Calling Washington "vile and corrupt," Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann said Sunday she won't compromise her "core principles" if elected president, but she would take steps to negotiate "advancements" in the right direction.
"The trajectory that the country is going right now is negative, everyone knows it. So we need to have a president that is as least going to get us on the trajectory of going in the right direction," Bachmann told "Fox News Sunday."
Bachmann is enjoying a victory lap after taking 28 percent of the nearly 17,000 votes cast in a Saturday poll of Iowa Republican voters weighing in on the crop of 2012 GOP presidential candidates. Bachmann said Iowa is a much better place to be than in Washington, in part because politicians in Washington refuse to live within their means.
"I think we need to reform the system currently that we have in Washington because it is absolutely vile and corrupt. It has no connection with where we need to spend the money. It has everything to do with political connections," she said.
Bachmann specifically pointed to President Obama, who passed a $3.6 trillion budget even though the government only receives $2.2 trillion in revenues.
"We spent every cent of that $2.2 trillion. The problem is we spent an additional $1.5 trillion we didn't have," she said. "One thing we need to do is reject the new normal level of spending under the Obama administration. ... Government has no conformity at all with the real world."
Bachmann said she would not have made the same deal reached by Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate to look for $2.4 trillion in cuts over 10 years because it only cuts $21 billion off the top.
Explaining the unanimous opposition to the hypothetical scenario posed during last week's Fox News/Washington Examiner debate of the Republican presidential candidates, Bachmann said no Republican would take a 10-to-1 debt deal that offers $10 in spending cuts for $1 in tax increases because the cuts aren't "real."
Bachmann said those who try to compare today's crop of GOPers to President Ronald Reagan, who did compromise on tax increases, are overlooking history. She said while Reagan agreed to a 3-to-1 deal of spending cuts to tax increases, the outcome turned out very differently.
"It ended up being $3 in tax increases for every dollar in spending cuts. That's the way it works in D.C." she said. "The deal sounds so rosy at the very beginning and usually the cuts are illusory, they're off in future years ... We can beat our chests and be really proud and say, 'oh we're going to cut trillions of dollars but we can't guarantee what future Congresses will do.'
"That's why no one would take that deal on the Fox stage or debate because we all know that they're fake cuts. Essentially they sound good as sound bites but they aren't real," Bachmann said.
Bachmann added that she voted against the 2009 stimulus plan but asked for some of the money after it was passed because she didn't want her constituents to be disadvantaged when cash was rolling out to other communities.
"Unfortunately, it ended up going to politicians who are politically well-connected to Barack Obama. That's what's wrong with Washington. Too often the money has no connection to merit or where it should go, it goes to the politically connected," Bachmann said.