prevail. Why?

Rep. Michele Bachmann: I think it is because of the corrupt paradigm that has become Washington, D.C., whereby votes continually are bought rather than representatives voting the will of their constituents.… That’s the voice that’s been missing at the table in Washington, D.C. -- the people's voice has been missing. The lobbyists have been here. They have their day. The unions are here, they have their day. Big corporations have their day -- and I'm not against corporations, I love them. And I'm not against any of those entities, they can have their voice. But why is it that the ones paying the bills, our voice, is seldom heard here? And that's what this election is going to be about -- who gets to be at that table. Will it be the people, or will it be something very different, because Barack Obama is turning this nation into a Third World, socialist nation. We're seeing the nation move into decline. I'm not willing to do that. I'm not satisfied. I grew up with John Wayne’s America. I was proud that you grew up in John Wayne’s America: Proud to be an American, thrilled to be a patriot. I always knew that I could do better if I worked hard. Now, when I talk to parents, they don't think that that is the case for their children. That's not the America that I want to have. I want to see us on the upswing, and not on the decline. So I'm really very excited about bringing that positive message out.

Editor's Note: Read Newsmax's Exclusive Interview with Rep. Michele Bachmann — Go Here Now!

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