Bachmann: “no scratch” left in Americans’ pockets (audio)

Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann’s campaign bus sounded its horn at about a quarter ’til two this afternoon, heralding the arrival of the candidate in the parking lot outside her Iowa campaign headquarters.  A crowd had started gathering in the area more than an hour earlier, lured by a hot dog lunch and the prospect of hearing from the candidate in person.

The headquarters itself is located in a strip mall behind the chain restaurant where former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin lunched last week.  The eatery has now been dubbed “Palin’s Panera” (Panera is the name of the chain), but that could change if Bachmann and her crew make that Panera a sort of “home kitchen” for the campaign staff and volunteers.

Nearly a decade ago I was sitting inside the Bachmann Iowa campaign headquarters, when it was a Coldwell-Banker Real Estate office, making an offer on the home in which I now live.  About two years ago I was standing inside Bachmann’s campaign headquarters, listening to then-former Governor Terry Branstad give the dedication speech to the space, which served as a regional headquarters for John McCain’s 2008 general election campaign.

Bachmann was a tad bit late for today’s event, so her Iowa campaign co-chair Brad Zaun (a former Urbandale mayor, a current state senator and a 2010 congressional candidate) addressed the crowd, calling Bachmann the “real deal” and a candidate with a “spine of steel.”

Bachmann delivered much the same speech she’s been giving since she launched her campaign in Waterloo, Iowa, late last month.  As she did at the Electric Park Ballroom, Bachmann seemed to get the heartiest burst of applause from the crowd when she pledged not to use a teleprompter if she’s elected president.  Bachmann attacked ObamaCare and the president’s record on the economy, but it was that sharp elbow to Obama’s style of speaking which was most rousing to the crowd.

Bachmann also used an Iowa farming metaphor to ridicule an Obama “lead from behind” comment, suggesting Iowans know that’s not how you plow a field.  (That would be a modern farming metaphor, as modern farmers ride a tractor as they pull a plow behind.  The heirloom “walking plow” that sits in my garden, however, was pulled by a horse, and the farmers who broke up the Iowa prairie into fields walked behind the plow.

Bachmann also dedicated a segment of her speech to a theme she’s sounding in her campaign advertising, her opposition to raising the debt ceiling.  She warned the U.S. was at risk of entering a “debtor’s prison to China” and “because the borrower is the slave of the person who lends and we cannot continue to do that.”

Bachmann called the congress “a dysfunctional family” because congress has voted 10 times in the past decade raise the debt ceiling.  “In our family, my husband and I would have taken that credit card — we would have chopped that baby up,” Bachmann said, to applause.  A man beside me yelled, “Halleluia!”

Bachmann suggested Obama should “put your hand in your pocket” because in the pocket’s of ordinary Americans “there’s no scratch in there.”

Bachmann got extended applause from the crowd (and a few Arsenio-Hall-Show like whoops) when she vowed to vote against raising the debt ceiling.  “This is a crucial time and that’s why I’ve put my marker down in the sand,” Bachmann said and as the applause continued, she added: “It’s time for tough love.”

AUDIO: Bachmann’s speech 21 min

Bachmann made a strong pitch to the crowd about the upcoming Iowa Republican Party’s Straw Poll on August 13.  “Let’s go make some phone calls,” Bachmann said to close her speech. “…We’re going to do this. We’re going to win it in 2012…Right here from Iowa, we’re going to do it.”

Bachmann told the crowd her campaign bought 300 hot dogs for this afternoon’s event and ran out, but Bachmann promised a campaign staffer had gone on a hot dog run and no one would leave the event without a hot dog if they wanted one.  She’s scheduled to attend the Iowa Barnstormers game this evening. (Iowa GOP chairman Matt Strawn is the co-owner of the Arena Football League team.)

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.


  1. JTWilliams says

    Wish you’d post half of the Ron Paul audio that you do for Bachmann! You know, we Ron Paul people tend to find and promote anything regarding our candidate, exponentially! But, I guess you could just keep posting T-Paw every day…