Michele Bachmann stays incessantly on message on MTP

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MR. GREGORY:  The issue of the tea party and backlash among voters against the tea party is an interesting area because conservatives and certainly leaders and tea party folks have said, "Look, there was a mandate from the 2010 election, and that was to cut spending." And yet, you have this from--analysis from our Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, written by the Wall Street Journal on Thursday:  "Among those most fearing spending cuts," they reported, "were younger voters, independents, seniors, and suburban women--groups that include many swing voters in national elections, who potentially could turn against the GOP.

"`It may be hard to understand why someone would try to jump off a cliff' to solve the debt crisis, [pollster] Mr. [Bill] McInturff said of his fellow Republicans, `unless you understand that they are being chased by a tiger, and that tiger is the tea party.'" Is the tea party chasing the broader GOP off the cliff?

REP. BACHMANN:  You know, I think that the political left has been very afraid of the tea party movement because it is not necessarily political. It's not Democrats or Republicans.  It's made up of a very broad-based coalition.  It's made up of people who want the country to work again.  They believe that we're taxed enough already, the government shouldn't spend more money than what its taking in, and that each of the three branches of government should act within the jurisdictional limitations of the Constitution.  That's a broad-based group of people.  They just want our country to work again.  And I think that that coalition is hanging together more strongly now than ever.

And how's is President Obama handling the ever changing situation in the Middle East, with Libya, for example?  Gregory asked, but Bachmann only came back with tired bromides that clearly show her not to be very serious about being fair minded or credible, instead of a caricature of a certain partisan oriented legislator.

MR. GREGORY:  What about the handling of--by this president of events in the Middle East?  Is it your view that it's in America's vital security interest to remove Moammar Gadhafi from power in Libya?

REP. BACHMANN:  I think that it's been troubling the way that the president has responded.  For instance, in Libya during the unrest, we had at least 600 Americans who were there.  The Chinese were in the process of removing 12,000 Chinese, while Americans were waiting for an American response to be removed from Libya.  I think--recently in Germany we saw two military soldiers who were killed by alleged terrorists this week, and I think that the president's response at minimum was lacking.  We need to send very strong signals.  I'm concerned about the signals that the president has sent.  They seem to be signals of weakness, not strong signals in the Middle East.

MR. GREGORY:  But, Congresswoman, my, my question, my question, is it in America's vital interest to remove Moammar Gadhafi from power?

REP. BACHMANN:  Well, that, that question, I think, is one that, as, as Defense Secretary Gates has said, we need to be very careful about putting an army on the ground in the Middle East.  We are extended now in Afghanistan and Iraq, and I think for us to consider further penetration at this time, we need to listen to General Petraeus and what he has to say.

The fact is that rough waters delayed a ship carrying U.S. citizens from leaving Libya last week, but they ultimately did so.

Minnesota Republican Representative Michelle Bachmann made a rare prime time appearance on the Sunday talk show circuit, appearing on NBC's Meet The Press, where she stubbornly maintained her literally talking point that she was determined to get across: that the Obama administration had hid $105 billion in “advance appropriations” in last year's health-care bill.

The conservative Congresswoman, a favorite of the Tea Party (you might remember she gave the official Tea Party response to President Obama's State of the Union Address, unfortunately not looking at the right camera when she did so), is actually being talked up by some as a potential GOP candidate for president in 2012, a question that she didn't dismiss when asked by host David Gregory later in the program.

Bachmann has also in some ways replaced Sarah Palin as the female Republican of choice to mercilessly bash, with MSNBC's Chris Matthews seemingly making a cottage industry out of mocking her controversial comments.  But Bachmann was infuriatingly on message (and Gregory seemed like he barely cared, never following up on her charge) about this mysterious $105 billion in the health care bill.

MR. GREGORY:  Let me get in here.  I want to stick with the, the narrow budget questions.  Are you willing to vote to shut down the government over some of these add-ons to these spending bills, to defund funding for the healthcare legislation, for Planned Parenthood, for the EPA?

REP. BACHMANN:  I think this deception that the president and Pelosi and Reid put forward with, with appropriating over $105 billion needs to be given back to the people.  There was no debate.  There was no discussion.  $105 billion is a lot of money.  You can't just slip that into a bill and not tell members of the House and not tell members of the Senate, and then when they go to vote for the bill, did it just slip Harry Reid's mind to not tell the senators that this was in the bill?

Believe me, this went on for awhile.  Too long.

Bachmann showed that she's not really good at thinking on her feet. Gregory mentioned a very interesting aspect of a recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll published last week, that showed that large majorities of the American public, who say they want to see spending cut, admitted that they did not want to see major cuts made however to Social Security or Medicare, two of the biggest programs that the federal government funds. Even more interesting was how self-described Tea Parties say the same thing.  Gregory asked about that seeming hypocrisy amongst the tea party set - but Bachmann gave a non-response.

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