During a speech in Ames over the noon hour, GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann criticized what she called the “Bernie Madoff-style of government” and crony capitalism. Over 150 people, many Iowa State University students with pads and pens taking notes, were gathered to hear Bachmann speak.
“For your sake and for your future, America – and Occupy Wall Street in particular – needs to wake up and stop blaming the free market, stop blaming capitalism, stop blaming job creators for the failures created by selfish politicians…who wink at their political donors,” Bachmann said, accusing politicians of aiding big corporations that try “through the force of law (to) put their competitors out of business….Politicians assure their friends that with government’s financial backing, their businesses will never fail.
“It happens every day, and it has to stop because we are not a Banana Republic…we’re the United States of America and we need to act like it.”
Bachmann criticized “a lot of Republicans….including President Bush” for supporting the Wall Street bailout. Bachmann also mentioned former New Jersey Governor John Corzine, an Obama backer who has been a major Wall Street figure with MF Global. “What they bet is that bailouts would go on forever, but they don’t,” Bachmann said, saying Corzine “went too far.”
Bachmann also said the Post Office is “billions of dollars in the red” and unwilling to “look at their real problem” which she said was “unrealistically high” wage and benefit costs.
“The Obama way has brought economic misery…government intervention leads ultimately to poverty,” she said.
Bachmann outlined her tax reform plan and concluded her speech at about 12:42 p.m. There was applause when Bachmann began and applause when she ended, but not during the speech. She then took questions from the crowd.