President Barack Obama is "blaming the people" rather than taking responsibility for voters' rejection of his big-government programs, GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann alleges.
Obama told "60 Minutes" correspondent Steve Kroft on Sunday that he had to take drastic action to save the American economy, which may have left voters with the misimpression that he supports big-government panaceas.
In an exclusive interview Monday evening, Bachmann, R-Minn., tells Newsmax.TV: "He said the problem was not his policies last Tuesday night at the polls. It's the fact that the people didn't understand what he was trying to do with those policies."
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"So in other words, the president was blaming the people," she says. "I think the people were very intelligent when they went to the polls, and they clearly rejected the Obama policies.
"They understand big government when they see it. It's just unfortunate that the president has so misread the election results."
As for the president's recent mea culpa that Democrats lost because he failed to effectively communicate with voters, Bachmann says she isn't buying it. "This president has had more press conferences, and more media opportunities, than anyone can imagine," she says. "He's been on everything from 'The View' to Jon Stewart's show, to late-night TV. He's communicated. It is the policies of the president that the American people are rejecting, and I think the president just doesn't want to hear what the American people are saying."
Bachmann recently announced that she is running for the No. 4 GOP leadership position in the House, to chair the Republican Conference. Her rival for that job is Texas GOP Rep. Jeb Hensarling, an establishment favorite closely aligned with the tea party who has been endorsed by House Republican Whip Eric Cantor.
The Democratic Party and its supporters poured millions into the effort to defeat the outspoken Bachmann's bid for re-election. Yet she defeated Democratic opponent Tarryl L. Clark, a Minnesota state senator, by an impressive 53 percent to 40 percent margin.
Other key points Bachmann makes during the exclusive interview:
- She agrees with Cantor's statement on Sunday that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's decision to remain in a leadership position even after the midterm debacle indicates Democrats just "don't get" the message that voters have been trying to send.
- The tea parties were "pivotal" to the GOP surge. "They were central to this election, because the tea party was the rejection of the Obama-Pelosi-Reid agenda," Bachmann says, adding, "we can't underestimate what their role influence was in this historic election."
- For the first time since 1982, women cast the majority of their votes for Republicans out of concern over "pocketbook issues," Bachmann says, adding: "We need to make sure that we focus on getting America's financial house back in order, and I trust we will."
- Extending the Bush-era tax cuts is "the first and most important issue" that Congress must address, says Bachmann, a former federal tax litigation attorney.
- She would like to see federal spending rolled back to 2006 levels and "at minimum" to the 2008 level.
- She would like the new House majority to pass a bill repealing The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
- The GOP House should pass a bill to enhance border control, and must remain vigilant to block any EPA effort to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.
Bachmann also tells Newsmax that she favors a proposal by conservative talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh for the House to pass its repeal of the president's healthcare reforms over and over again to drive home a message. "I think that would be great because we need to send a signal that the American people have sent to us that they want to see this bill repealed," Bachmann says. "Quite frankly, it is causing everyone's health insurance premiums to jack up all across this country.
"In order to bring stability and certainty back into the marketplace, we need to send a signal in no uncertain terms that we are serious about 100 percent full repeal of Obamacare."
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