Michele Bachmann Responds to Mainstream Media Hostility

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," July 12, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann's approval ratings are higher than ever. And so, is the mainstream media's hostility to her candidacy. Now, Whoopi Goldberg slammed the congresswoman yesterday on "The View" for signing a statement acknowledging that African-American children were more likely to grow up in a two parent household before slavery was outlawed than they are in today's America.


WHOOPI GOLDBERG, CO-HOST: You don't know anything about how slaves raised their kids or why people were together. Just don't add stuff like that if you don't know what you are talking about. Number two, you know, white people, black people, Asian people, some of us are single parents, some of us turned out OK with single parent. And, you know, what? Stop pointing the finger at single parents. I'm sick of people who don't know what the hell they are talking about, going on. I'm sick of it.


HANNITY: All right. The congresswoman's colleague from Minnesota Keith Ellison also decided to get in on this action. Take a look at this.


REP. KEITH ELLISON, D-MINN.: These same people who want to shrink government so you can drown it in the bathtub, also want mom to get back in the kitchen and take her shoes off and get pregnant. You understand? They are offended by strong powerful women. And here's the sad part, some of them are women themselves. Michele Bachmann being an example.


HANNITY: And the Bachmann bashing has not been limited to liberals. Former Minnesota Governor, GOP presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty has also started going after the congresswoman's record in Congress saying, she has no accomplishments to stand on.

Joining me with reaction, Minnesota Congresswoman, GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann, goes with the territory congresswoman. I assume you expected a lot of this.

REP. MICHELE BACHMANN, R-MINN.: Yes, you are right. That's exactly true. When you are running for the presidency of the United States, you have to expect that you are going to have attacks by all sides.

But my focus has not been on negativity because that is not what people are talking about. My focus has been on accomplishments and how we can turn the economy around and create jobs again. That's what people are talking to me about Sean, in South Carolina, New Hampshire and Iowa. They really want to see us tackle this debt ceiling problem. And I'm not hearing the negativity.

HANNITY: All right. When we breakdown elections, we're breaking down demographically. For example, the youth vote, the African-American vote, the Hispanic vote. When you look at new economic numbers that have come out, especially unemployment, you have young youth unemployment record highs. African-American community, record highs. Wanted to give you an opportunity to respond and explain what you were saying and that got Whoopi Goldberg so worked up?

BACHMANN: Well, regarding unemployment with African-American youth, that's about a 40 percent level of unemployment with African-American youth. When you look at Hispanic youth, that's close to 17 percent unemployment. These are unacceptably high numbers. And of course, the stunningly bad job report that came out last Friday showed that it's an uptick unemployment at 9.2 percent. And of course, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce came out yesterday, and small business executives said that 64 percent of them said they will not be hiring at all next year. Twelve percent are planning to cut.

This is really bad news. Yesterday, I was in Indiana, Iowa, at Semantic Company and they've lost approximately half of all of their employees. Why? Because the economy is in a real ditch right now. We can turn it around, that's the good news. We can have job creation again. I deal with job creation all the time on financial services committee and also with my background as a federal tax lawyer and a job creator. So, we can turn this around. But the problem is not with President Obama's policies.

HANNITY: What was the statement that you signed about African-American children, when you said they were more likely to grow up in a two-parent household before slavery was outlawed? Which statement in particular and what were you referring to?

BACHMANN: That statement was not on the document that I signed. Apparently, the group had a statement about that in another part that they've now since removed and gotten rid of and disavowed. I just want to make it absolutely clear, I abhor slavery. Slavery was a terrible part of our nation's history. It is good that we no longer have slavery. And under no circumstances would any child be better off growing up under slavery. But that isn't what I signed. That isn't what I believe. What I signed was a statement that affirms marriage as an important part of our nation. And I agree with that. I think that marriage is very important. It is the fundamental unit of our government. And I think it is important that we do uphold marriage and also the family. Because marriage is a very important institution. My parents were divorced when I was a young teenager and I was raised by a single mother after that. So, I understand the difficulties that families have. I understand single parenting. But I also think it is important wherever we can to uphold marriage.

HANNITY: All right. Let me go where we are with the debt ceiling battle right now. And there's a lot going on. We'll show in the next segment, the president I think, trying to scare seniors with a falsehood about Social Security and payments not being made.

But I want to go back because the president, whenever he gets into these tight moments and he wants something, there's a lot of fear-mongering. Let me give you an example. I want to play for you, these are the president's own words, when he was trying to get his stimulus passed, scaring people.


PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: We have tried that strategy time and time again. And it has only helped lead us to the crisis we face right now.

If there is anyone out there who still doesn't believe this constitutes a full blown crisis --

I can tell you with complete confidence that a failure to act will only deepen this crisis. Those are deficits that could turn a crisis into a catastrophe and I refuse to let that happen.

We are going through the worst economic crisis since the great depression.

The credit crisis is real.

We averted catastrophe bypassing the TARP legislation.


HANNITY: All right. You hear the fear-mongering. And he got a stimulus passed. He got his budget passed. He's, you know, given us the highest debt and deficits of any president in history. Now he's trying to use the same fear tactics as it relates to forcing Republicans to capitulate, raise taxes, go along with, I don't even know what his plan is, on the issue of the debt ceiling. The very thing he opposed for President Bush.

Do we have to expose this? And where do you stand? Do you support cut, cap and balance? What do you need -- are you going to sign that pledge that a lot of presidential candidates are signing?

BACHMANN: You know, there's a lot of things that you just brought up. First of all, President Obama when he was running for the presidency said it was a failure of leadership to even have the discussion on raising the debt ceiling. President Obama voted no on raising the debt ceiling when he was running for president.

Now, he's trying to scare people, as you said, into thinking that if we don't raise the debt ceiling by two-and-a-half trillion dollars that will default on the debt, that's absolutely not true. We have more revenue coming in all the time. And we can simply pay- off the interest on our debt. There's no need to default.

HANNITY: Will you sign that pledge, cut, cap, and balance?

BACHMANN: I'm going to South Carolina this week. I'm talking to Jim DeMint about it. I'm very proud of what he's doing. I wanted to go a little further because I also think it needs to defund Obamacare. I will tell you, this debt ceiling should not be raised and the current programs that we're looking at. I don't believe for a minute that these politicians right now have any sense of doing the serious cuts. Cut, cap and balance is the right direction.

HANNITY: All right. Congresswoman, always appreciate your time. Thanks for being with us. And congratulations on your poll numbers.

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