OTR Interviews

Bachmann: Obama's State of Union address was a campaign kickoff, you haven't heard the last of me

Former presidential candidate sounds off on Pres. Obama's address, life after the campaign trail

 

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," January 24, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Congresswoman Michele Bachmann wanted to take President Obama's job. Three weeks ago she dropped out of the race. But she still wants President Obama out of the White House. Tonight, for the first time since suspending her campaign for president, she is talking. She is here to tell you what she thought about tonight's address. Congresswoman Bachmann joins us.

Good evening, Congresswoman. And I can only guess you weren't wholly satisfied. But is there anything that you can drill in on the president's speech that was inspiring and hopeful to you tonight for the American people?

REP. MICHELE BACHMANN, R-MINN.: I think was inspiring to hear all of the praise that was given to our brave men and women in uniform. That occurred at the top of the speech and the bottom of the speech. And I think all of us recognize that Usama bin Laden's capture happened because of the bravery of Seal team six. We will never be able to fully repay that debt to them.

VAN SUSTEREN: Do you get a sense that the president was lecturing members of Congress or did you get a sense he was reaching out and saying let's work together on very serious problems?

BACHMANN: Some of his language appeared like he was reaching out, but there was no reaching out. There was no new ground that was forged tonight. What we saw was the same old, same old. As a matter of act you could say we saw a fan dance tonight that the president was giving, because he didn't want to talk about what people are upset about. They're upset about Obamacare and not being able to access credit under Dodd-Frank. They're upset about their houses remain underwater.

And you didn't hear a lot about job creation. What he did defend was the Solyndras of the world, and he intends to have more Solyndras coming. He was very proud of the fact the federal government will be producer of green energy and also the consumer of green energy. That's essentially socialism. So we saw more of the same of his agenda, and that is what he intends to do going forward.

VAN SUSTEREN: I'm trying to think -- and listening to the speech tonight and other presidents, I'm trying to think what do we really expect of a president tonight? We're not going to get a change in the tax code. He says he wants it, but we're really not going to get anything done tonight. What do you see as a legally purpose of the State of the Union?

BACHMANN: For the president it was very clear. This is their campaign kickoff. The campaign kickoff was the speech in Kansas, and now this is a follow on to that. So he is laying down issues that he'll be advocating, which is amnesty for illegal aliens, passing more benefits for illegal aliens. That was part of the speech. More government money for private businesses, but also more government programs these intends to create. There really wasn't a lot of new ground here that he forged.

What is sad, Greta, people really, truly want to see the economy change. Republicans I think would love to work with the president to make sure we can grow the economy. But what did the president fail to do? There is no call to reduce the corporate income tax, the tax on job creators. In fact the president wants a minimum tax for corporations. Everyone hates the alternative minimum tax.

VAN SUSTEREN: OK, now to the race. This is your first interview since you have suspended your campaign. I appreciate that you are here to talk about the State of the Union. Do you intend to endorse, and when?

BACHMANN: I don't have any intention right now. I keep in contact with the candidates on a regular basis. We know each other and we like each other. I spoke with Rick Santorum today. I spoke with Mitt Romney today. I spoke with Newt Gingrich today. I enjoy speaking with them on a regular basis. I will continue to do so. I will be standing with our eventual nominee and calling our party to come together in unity. So you haven't heard the end of my voice on the campaign trail because I'll be standing and working on behalf of our nominee.

VAN SUSTEREN: What do you make of what people are calling blood on the floor between Speaker Gingrich and Governor Romney? I'm sure you've seen the spats they've have had at these debates, and the ads have been rather wicked going back and forth. What do you think about it?

BACHMANN: I think the Florida contest will be a decisive one. Of course this will be state number four out of 50, so a long way to go. This in all likelihood, this could be very long process. People have whiplash going between the candidates and watching the numbers go up and down. This could go on for a long time on the other hand it may be over after Florida. Who knows? That is why we're paying rapt attention to what is happening.

VAN SUSTEREN: And is it a bad thing or good thing for party that it is such aggressive battle between the candidates?

BACHMANN: The focus does need to be on Barack Obama. But let's not forget there will be no stone unturned by President Obama's reelection campaign. They will sniff out everything with our candidate. We might as well get it out now and be inoculated and deal with these issues, because we have to focus on our positive message of turning the country around. We've got one. Because we didn't hear one from tonight from the president, no job creation stories from this president. That is what our nominee will have to tell the American people.

VAN SUSTEREN: Congresswoman, thank you.

BACHMANN: Good to be with you, Greta