Michele Bachmann Sets Timetable for Presidential Decision

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," March 31, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: My next guest hasn't officially thrown her hat in the 2012 presidential race yet, but with several reason trips to early primary states, she certainly appears to be leaning in that direction. And a final decision could be mere months away.

In the meantime, she is staying busy in Washington fighting to keep the government from shutting down in just eight days. And I sat down earlier with Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann to get her reaction to the countdown to the shutdown plus more on her possible presidential plans.

Let's take a look.


HANNITY: Congresswoman, welcome back. Good to see you.

REP. MICHELE BACHMANN, R-MINN.: Sean, good to see you again too. Thank you.

HANNITY: All right. So, this is getting serious. You're contemplating a run for the presidency. Probably had some good reaction when you were in Iowa. What is the status?

BACHMANN: We had a great reaction when I was in Iowa. I met with a lot of people from different walks of life. Just a tremendous response, and we has said that if I do make a decision to throw my hat in, we'll make it probably in early summer because in Iowa the straw poll is in August and there needs to be a little bit a lead time to get ready for something like that. So, if I do decide to jump in, it will be in early summer.

HANNITY: What are the considerations that are running through your mind right now? Obviously, it's a big decision. But are you looking at the other candidates? Do you want to see who gets in? Are there one, two or three people that if they get in, maybe you will say OK, I'm content that there are good people in the race?

BACHMANN: It really isn't about other people or what their decision will be. Because I already think that there are a lot of great people out there. What I'm looking at is whether or not I think this is the right thing that I need to do with the message that I'm bringing forth. And whether the people that are in Iowa and other states see me as someone that they want to get behind and support.

HANNITY: All right. Steny Hoyer said earlier this week that the odds of a government shutdown now are increasing. There are articles how Democrats are trying to calculate how to best benefit from a government shutdown. There was this conference call with Senator Schumer and reporters, he didn't know he was being recorded and listened to. And I want to play to you what he said and I want to get your reaction.



SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER, D-N.Y.: The main thrust is basically that we want to negotiate and we want to come up with a compromise but the Tea Party is pulling Boehner to far over to the right, and so far over that they're not -- there's no more fruitful negotiations. And the subtext at this is the only way we can avoid to shutdown is for Boehner to come up with the reasonable compromise and not just listen to what the Tea Party wants. Because the Tea Party wants to stick to HR1, with its draconian extreme, I always use the word extreme, that's what the caucus instructed me to do the other week, extreme cuts and all these riders. And Boehner's in a box.


HANNITY: All right. So, he's instructing his fellow Democratic senators, these are what you say to reporters, use the word extreme, tie Boehner to the Tea Party, they are not reasonable, they've got to extricate themselves somehow from the Tea Party Movement. First of all, I think this is a strategy that we are going to see a lot of in the next few years. So, it's very revealing, but what are your thoughts when you hear that?

BACHMANN: Well, I think it is clear that Chuck Schumer and the liberals that he's surrounded with are seeing this more as a play, and as a political move. That's not how we are seeing this, the conservatives in Congress.

This is real. This is people's lives. And Sean, if there is anything that I've seen especially in this last week, people feel a sense of urgency. They want the country to work again. It is not working. And Chuck Schumer is talking about political advantage for liberals. That is not what conservatives want. We want to cut spending. And we also want to defund Obamacare. So, we are trying to figure out a way that we can get to yes. We're trying to work on behalf of the American people and actually get something done that they want us to do. And unfortunately, Chuck Schumer and the liberals are just trying to make political points.

HANNITY: You know, if anything, it is interesting. Because it seems with the two previous continuing resolutions, and the Republicans did extracted, I think it was $10 billion in cuts -- that you wanted more. And you and Mike Pence are saying, look, we are headed for a showdown, we might as well pick this fight now, because the type of cuts were needed, the Democrats were saying, they might agree with $20 billion more in cuts. But the reality is, if you have a $3.7 trillion budget, $1.65 trillion deficit this year, you know, $20 billion is peanuts.

So, it seems that if anything, you're trying to get the leadership to be more aggressive and fight this battle now and maybe there's been some resistance, am I reading that right?

BACHMANN: We've been working on this for some time, Congressman Steve King of Iowa, Louie Gohmert of Texas. We have been adamant about this, that it is time for the conservatives and Congress to change the arch of history. And the way that we do that as we pulled back this money that was hidden in plain sight in the Obamacare bill, you had it on your show, $105 billion, 464 million, that no one discussed prior to the vote on the bill. That needs to come back.

HANNITY: All right. So, if the Republicans want $61 billion, Democrats are only willing to give $20 billion. Republicans are promising because I interviewed Paul Ryan, that their budget is going to deal with entitlements and go back to 2008 spending levels.

So, my question is, you know, is there any movement on this where they say way, wait a minute, we need to take out the prefunding of Obamacare as well as the $61 billion. Is anyone in the leadership saying that is a good idea?

BACHMANN: That is a discussion that's going on here at the Capitol right now and I think that it is a very fruitful discussion. We heard from Chuck Schumer, they aren't planning on negotiating at all. In other words, they want what they want, they aren't planning on moving off of square one.

Why should the conservatives constantly be givin into the liberals? That happens over and over and over again. And I think that's where a lot of people across the country are saying, we sent to you Washington, D.C., to fight, now is the time to fight. I'm one of those, Steve King is one of those, Louie Gohmert is one of those. We have a lot of other members here now those agree with that. And that's what we intend to do, we intend to fight.

HANNITY: Congresswoman Bachmann. Good to see you. We'll be watching your movements in Iowa and New Hampshire and South Carolina. And I appreciate your time. Thanks for being with us.

BACHMANN: We'll stay in touch. Thanks, Sean.


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