Video: Bachmann: We need a president who’s a fighter

  1. Closed captioning of: Bachmann: We need a president who’s a fighter

    >> michele bachmann is with us exclusively. congresswoman, good morning.

    >> good morning, lester.

    >> as we saw gov hernor pawlenty go after you, we want to start off the conversation with a little about what he said and then your response.

    >> she fought for less government spending . he got a lot more. she led the effort against obama care, we got obama care. she led against t.a.r.p., we got t.a.r.p. if that's your view, please stop because you're killing us.

    >> to his point you came in office with someone with a fresh voice, a clear mandate. can you name an instance where you have moved the needle, where you have significantly altered the outcome of a particular debate?

    >> i certainly have. whether it was on the t.a.r.p. debate or whether it was on obama care. in particular now on the last two months when i've been the leading voice almost the lone voice in the wilderness of washington fighting against raising the debt ceiling, people paid attention.

    >> but they didn't follow.

    >> and they recognize -- well, remember who has been running washington . it's president obama , nancy pelosi was the speaker of the house for the majority of the time that i was there, and harry reid . obviously they weren't interested in my pro-growth agenda. but that's when you fight. you don't fight when you're just in the majority. you fight when you're in the minority. i've been the champion for the voice of people who have been crying for washington to stop spending so much money and reduce taxes. people aren't happy with this debt deal. and i'm very happy that i was a leading voice in nonraising the debt ceiling. and i think standard & poor 's and the stock market from proved me right in the last weeks.

    >> with regard to standard & poor 's, you said they lowered our rating because we don't have the ability to pay our debts. in fact, what he said was the political brinksmanship made the government less stable, less effective, less predictable. if your view had prevailed, wouldn't we even be in a deeper pickle with the rating agency ?

    >> i had introduced a plan together with colleagues that would not cause default to occur, because, number one, if i'm part of the united states , this is what i would do. i would call all the members of congress back to washington immediately. i would say, look, we are getting this aaa credit rating back, we're going to announce to the markets we are not going to default, and then we're going to make sure we pay the military, we pay senior citizens who are currently on entitlements, then right now, today, we're going to begin the process of reforming entitlements and reducing spending so our budgets balance. as president of the united states , i will only introduce balanced budgets and i will not increase the debt ceiling. that's what we need to do because that sends a signal to wall street we're serious, we're tough, we're going to get our financial house in order. i'm a private businessperson. we started our own company. i'm also federal tax lawyer. one thing i know is that you cannot turn the economy around if you give barack obama a blank check for $2.4 trillion in exchange for $21 billion in a loose cut. washington has to be fundamentally restructured.

    >> you mentioned the term blank check . this raising the debt ceiling was for bills that had already been agreed to, not new spending.

    >> actually that's not true. this money will go not just to bills that have already been spent. this will be for future money as well. that's a false statement .

    >> let me ask you about -- we played a moment ago in chuck todd 's story the jeers that resulted from the question about whether you would be submissive to your husband. you had made a statement earlier. are you happy the question was asked, did it need clarification?

    >> well, i was happy that i was able to talk about my wonderful husband. you know, chris wallace asked the question he asked. i certainly can't make comment about what question he asked. but i was happy to have the opportunity just to be able to talk about my wonderful family and my husband.

    >> the phrase submissive to your husband. for some people it may raise some eyebrows when you first mentioned it. was it important to clarify it and do you think you did clarify your thoughts on that?

    >> oh, i think so. i think it's important to talk about respect. we've been married for 33 years, and the basis of our marriage is respect. i'm just grateful to get that answered and that comment out.

    >> as you know, rick perry , the conservative governor of texas is about to join the already crowded field of gop contenders. he comes from the same conservative cutout that you come from but he also has the added executive of being a chief executive of a state like texas. how do you compete against him and how do you distinguish yourself from him to conservative members of the party?

    >> well, i've been in washington , d.c. now going on five years. i have been a very consistent challenger to the unconstitutional policies that barack obama , speaker pelosi , and i've been at the tip of the sphere on battle after battle. i understand the problems that the country is facing right now. i've worked in the private sector . i've created a business from scratch. i know what you have to do to create jobs. we need a president who has been a fighter and a champion on the issues of people want us to turn away from. they want us to turn away from spending. i've been there. i've also stood up against my own party. i've stood on principle rather than party. i think that's what people are looking for. i have people -- i've been a voice for movements all across the country, whether it's diseffected democrats or independents or a political people. i've been bringing this voice and this movement into the halls of congress very successfully. and this voice hasn't been heard in the white house for a very long time. that's what i intend to do, take this very reasonable, fair-minded voice into the white house and finally get the economy turned around and focus on job creation . and i will repeal obama care.

    >> congresswoman bachmann, let me ask you about the "newsweek" cover photo this week. some people thought it was a cheap shot. you did not weigh in. you were not part of those questioning this. let me ask you this. what did you think when you first saw the picture and the title "queen of rage"?

    >> well, you know, it really didn't impact me that much because over this last week the united states has received a punch to the gut. we've seen the stock market plunge, lost for the first time in this country of the aaa bond rating , tragic loss in afghanistan unparalleled and the president got a blank check . that's not a good week. so a magazine photo is not even a factor in this.

    >> is rage an appropriate word to describe you?

    >> no, not at all. i'm very happy person. i'm very optimistic person because what i know to be true is that if we put the right policies into place, in the next quarter we will already be the beginnings of an economic turn around. that's what i'm focused on. i love people. i really care about where people are at right now in the economy. so i want to focus on making their lives better and getting people back to work. that's what i'm focused on right now.

    >> congresswoman michele bachmann , again, thank you for taking the time to join us. appreciate it.

    >> thanks, lester.

updated 8/12/2011 9:59:06 AM ET 2011-08-12T13:59:06

Rep. Michelle Bachmann says if she were president, she would immediately call Congress back to Washington with the aim of "getting this AAA credit rating back."

Bachmann tells NBC's "Today" show that public officials should be working to begin "reforming entitlements" and get spending under control. Her statement Friday contrasted with President Barack Obama's observation that the last thing a wary country needs is a late-August congressional fight.

Interactive: GOP 2012

The Minnesota congresswoman also said she was a "lone voice" in fighting the increase in the debt limit. And she said that she's been "the voice for people who have been crying for Washington to stop spending so much money."

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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