OTR Interviews

Bachmann: 'I'm Not Comparing Myself to Any Other Candidate Other Than Barack Obama'

Rep. Michele Bachmann addresses her anticipated decision on whether to run for president and the debt ceiling vote


This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," May 31, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: This is a Fox News alert. The House of Representatives just voted no to raise the debt ceiling. This clean debt ceiling increase would have raised the government's borrowing limit to $16.7 trillion, which is not tied to any spending cuts. The measure failed 97-318.

Right before the vote we caught up with Congresswoman Bachmann on her way to the capitol. She was returning from a trip to New Hampshire.


VAN SUSTEREN: Congresswoman, welcome back to Washington.

REP. MICHELE BACHMANN, R-MINN.: Thank you. It's nice to be welcomed back by a big shot.

VAN SUSTEREN: Yes, right. How was New Hampshire?

BACHMANN: It was fabulous. Every bit of it was fabulous.

VAN SUSTEREN: How long were threw?

BACHMANN: I was there Sunday, Monday, Tuesday.


BACHMANN: There's a lot of interesting people to meet. I was in parades. I spoke at events. We were in Franklin, and we had a great time.

VAN SUSTEREN: How is the weather in Waterloo, Iowa?

BACHMANN: Good. I'll be there. I hope you will join me. That's where I was. Have you been to Waterloo?

VAN SUSTEREN: No, but I know you will make an announcement one way or the other. When is that going to happen?

BACHMANN: In the month of June, we are almost there.

VAN SUSTEREN: Leaning more towards running or?

BACHMANN: I will tell you this, everywhere I went, people said, "Michele, you've got to run, we are all behind you. I'll work for you." We were encouraged everywhere we went in New Hampshire and in South Carolina and in Iowa.

VAN SUSTEREN: There are questions about whether there is room. Is there room for two people from Minnesota?



VAN SUSTEREN: I'm teasing you always there's a question when two women are running. So everybody is teasing you about Minnesota. But there's room?

BACHMANN: Sure, for all the candidates there is. This is really a referendum on Barack Obama. I'm not comparing myself to any other candidate, other than Barack Obama. I think that I come up favorably next to him. I have a strong private sector background. My husband and I had nothing. We worked our way through college. We flipped some houses, got capital, and now we own two clinics. And we are very proud of turning a profit every month. President Obama seems to bash people who turn a profit, I think is a good thing.

I want more American-made jobs. That's what I'm all about. And I'm also a tax lawyer. I want to lower the tax rate and have a positive tax climate to create jobs in this country.

VAN SUSTEREN: What about the debt ceiling. Democrats say it is a stunt.

BACHMANN: Guess what, watch the vote tonight. It will be a sea of red, Democrats joining Republicans against allowing the government to increase borrowing by $2.4 trillion.

VAN SUSTEREN: What is going to happen with this debt ceiling? How does it affect someone in your home state of Iowa or Minnesota or mine in Wisconsin?

BACHMANN: I'm so glad you asked, because I think is one of the best tunes that we have now to get our fiscal order -- best opportunities that we have now to get our fiscal house in order.

VAN SUSTEREN: How does it affect me right now?

BACHMANN: Right now our taxes will have to go up to pay for all of this spending. We need to stop it. This is a gift on a platter. We don't raise the debt ceiling. For all the Tea Party people who say Congress isn't listening, I'm here to tell you, Congress is listening. That's why this vote is going to fail on increasing the debt ceiling.

So people need to continue to let their members of Congress know they don't want to continue to borrow money that we don't have. I think it is very powerful.

VAN SUSTEREN: We always hear public statements when you are in the hall and run into each other, are you talking debt ceiling? What is the scuttlebutt?

BACHMANN: I saw two Democrats in the airport when I was in Boston today. So we talked what we did over the weekend. We also talked about debt ceiling. One said I imagine it is going to be a sea of red up there on the wall tonight. A lot of Democrats are going to be voting no too. Again, this is not an opportunity. If we don't --

VAN SUSTEREN: Not a stunt?

BACHMANN: No, hardly. Barack Obama wanted a clean debt ceiling vote. We are giving him the vote he wanted. Demonstrating there's not a lot a stomach for continuing the out of control spending that we are not paying for. That's on both sides, Democrat and Republican.

So I'm really encouraged because the Tea Party has been making inroads in congress. We are not going to see a clean debt ceiling vote. Contrary to what Secretary Geithner said it needed to happen last March. This is huge progress on the part of the tea party. I want to thank them. It is like a balanced budget amendment as far as I'm concerned.

VAN SUSTEREN: I know you have to run. I didn't know if I was supposed to say that. We might see you in Iowa?

BACHMANN: I hope so. You are invited.

VAN SUSTEREN: What is the date?

BACHMANN: We'll let you know soon.

VAN SUSTEREN: Thank you.

BACHMANN: Thank you, Greta.