GOP Congresswoman Michele Bachmann told MPR that the various rallies she participated in this past weekend in D.C. were not motivated by harsh feelings towards President Obama.
Bachmann held a "Tea Party Rally" on the Washington Monument grounds Saturday. It was one of several conservative gatherings she attended. According to the Star Tribune, Bachmann encouraged the crowd to shout the phrase "You lie!" during her rally. South Carolina Republican Joe Wilson had yelled the phrase at President Obama during an address to Congress.
But at a festival in Woodbury yesterday, Bachmann described the D.C. rallies as being about unity.
What I saw this weekend was not so much an antipathy towards President Obama on a personal level, what I saw was a great unity. People are saying 'We love this country. We want this country to succeed. We want to see prosperity. We want to see growth. We want to see people's lives improve for the better.' That's what I saw this weekend.
And it's a question now of policy difference. What can we do to make that happen? And there's legitimate policy differences that we have, and that's I think that's what November will be all about.
Bachmann's address in D.C. came on the heels of conservative broadcaster Glenn Beck's rally on Saturday. Beck, a fierce critic of President Obama, has accused the president of racism towards white people.
Bachmann's opponents in the sixth congressional district race were also working the crowds at the Woodbury festival Sunday. DFL State Senator Tarryl Clark walked the parade in Woodbury and shook hands with well-wishers afterwards. Independence Party candidate Bob Anderson also set up a booth at the Woodbury fair and talked with voters.
Tarryl Clark has criticized Bachmann for spending too much time outside of the district at events like those held in Washington this past weekend. Bachmann told me such criticisms are "despicable" and says she's home every weekend.
What did she say when you asked her about her district having the highest home foreclosure rate in Minnesota ever since she took office? Did she say it was "despicable" of you, to ask her about that?
I glad she thinks that the antipathy she fosters towards President Obama is not personal. People might get that impression when they hear her accusing him of "practicing tyranny" when she's on the Hannity broadcast, or accusing him over and over again of running "a gangster government."
If it's not personal, some of her audience is only going to want to kill the president because she's regularly identified him as a "gangster" and a "tyrant" "leading America into economic Marxism"--they'll want to kill him for political reasons instead of purely personal reasons (which would be wrong.)
It's good that she cleared this up for us, because those signs and billboards you see the tea partiers put up (comparing Obama to Hitler, Stalin, etc.) might give you the impression that they hated the President of the United States so much that they thought he was like some kind of genocidal dictator. Obviously, we can take Bachmann's word for the fact that that's not the case at all.
But they were very wise to ask the conservatives Washington not to bring any signs at all to the rallies this time, because people take photos and then other people get the wrong impression about the tea party harboring a bunch of angry haters and liars.
They also take photos of a small number of people of color up on the stage to pose for the TVs cameras during the tea party rally, and other pictures that showing that practically all of the tens of thousands of people in the crowd supporting the rally are white. The fact that the crowd is overwhelmingly white and parades people of color on the stage for tokenism, makes the tea party look both racist and deceitful--but this can be corrected with Photoshop.
"and it's a question now of policy difference. What can we do to make that happen? And there's legitimate policy differences that we have . . . "
OK, what are those policy proposals? You need to have something beyond "no" -- something substantive -- not the same old negativity with no real proposed solutions.
If Bachmann had the ability to spend as much time on crafting good government policy as she does on getting media attention I'm convinced we'd have solved most of the nation's problems by now.
It's much easier to get people angry -- to get them to blame and vote AGAINST something or someone (Obama) -- than it is to offer real solutions and positive change that will move the country forward.
Bachmann has proven, with her extremist rhetoric, that she can do the "rile and anger" gig. Is that a skill we need in tough economic times? Sure, we're all angry about the collapse of the economy.
But she hasn't authored and passed one bill or amendment to help the economy of her district, which has the highest foreclosure rate in the state.
Talk is cheap. Riding the Beck show coattail is providing us with some amusing entertainment. Now, how about some real policy action on jobs and the economy for the 6th district?
We need deeper and more thoughtful, more analytical representation.
So when she lead the chant " liar liar" it must have been self directed. What is it Shelly? You can't have it both ways. Spin on that.