OTR Interviews

Bachmann: Obama Presented 'Nothing New,' Gave a 'Political Speech,' Not a Jobs Plan

2012 candidate explains her decision to reply to president's jobs speech


This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," September 8, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Presidential candidate Representative Michele Bachmann is here. Good evening. And before we get to the president's speech tonight, since you are on the House intel committee, I'm curious if there'sanything you can add to the rather distressing news tonight that there is a credible threat, unconfirmed.

REP. MICHELE BACHMANN, R-MINN., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, of course, it's very serious. And one thing I will say is that the intelligence community is on this. I think the American people should feel onfident that their government is doing everything they can to keep them safe. And this is a very bipartisan issue. There is one issue that I think is -- excels all the rest, and that's keeping the American people safe. Both Democrats and Republicans are on the same page. We want the people safe, and the people who need to be doing their job are.

VAN SUSTEREN: You know, there's a conflict between determining, like, how do you tell the American people so they're vigilant and help, and how do you not scare them to death and how you not scare them to death so next time, when you do have information to tell them when they should be on alert, they don't think, We already heard that.

BACHMANN: Well, you're right. You don't want to be crying wolf when there's nothing going on. But clearly, something is going on. And so I think it's important again for people to be smart, to be wise. If you see something, you should say something. So use your head in these situations and keep alert.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, the president's speech tonight, what did you think? I mean, I can guess, but go ahead. Tell me.

BACHMANN: Well, it wasn't a plan, it was a political speech. And I think -- my bottom line is, so what's new about what we heard? The president gave no new ideas. And I think the real problem is that, again, this was political. And I'm a business person. I'm a former federal tax lawyer. What we needed is what works in the economy. We didn't have an economic speech, we had a political speech.

We need to do what works because quite simply, to extend payroll tax deductions -- there's no credible supporting evidence that shows that created any new jobs. Not only that, extending the unemployment benefits -- if you look at the president's own new economic adviser, he said in two different studies that the longer you keep people on unemployment, the less likely it is they're going to find a job. That doesn't work. More stimulus? Do we really need "son of stimulus"? We passed a trillion dollars in stimulus. Will billions more do the job? There is nothing new here!

VAN SUSTEREN: I suppose (INAUDIBLE) if you look for the sort of the silver lining, I think it sort of puts everybody's feet to the fire that -- you know, that, you know, something's got to be done, whether you're a Republican...

BACHMANN: Absolutely.


VAN SUSTEREN: Because you know what? I don't...

BACHMANN: But not this.

VAN SUSTEREN: I -- I don't -- I don't think a lot of...

BACHMANN: He kept saying, "Hurry, hurry." How many times did he say, "Pass the plan"?

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, you know what?

BACHMANN: I hope Congress doesn't pass this plan!

VAN SUSTEREN: Every time he said -- every time he said, Pass the plan, I thought, Why didn't you -- why didn't he give us the plan before he went on vacation, number one.

BACHMANN: Well, of course.

VAN SUSTEREN: And number two, I thought, If you really do have a plan, we need the whole plan and why are you holding off...


BACHMANN: There still is no plan!

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, I mean -- I mean, look, I'm with you on that, is that if he has a plan, we need to see it and we need to evaluate it. This sort of drip, drip, drip, drip, drip does not leave me with a sense that there is a plan, whether it's a good or a bad plan.

BACHMANN: Well, that's right. And this was a significant event tonight. You don't call in 535 members of Congress and have a jointsession where the president gives a speech to the nation and not have something more concrete. I think what's very unfortunate in all of this and what the coming days will show is that the people who are the job creators -- I'm one of them, a job creator in our own small business -- this is -- this doesn't tell a job creator that we'll see certainty. This doesn't tell a creator that the return on their investment is bound to be


That's what's really detrimental in all this. I'm not talking about political points. I could care less about political points. What I'm concerned about are the 14 million people, as my Democrat colleagues are,as well. The reality is, this speech will impress no one who has an

ability to be able to bring the economy back because the real problem in all this is that Washington, D.C., will never solve the economy! It's Main Street that solves it. Washington just messes it up and gets in the way.

VAN SUSTEREN: Wwell, a couple things. Numbers --

it's not just 14 million, it's the 8 million-plus who are underemployed, so you add that to it, and then the two million plus who have just given up. So it's really about 25 million people that we're talking about who are in a desperate situation. But what I asked Congressman Andrews is that -- you know, there's all -- I mean, the big problem is we don't have the money. I mean, that's a big problem.

BACHMANN: (INAUDIBLE) where the money is.


BACHMANN: There's one...

VAN SUSTEREN: I'll tell you where it is! It's the waste!


VAN SUSTEREN: Everyone runs on waste!

BACHMANN: That is true. There is waste.

VAN SUSTEREN: Everyone runs on waste! The president said he was going line by line -- I went through his speeches last week. Line by line, when he was running for president, he was going through the budget and make sure we get rid of all the programs we don't have. There's billions and billions -- we -- there's so much waste we sent over to the wars, whatever, waste! And it's, like, it's astounding to me that we're worried about where money is (INAUDIBLE) never start cleaning up our internal act!

BACHMANN: You won't find an ounce of disagreement with me. I think that we should have a budget and just go ahead and implement all of these items. If the government has already found it, let's do it. But Greta, if you want money, there's $1.2 trillion that of America -- American companies have already earned. If we have a zero percent what's called a repatriation tax, overnight we'll see $1.2 trillion that the taxpayers aren't supplying, that they don't have to pay back, that we don't have to borrow from China, overnight we can wash $1.2 trillion...

VAN SUSTEREN: Is that corporate money?


VAN SUSTEREN: The corporate -- but that comes back to the -- I guess it goes through the economy. It goes through the economy. It's not coming back into the corporate till.

BACHMANN: Here's the thing. You have a solution coming in the private sector and it's permanent. Have a zero percent repatriation tax through December 31st, and make it permanently 5 percent thereafter. You're continually bringing infusions of capital. And if you lower the corporate tax rate, you'll bring those American companies back, too.

VAN SUSTEREN: Congresswoman, thank you very much.

BACHMANN: Thank you, Greta.