Michele Bachmann on Her Iowa Strategy

2012 candidate on campaign strategy and targeting Gingrich and Iowa


This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," December 05, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: "Personal Story Segment" tonight, most polls in Iowa have Michele Bachmann in single digits. But as the Congresswoman has often said she believes she will compete well there on January 3rd. Mrs. Bachmann is the author of the brand new book "Core of Conviction", and she joins us now here in New York City.

So according to Marist/NBC poll today Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul are your main competition on the conservative end. And you are running as a conservative in Iowa. You are going to have to take support from both of those men to perform well. How are you going to do that?

REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R-MN), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, we're going to do it because I think as people read my book and they continue to get to know more about me and look at the candidates they will see that I am the true consistent conservative in this race; 20 percent of the people have decided they want Mitt Romney; 80 percent don't. And as the layers are getting picked up… pulled back on the candidates they are seeing who is the core consistent conservative. That's me.

O'REILLY: Are you more conservative than Newt Gingrich?

BACHMANN: Absolutely. Without a shadow of a doubt.

O'REILLY: Really?

BACHMANN: Of course because Newt Gingrich wants to legalize 11 million workers. That's not what conservatives want. He is for the $700 billion TARP bailout. I'm not. He was the originator of the backbone of Obama care. I brought 40,000 people to Washington to fight against Obama care. He sat on the couch with Nancy Pelosi and it's all over global warming and I have been fighting it and fighting on every front. So there is no question.

O'REILLY: Why do you think that Iowans then haven't caught on to that yet. Because we're closing in on the vote here. Why haven't they… you've been there now for almost a year.

BACHMANN: Well, 30 days... 30 days is an eternity in this race. Absolutely.

O'REILLY: Oh I know that but you've been there for almost a year and you won the first straw poll there. But… but Paul and Gingrich have managed to pass you. And I'm really not… I'm a little confused about why you think that is.

BACHMANN: Well, you've got to remember that the only race that we've had in the country that's been a statewide race is the Iowa straw poll. I won it in less time than any other candidate and the only woman to ever win the Iowa straw poll. And so what happened after that we had new candidates getting into the race. And the voters were enamored and looked at the other candidates.

O'REILLY: Right. They're floating back to you?

BACHMANN: But now I think again when it comes back they're going to come back home.

O'REILLY: All right. What's your vision of the 11 million illegal aliens here in the United States? What is your vision? Are you going to go give federal police agencies the power to seize them and forcibly send them back? Is that what you're going to do?

BACHMANN: Well, what we're going to do first is stop the hemorrhaging on this problem. We all know that.

O'REILLY: No, no but I need to know what you're… what you're going to do on deportation very specifically. What is your vision?

BACHMANN: Very specifically when... when people are intercepted and we find out they're here illegally.

O'REILLY: Right.

BACHMANN: They need to go through the laws of the land which is deportation.

O'REILLY: Right away are you going to bus them back and put them on planes, and boom that's going to cost a lot of money.

BACHMANN: Well, we're not talking about knocking on people's doors. What we're talking about is when people are intercepted in the normal course of businesses, they go back.

O'REILLY: Ok so you wouldn't seek them out, you're not going to seek them out.

BACHMANN: That's right they go back.

O'REILLY: But if they get picked up on traffic stop or they get picked up on something else.

BACHMANN: Can I tell you why this is such a big problem?

O'REILLY: No we know why it's a problem.

BACHMANN: No let me tell you why. There was a column that came out this weekend by Mark Stein, he said 50 percent of the population of Mexico has now gone north of the border, 50 percent of the population.

O'REILLY: At one time or another.

BACHMANN: That is… that is… that's $113 billion dollars, Bill. That's $1,000 for every household that watches “The Factor”. That's a big cost. We've got to deal with it.

O'REILLY: I understand that and I have been. All right you know I've been a big proponent of securing the borders and basically doing this in a reasonable way.

BACHMANN: And so am I.

O'REILLY: But I can't see, look, if you pick up some guy in the car and he's an illegal alien and he's got three kids at home. What are you going to do, throw him and his kids on the bus and the next day? Is that what you are going to do? I mean, you can imagine that?

BACHMANN: Well, Bill what we have to do is end the practice of anchor babies in the United States.

O'REILLY: You've got to pass a law on that.

BACHMANN: That's illegal aliens come in. We've got to pass a law. We've got to end the practice.

O'REILLY: But all of them that are here now are going to be an enormous problem to deal because there are a lot of people here who have been here for a lot of years. And if you're going to start dragging them out of here, it's going to be very, very difficult to do that.

BACHMANN: But remember they broke the law to get in here there is a consequence.

O'REILLY: I'm not justifying it I'm just saying on human basis, I don't think it… theory is one thing. Dragging people out, putting them on a bus with their children crying is going to be quite something else.

BACHMANN: It can be done. That's the thing. It can be done and

O'REILLY: It can be done but at what cost?

BACHMANN: It's… but you know what it's time we start acting like a first world nation and enforce our laws. Other nations enforce laws. Let's do it.

O'REILLY: All right but you're taking a very tough stance in a human way.

BACHMANN: It's time… it's time we do take a tough stance. But I'm a compassionate person but we have to get tough on illegal immigration. It's hurting a lot of people.

O'REILLY: One of the things that I found interesting in your book and it's not just about politics it's about the Congresswoman's life. You said you didn't get asked to the senior prom at Anoka High School in Minnesota.

BACHMANN: That's true.

O'REILLY: And why… why did you write about that? What is the lesson that you… and I can't believe those pinheads didn't ask you to the prom I mean, it's outrageous.

BACHMANN: Thank you. Thank you.

O'REILLY: But what did you learn from that?

BACHMANN: What I learned from that is how it breaks your heart. You know, it's like a boy not getting asked to be on the basketball team or being the last one. And that can be very hurtful. It's a very personal thing and a real thing first of all.

O'REILLY: What lesson did you learn from it?

BACHMANN: What lesson did I learn? Well, I think the lesson that I learned is just the idea of compassion and the idea that you've got to make your own way. If… if a boy doesn't ask you, you've got to figure out your own way in order to able to move forward in a relationship. That's a positive thing.

O'REILLY: So when you didn't get invited, did you just bounce right back or did it take you a while to get…

BACHMANN: Oh no. I bounced right back, I was working that night actually. I was a cashier in a grocery store. And I didn't get asked and I had such utter hope. The prom didn't start until 9:00 at night. And I actually thought even if I…

O'REILLY: That somebody would come through to their senses…

BACHMANN: …even if I… even if I got a call at 7:00 at night I was going.

O'REILLY: Right. Yes well look, all kids get those kinds of knocks but I thought it was very interesting that you wrote about it in your book.

BACHMANN: I think people really like this book. It really is a human view. But it also…

O'REILLY: Yes, a very personal book.

BACHMANN: …the view of what I want to do with the country as president.

O'REILLY: All right, Congresswoman good luck, thanks for coming we appreciate it.

BACHMANN: Thank you.

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