OTR Interviews

Bachmann: Pres. Obama Is an 'Underdog with a Billion Dollars,' Doing Anything to Find an Advantage

2012 hopeful on Obama's jobs plan, the 'Occupy Wall Street' protests, Palin and momentum shift in the race, and her campaign strategy


This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," October 5, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Well, she says it's what America wants to know, but the other candidates aren't talking about it, so GOP presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann is. We just spoke to the congresswoman about the message she's trying to get out and the death of Steve Jobs.


VAN SUSTEREN: Congresswoman, nice to see you.


VAN SUSTEREN: All right, a couple topics, but I first want to start with Steve Jobs. You know, it seems like everybody is talking about it. Everyone's affected by this one.

BACHMANN: Well, it is because he really brought such joy to all of our lives, all the new exciting products that he developed, the iPod, the iPad, the iPhone. We're all so dependent on it, and it's part of our identity. So to lose him is to lose a part of American genius.

VAN SUSTEREN: You know, it's sort of interesting (INAUDIBLE) we should probably bring a little behind the scenes here at Fox, that we were all in the make-up room with Charles Krauthammer a moment ago and we're talking about it because everyone feels sick about it. And Charles even said he's like the Edison of our time with all his inventions.

BACHMANN: He is because he was such a unique thinker. And to lose him -- there isn't really a replacement for him. And I think, you know, we all saw the demise was coming, but when it came, it's a very sad moment.

VAN SUSTEREN: Indeed, it is. (INAUDIBLE) also in the news tonight. Another big stunner, Governor Sarah Palin now it seems (ph) she will not seek the GOP nomination. Your thoughts about that?

BACHMANN: Well, she's a very important voice. She's a friend of mine, and I wish her the best. I think she has an exciting, wonderful political life in front of her, and I think she'll be with us for a long time in an important way. And I welcomed her to the race, if she was going to come. And I think she'll have a very important voice through 2012.

VAN SUSTEREN: There must be a piece of you, though, that's glad that she's not jumping in the race. I mean, anytime someone jumps in the race, you know, that person's going to peel off a vote or two from somebody, at least.

BACHMANN: Well, you know, I'm looking at it more in terms of 2012 and turning the country around and what it's going to mean. I think it's -- I think, actually, it's good to have all the candidates that are in the race and all the various perspectives. We need to turn the economy around. So no matter who the person is, we've got to have someone that we can believe in.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, and then yesterday, the news that Governor Christie for the seven millionth time said no, that he wasn't running, but most people thought that that probably was maybe a good sign for Governor Romney, since they're both New England -- or one New Jersey, not New England, but it's that direction of the country -- governors. Do you think that one's (ph) to the advantage of Governor Romney?

BACHMANN: Well, I think Governor Christie is one of -- probably the most exciting people there is out there. We all love Governor Christie. We all love how he stood up to the unions. And he did a wonderful thing for New Jersey, and he still is because he's focusing on economic reform. That's also what the country needs. So how that will impact each of the candidates remains to be seen, but I think he's a really important voice.

VAN SUSTEREN: I actually thought that maybe -- and I don't -- you know, this is all sort of the voodoo of politics -- that it actually was -- the fact that people were pushing Governor Christie was a sign that those who might otherwise be Governor Romney voters were dissatisfied with him because they seem to have a lot in common. But maybe that's just political voodoo.

BACHMANN: You know, I -- it's interesting. Every single day, the water changes as far as the political scene goes. But I think now the table is set. I think now we know who the candidates are, and now I think people will make a decision. There's been a lot of people on the sidelines waiting. Now the decisions will be made.

VAN SUSTEREN: Last night, Karl Rove was on the show, and we talked about the national polls. We were talking about, you know, who's up in the national polls. Herman Cain is surging and a CBS poll has him tied with Governor Romney. But I said to Karl, Who cares if -- if you're running for office, do you really care about the national polls? I would think if I were running, I'd care about Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina. I take it you have more of my view than sort of the national view, national polls being so important right now?

