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A Fired-Up Michele Bachmann Tells CPAC: 'Let's Roll!'

3 years ago
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In a classic "rally the base" speech for the opening of the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) embraced the role of tea party cheerleader to prepare the 11,000 loyalists listening for their march to the 2012 elections.

Armed with statistics about conservative victories in 2010 and America's national debt, she fulfilled the obligation of any good opening keynote speaker by firing up the attendees and stoking their enthusiasm for the big political "ask" at the end.

After spoofing her own camera malfunction moment in her response to President Obama's State of the Union address, Bachmann got to work, whipping the conservative crowd into a frenzy with a speech focused on the expected talking points.

Like all good conservative whip-the-troops-into-a-frenzy speeches, Bachmann invoked the red meat buzz words and phrases that have become part of the conservative vocabulary -- Obamacare, socialism, cap and trade, and endless liberal taxation.

There was the obligatory bashing of the Democratic leadership, the call for taking back the Senate and the White House, and an invoking of the image that those at the conference are a conservative family that must band together for their "triple crown" of common goals -- fiscal conservatism, national security and socially conservative values.

One of the most interesting aspects of her speech, though, was what Bachmann had to say about precisely who she wanted to see win the Senate in 2012. She was very clear that in her book a Republican victory won't be enough -- only a takeover led by conservatives would be sufficient to move the country forward in the image that CPAC-ers want.

It was clear that Bachmann was still struggling with her some of her facts. She spent several minutes discussing the national debt, explaining the difference between billions and trillions, claiming that since 2006 it has been the Democratic Congress that was at fault for the ballooning of the deficit. She conveniently left out of her remarks that one of the biggest contributors to the deficit were the major tax cuts in the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006, signed by George W. Bush.

Bachmann made sure to sprinkle a certain amount of humor into her speech for the younger conservatives. In a nod to the college-age crowd present, she invited all 11,000 attendees for drinks on her (one drink limit, please!) and channeled her inner Wayne Campbell by telling them they should "party hearty." And sounding the alarm about the growing U.S. debt to China, she reminded her audience that China's president is named Hu, and then saying to President Obama, "Hu's your daddy."

In an emotional moment, Bachmann told the crowd that her mission to turn the country into a more conservative one is something she thinks about from the moment she awakes in the morning. And I believed her, as she declared that America is an "indispensable nation" fighting against socialism and "egregious moral wrongs."

As she ended her speech with the now-famous phrase "Let's Roll!" -- meant to remind everyone of the sacrifice of those on the plane that went down in a Pennsylvania field on 9/11 after passengers tried to overpower the hijackers -- it was clear that CPAC organizers chose the right person for their keynote speech. And if I were Sarah Palin (the CPAC no-show), I'd be thinking about buying a ticket to Washington before the conference closes.

You can follow Joanne Bamberger on Twitter and Facebook.

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17 Comments

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stevegeryk

She was the rallying cheerleader, the great keynote speaker......but she got her facts wrong. As far as I am concerned the facts are important, unless our desire is to leave the big decisions up to those who don't know the facts. Does anyone else think we have a problem?

February 16 2011 at 4:41 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
mrdeezyfresh

Honestly, she makes me embarrassed to be from Minnesota. I mean God forbid anyone does anything to help the people of this country if it doesn't directly benefit them, financially or politically. By throwing words out there (like Socialism and Obamacare) that sound big and scary and, by telling people that the government wants control every aspect of your life, is retarding (Definition of RETARD transitive verb
1: to slow up especially by preventing or hindering advance or accomplishment:impede (http://www.merriam-webster.com)) this country. It really is. I wish these politicians (Left and right) would just stop all of this negative rhetoric and finger pointing and work together to make America the greatest country in the world again!

February 16 2011 at 12:35 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
pmbalele

Michele Bachmann is another Sarah Palin. Sarah and Michele lack history and fact background. These two should go back to study 111 History.

February 13 2011 at 3:10 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
k6cxv

A good well written piece Joanne, But the one line equating or at least associating GWB with conservatism when he passed that prescription drug entitlement was as progressive as they get, and a long way from conservatism.

February 10 2011 at 8:52 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
fpfp040408

She is going to over shadow Palin. Palin is nothing compared to her.

February 10 2011 at 6:41 PM Report abuse +7 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to fpfp040408's comment
stevegeryk

Identifying and understanding are 2 different things. Maybe her staff she be doing more reseach so she will stop getting the facts wrong. Or maybe she knows the fact sbut would prefer to lie, as it fits her agenda better.

February 16 2011 at 4:45 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
cortney1234

So... given the posts here.. Our government is running fine and has not problems with over spending.

There are alot of people who would be for across the board spending cuts... We don't have a problem with undertaxing... we have a problem with overspending.

February 10 2011 at 5:39 PM Report abuse -10 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to cortney1234's comment
slock84455

Reagan raised taxes 9 times. He tripled the size of government and left the largest deficit ever. This was larger than the last 80 budgets combined!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

February 13 2011 at 9:18 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Rogell

This Congresswoman has a deep penchant for overloading her mouth, and more recently her ill-advised rhetoric to cut benefits was directed to veterans. Well, guess what? She's not fond of me, but then I'm not fond of her either so we're even. For her to be an attorney, she's sorely lacking. Most attorneys' I know, are keenly familiar with the historical events of our Constitution. Moreover, she had to take an oath of office before becoming a member of Congress yet she has an extremely poor account of historical events leading up to the Constitutioin, and that's sad - sad for me and sad for her Minnesota constituents.

February 10 2011 at 5:18 PM Report abuse +15 rate up rate down Reply
Mike

I always love how these Tea Party Republicans talk about small government, but seem to think it's okay for government to set a social agenda.

February 10 2011 at 5:11 PM Report abuse +13 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Mike's comment
cortney1234

Wow... I think i missed the part where she said she was for socialism...Please point that out for all of us.

February 10 2011 at 5:43 PM Report abuse -9 rate up rate down Reply
gpfs

I don't know much about her, except she is the only Congress person, who with her staff has gone thru the budget and identified $432 billion of cuts for discussion. If every person in Congress did that, we would be amazed at the cuts that they could actually agree on.

February 10 2011 at 1:41 PM Report abuse -13 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to gpfs's comment
El Presidente

Her plans included a proposed $4.5 billion cut in veterans' benefits. She only backed off when several vets' groups turned the spotlight on her little scheme to turn our soldiers' small rewards into personal political capital. As a veteran, rest assured I will never turn my back on this woman.

February 10 2011 at 3:35 PM Report abuse +25 rate up rate down Reply
Anne

I think its time the Republicans roll over Miss Bachmann. Isn't she the one who called for an invistagation of members of Congress and in a raving statement on "Hard Ball" acted like the head of the Nazi Party. Now the Republicans should put a stop to this out of control member of their party. I wouldn't even call her a Ms she is way out of touch....

February 10 2011 at 1:26 PM Report abuse +16 rate up rate down Reply

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