Fox News
June 01, 2011

Bachmann on Verge of Presidential Announcement?

Guests: Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn.

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," June 1, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin's one nation bus tour is taking the East Coast by storm. Now, already, she has made stops at some of America's most historic landmarks including the Statue of Liberty in New York, the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia. And additionally, she was the talk of the town here last night after she was caught, well, splitting a pizza with billionaire Donald Trump.

Now, all of this is ramping up discussions that she may throw her hat in the 2012 race. But as those rumors swirl, many conservatives are continuing to keep an eye on my next guest, Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann. Particularly after this exchange with George Stephanopoulos yesterday on "Good Morning America." Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, HOST, "GOOD MORNING AMERICA": You sure sound like a candidate, is there anything that could stop you from running at this point?

REP. MICHELE BACHMANN, R-MINN.: Well, we'll be making the announcement George next month and will be making it in the city where I was born conveniently enough in Waterloo, Iowa. So, I'm looking forward to that. So, we'll let you all know when that comes.

STEPHANOPOULOS: I don't think you go to Waterloo, Iowa, the city where you were born to say you are not running for president so that's a good start right now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Here to comment on her presidential aspirations, much more, Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann. Waterloo, Iowa. Congresswoman, that's -- why would you make it there if you are not running?

BACHMANN: Well, it is a wonderful town Waterloo, Iowa, the place where I was born. Of course, that's where a girl would go to give her answer, one way or another.

HANNITY: All right. But where are you in the process? You know, give us a little insight into leaning forward -- leaning against. You've been out of the road. You've been in New Hampshire, South Carolina, Iowa, a number of times. So, where are you in this process?

BACHMANN: We're deep in the process. We're right at the very end, I think toward the finish line. I've spent months on this, Sean. Everything I've done, I've put a lot of thought into. And I've been very deliberate about this. I've been consulting with my advisers who have been putting our resources together. I raised more money than any other candidate in the first quarter, including Mitt Romney. And so, we've done very well, I've been in South Carolina numerous times. New Hampshire and Iowa both this weekend. We've had a lot of support and encouragement to run. And so, we'll let you know very shortly. In fact, we'll send you an invitation to come with us if you would like to.

HANNITY: Who do you think are the strongest competitors right now in the race?

BACHMANN: Well, I think the strongest competitor right now is Barack Obama. That's the only competitor that I'm looking at right now. And I think, I come up very favorably. I have a strong background, I started a successful company and ran that together with my husband. We created jobs. We've been very successful. And I'm a former federal tax litigation attorney. I understand the tax code. We created a charter school, we started it, it has been very successful. We raised 23 foster children. I have a wide berth of experience. And I think what I want to focus on is making things in America again. And American job creation. So, I think I have a very favorable comparison with Barack Obama.

HANNITY: What do you think about Governor Palin and her bus tour? There's been a lot of speculation that she might run. I was there at an event in your home state. Governor Palin was there as well. I was covering it for Fox. And we did a show together. And you're obviously good friends. Deep admiration that I know you have for her. Does that make a difference to you if she gets in the race?

BACHMANN: You know, my decision is completely independent of what Governor Palin chooses to do or not too. I want to say that we are friends. And I consider her a good friend. And I think that she is making wonderful contributions to our country. And I'm thankful that she is doing the tour. She is bringing attention to our nation's heritage, and that is all positive. I welcome all candidates in this race. I know that the Republicans will field excellent candidates for 2012. Barack Obama has to be a one term president. And it will be up to the voters to decide who they believe will be best in taking on this president.

HANNITY: You know, what I've been saying, it is funny, because, you know, the media has their own spin. Oh, this is a weak field of candidates. Oh, Barack Obama is great. I mean, they've been -- they've never done any good investigative work. They don't ask him tough questions, they never have. But when you really break it down to its brass tax, every single day he's been president, the economy has had a bad day. I mean, we've not had a good one. His promises of recovery have been wrong. And, you know, no matter how favorably they spin it, every economic metric is horrible.

BACHMANN: It is true. It's true. The president can't get away from his failed report card on dealing with the economy and job creation. President Reagan had created a million jobs a month. President Obama saw 38,000 jobs created in this recovery. And I was at the White House today with President Obama, three times the president was asked, will you put forward a Medicare plan to save Medicare, because it will be broke in 13 years? Three times the president said no, he has no plan to put his plan forward. The fact is, the president stole $500 billion out of Medicare to shift it into Obamacare, a system that is raising all of our health care prices. So, the president has failed. You are exactly right, Sean, on every metric the president has failed, that's why I believe, he will be Sean, a one term president. We need a strong, bold, constitutional conservative to take him on and hold him accountable for his failed record.

HANNITY: What did you -- as you look at the field right now. When we got Tim Pawlenty, Newt Gingrich, and Mitt Romney who will be on this program. He's announcing tomorrow. And Rick Santorum, and Herman Cain, and Ron Paul, and Gary Johnson, and I know I'm missing somebody. But, you know, what do you think distinguishes you from these other candidates that you feel that you need to get into this race, because you think you would be the better candidate?

BACHMANN: Well, I think I offer the whole package to people. From the views that I've taken, to my background that I have. And also, I think the fact that I've been a fighter. Everywhere I've gone, when I was in the Minnesota state Senate here in the United States Capitol, I haven't sat back. I entered into the fray and I have a strong proven record of taking on President Obama, of taking on Nancy Pelosi to try and advance the principles that I think that most Americans agree on.

I believe in a strong economy and strong job creation. I've done it in private sector. I fought for it here in Washington. That's what I bring to the table.

HANNITY: I don't know if you saw an earlier report, but we brought up the issue. One of the women in question was watching the debate right here on this program between you and Anthony Weiner.

And that's how she first, I guess got involved with Congressman Weiner on this 'Weinergate' scandal, whatever you want to call it. Any comment about the handling of that? What do you think should happen?

BACHMANN: Well, you know, I really haven't followed the scandal very much, but I think this will be up to my colleague, Anthony Weiner. He'll have to make his statement. I think from the little that I've heard, I have great sympathy for his wife. This has to be a very difficult time.

HANNITY: All right, Congresswoman, good to see you. Waterloo, Iowa and the date is?

BACHMANN: I'll let you know very soon.

HANNITY: All right, let us know. Give us a heads up. Good to see you, Congresswoman. Thank you for being with us.

BACHMANN: Thank you, Sean.

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