BACHMANN: Well, absolutely. And I think my travel schedule shows that because I just -- I just flew in today from Iowa. We've been in there a significant amount of time. I won the straw poll in Iowa, and we have a very strong base of support.

But we've also spent significant time in South Carolina, Florida, and in New Hampshire. So you're right, all of the races are pushing up about a month early. And so we're very happy with all of the time that we've spent in these early states.

VAN SUSTEREN: Is your strategy similar to Governor Huckabee's in '08, to focus on Iowa? Because I noticed today or yesterday, I looked and you were doing the social issues, which have sort of played sort of a -- on a national level has not gotten as much attention. It's the economic issue. But the social issues, right to life, those issues are the ones you seem to be focusing on Iowa, or maybe I just saw a snapshot of it.

BACHMANN: Well, this week, we've also been highlighting that message that we can't forget that in the midst of the number one issue that the campaign will be about, which is jobs and the economy, as it should be -- we can't forget that there's another group of issues that are very important for a lot of voters. That's the pro-life issue, marriage, the family, faith, religious liberty. And so we've been talking about that all week, as well. And I've been a strong proponent of all of those. So we've been meeting with the faith community in Iowa and lifting that issue up this week.

VAN SUSTEREN: Are those, though, the issues in New Hampshire? I mean, it's a big country and you sort of have a different electorate in New Hampshire. When you get to New Hampshire -- and you're going there soon -- are there different issues that you focus in on for them?

BACHMANN: Well, I focus on the same issues in all states. But this week, because there's been virtually no conversation about the life and marriage and family issue, we've been talking about that this week. There's also pro-life, pro-marriage, pro-family in New Hampshire, as well. I've met with them as recently as this summer to talk about those issues.

But again, that's in the context of the fact that the economy and jobs are number one. But there's a lot of people out there, like I said, for whom the life issue and marriage is extremely important. They want to know where the candidates stand. No one's really been talking about it, so I wanted to let the voters know where I stand and what my history is.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Money's the measurement we use to see how a candidate's doing. I know the reporting is just in. How are you doing on money?

BACHMANN: We're very grateful. We have a very strong list of small donors that have been very faithful, and I'm grateful for them and what they're doing to donate to our campaign. But of course, we always welcome more, so...

VAN SUSTEREN: President Obama said the other day to George Stephanopoulos that he considers himself the underdog in this race. Your thoughts about that?

BACHMANN: The underdog with a billion dollars. Isn't that an interesting moniker for him? I think right now, he's doing anything he can to try and find an advantage or a silver lining. But there is no silver lining for him because what he has done to damage the economy and job creation is devastating for people across the country. So he will have to look a lot harder, I think, to consider himself the underdog.

VAN SUSTEREN: What's the single most important thing, do you think, for job creation?

BACHMANN: Oh, without a shadow of a doubt, the government has to ramp back on its spending. It has to cut back spending, and then it needs to cut the regulatory climate.

VAN SUSTEREN: Is that going to happen (INAUDIBLE) in November, when the...

BACHMANN: No, no, because President Obama is committed to his agenda. And UBS put out a study two weeks ago, Greta. They said the number one reason employers aren't hiring is "Obamacare." I'm the chief author of the bill to repeal "Obamacare," and I will not rest as president, nor as nominee of the Republican Party until we repeal "Obama care" because I'm committed to also electing 13 more like-minded Republican senators who are going to go with me to have a filibuster-proof majority so that we will repeal "Obamacare."

We have to. 2012 is the only opportunity to repeal it. 2016 will be too late. It will so metastasize into our economy, into every state budget and also into every health care plan in the United States. If we don't repeal it in 2012, it's done. Same with Dodd-Frank, and I've got that repeal bill, too. It must be done in 2012, and I have got that backbone and will to do it.

VAN SUSTEREN: Congresswoman, nice to see you. I know that you've got a busy schedule. Where you are going next?

BACHMANN: I'll be here in Washington, but then New Hampshire.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, enjoy the wonderful fall weather in New Hampshire.


BACHMANN: Good to see you.