Minnesota Congressman Michele Bachmann is the third maybe/could be/might be presidential candidate to speak at Congressman Steve King’s “Conservative Principles Conference” today. It was a barn-burner, as they say in these parts. Anyone listening to it can conclude Bachmann’s “in” the race.
AUDIO 25 min
As she was being introduced, there was an audible “oh” from the crowd when introducer Matt Whitaker said Bachmann & her husband have been foster parents to 23 children (in addition to their five biological children).
“Isn’t it exciting to be here?,” Bachmann said when she reached the stage. ” There is no place like Iowa. We love it…and it’s wonderful to be in a state where you have the king of conservatism.” (That would be…Steve King.)
Bachmann is the queen of the quips today and she’s getting the crowd involved early in a cadence that starts on the topic of the economic stimulus package.
“Did President Obama correctly diagnose the problem with job creation?” Bachmann asked.
The crowd responded, “No.”
“Did he have the correct solution?” she asked.
“No,” the audience replied.
She quickly followed, asking the crowd what “level of credibility” Obama had on the subject.
“None,” the crowd said.
Bachmann added her own “not so much” and then started another cadence, praising the crowd for being “extremely good looking and well tempered.”
Bachmann took a shot at Obama — over his picks in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. “The president was 0-4 last year in his Final Four predictions. Do you remember that. OK, we’ll let him have that. Now he has us engaged in yet another third middle eastern war and so, I think, talk about March Madness. Can anybody say Jimmy Carter?” she said. “That’s kind of where we’re going.”
She mentioned her Iowa roots, then talked about the stakes of 2012 before launching into a Power Point presentation in which numbers (in white) were featured on the black screens to her left and right.
She decried the national debt.
“That made our Chinese banker friends very happy and you know that the Chinese leader is named President Hu and so clearly we know now ‘Hu is your daddy,’” she joked. The crowd clapped and hooted. “Who says Iowa doesn’t have a sense of humor? It’s born right here.”
She marched on through other numbes, declaring one was “enough to curl your hair.”
She got to 3.8 million.
“What could that be?” she asked the crowd, then quickly supplied the answer. “That’s approximately the number of words in the tax code…Let’s make it simple. What about fairer? Anybody like a fair tax or a flat tax?”
The crowd erupted. Her final quip on this topic: “Our current United States tax code is a weapon of mass destruction.”
Another number from the Bachmann Power Point: 1.83.
She said it was the price that gasoline was the day before Barack Obama was sworn in as president.
“Is it time for a change?” she asked, borrowing a bit from Obama’s 2008 campaign theme.
“Yes,” the crowd responded.
“Absolutely it’s time for a change!” Bachmann returned.
She dismissed Washington, D.C. as the place “where the money spigot never shuts off.”
She mentioned New York Congressman Anthony Weiner, a Democrat, and the crowd booed. She chided them: “Now, we’re nice here in Iowa. I just want to remind you.”
She suggested Weiner was seeking a waiver from “ObamaCare”.
Bachmann then quipped: “I want a waiver from the last two years of President Obama. Are you with me?”
If you listen to the speech, you will know that the crowd was with her at this point.
She ridiculed federal funding for “cowboy poetry festivals” and derided the idea of new regulations on light bulbs.
“I introduced the Lightbulb Freedom of Choice Act,” she said, getting a strong positive response from the crowd. “I think Iowans are to be trusted on the choice of their own lightbulbs.”
She gave a sort of shout out to governors in Wisconsin and Ohio who have taken on public sector unions.
Remember Obama’s “we are the ones we’ve been waiting for” speech? Bachmann’s next riff was reminiscent of that.
“We are the answer to the problem,” she said, before launching into the next part of her speech which was about the “intact, two-parent family” being the driving force for America’s “economic growth, health and well-being.”
“…We’ve been told we need a truce on social issues and I would highly disagree with that because social conservatism is fiscal conservatism,” she said.
Bachmann returned to the tax issue, mentioning she’d been a tax lawyer. “We make the tax code simpler by first abolishing it,” she declared, getting another strong positive response from crowd, including one very loud whistle. “And from there, we’re going to fly.”
She suggested it was time for a “change in attitude” in D.C., but then put a finer point on it: “What we need is a change in address form for the person who is living at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.”
That drew sustained applause, too.
Bachmann compared herself with “another dark-horse candidate” — Abraham Lincoln.
“What Lincoln said…is still true today in Des Moines, Iowa….will we survive to the latest generation? Will we survive?…I say to you…don’t look to me. Don’t look to any other politician…the idea of liberty is so great and so precious that the founders recognized that it would only be entrusted to the brain trust and that’s the people of this nation.”
“…I am so absolutly confident in 2012…America has made their decision. We are going to take our country back…We are going to have a better day….Are you in? Are you in for 2012? Are you in? Are you going to make it happen?”
Bachmann concluded by saying she’s in. Indeed.