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Rep. Michele Bachmann Raps First Lady Over Breastfeeding Crusade

4 years ago
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Accusing the first lady of trying to create a "nanny state," Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) came down on Michelle Obama for her crusade to make it easier for women to breastfeed.

In an interview Tuesday with conservative radio host Laura Ingraham, Bachmann slammed the first lady's push to get mothers to breastfeed their children as a way to reduce childhood obesity, saying it amounted to too much government intervention.

As Politics Daily's Lynn Sweet reported, Michelle Obama will speak out to remove barriers to breastfeeding, following a recent White House push for relaxed workplace rules and an Internal Revenue Service ruling that breast pumps and other nursing supplies are eligible for tax breaks.

"I've given birth to five babies and I breast-fed every single one," Bachmann told Ingraham. "To think that government has to go out and buy my breast pump...That's the new definition of a nanny state."

Bachmann, a tea party favorite and potential presidential candidate in 2012, said Michelle Obama believes "government is the answer to every problem" and her agenda is "very consistent with where the hard left is coming from."

The first lady said last week that babies who are breastfed longer have a lower tendency to grow up fat, and that it just makes sense to promote breastfeeding as part of her "Let's Move" campaign against childhood obesity.

"Breastfeeding is a very personal choice for every woman," Kristina Schake, Mrs. Obama's communications chief, told Politics Daily. "We are trying to make it easier for those who choose to do it."

Ingraham asked whether Bachmann believed Michelle Obama might take a page from Hillary Clinton and run for Senate someday.

"She might," Bachmann said. "Can you imagine if Laura Bush was doing that, out trying to pass her legislation? I think the media would have been after her."

Bachmann, a third-term congresswoman, made national headlines last year for her sharp criticisms of the White House and her embrace of the tea party. She went on to form a tea party caucus on Capitol Hill.

Bachmann's comments Tuesday were reminiscent of another high-profile conservative woman with possible presidential aspirations. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin took aim late last year at the "Let's Move" campaign.

Palin, also on Laura Ingraham's radio show, said in December that the first lady's fight against obesity in children reflected "government thinking that they need to take over and make decisions for us according to some politician or politician's wife's priorities."

Palin criticized the first lady's call for the nation's food makers to produce and market healthier products.

"She is on this kick, right? What she is telling us is she cannot trust parents to make decisions for their own children, for their own families in what we should eat," Palin said.

For her part, Michelle Obama said last March that she doesn't want to demonize junk food and rejected as "extreme" criticism that she wanted the government to put warning labels on foods contributing to obesity.

At a forum on obesity, the first lady said she wanted to parents to have "information about what's in the Twinkie and how much of this we can eat."

Filed Under: Michelle Obama, Tea Party

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billn boston

Where are the JOBS, Michelle?
The election was about Jobs, what are you doing?
You were elected, Mrs. Obama was not.
Jobs, Rep. Bachmann, don't worry about the First Lady.
How about something that we can measure your performance, instead of your constant complaining?
By the way, Michelle, the guys who wrote the constitution, were Slave Owners. Look it up.

February 16 2011 at 4:14 PM

Michele Bachman continues to stick her foot in her mouth inappropriately. If this is the best the Republican party can do to represent leadership, I am joining the Democratic party.

February 16 2011 at 4:12 PM

Wow, so suggestions are now mandates accrding to the fringe radicals of America!?... Ms. Bachmann, you seriously need to get a clue and remember just why you have that job. (besides getting lucky so many misinformed folks voted for you.)Your job is to suggest things that make this nation stronger, healthier, wealthier and more united, not mnake ignorant rants about common sense things which many folks would gladly do if they had the time and wages and JOBS to feel secure enough to take that extra time. many would need to actually spend that personal time with their babies. But all the extremists and the haters of all thing NOT rightwing.... make a calm and reasonable life seem decades away from today.

February 16 2011 at 4:10 PM

IF Bachmann possessed any awareness of American history she would know that First Ladies commonly undertake efforts such as the current First Lady's. Her cooments in this regard are ignorant, rude, petty and completely consistent with her ongoing campaign to keep her way overly made up face in the public view. The coverage of her daily remarks really should consist of "Bachmann said more ignorant and/or hateful things today..."

February 16 2011 at 4:10 PM

I can tell you right now breast feeding has nothing to do with obesity in later life. A person's lifestyle after they are old enough to make their own decisions determine if they will stay lean or overly portly. You are what you eat, and breastfeeding is not for every mother and certainly doesn't determine if you will be obese or not. If that were true there wouldn't have been a generation of obese people 100 years ago. Aak Abe Lincoln! :)))))

February 16 2011 at 4:10 PM

Sadly, Michelle Obama is correct, too many parents do not make the healthier choices for their children. There are too many obese children in this country, and they will grow up to be obese adults with diseases such as disbetes and heart disease inevitably.

I wish she had the power to do away with sodas and most unhealthy fast foods that are not only sold in restaurants but in our grocery stores as well.

February 16 2011 at 4:09 PM

I wonder how long we will have to endure these screeching tea-baggers who can't even come up with an original thought. Please find another phrase, "nanny-state" is already a stupid cliche parroted by those with no creativity.

February 16 2011 at 4:06 PM


February 16 2011 at 4:06 PM

There is a point fast approaching when people realize the Michelle Bachman and her ilk offer nothing constructive to America. They criticize merely for the sake of opposition, no matter what the subject, while offering no concrete ideas of their own. I'm still waiting for the new Congress to make jobs their priority, maybe after they restrict abortion, reinstate DADT, and toss millions off of health insurance.

February 16 2011 at 4:04 PM +1
Keith and Lois

It's like she is just waiting for something to be critical of so she can get her 15 minutes of fame. How about just taking care of the critical issues of her state instead of trying get a attention for her political ambitions. She realizes she can't get as much attention agreeing with anything out of the white house so lets find something and be critical of to draw the attention of the nation to her. How sad. Is it any wonder why politicians are looked at in a disgustiong manner.

February 16 2011 at 4:03 PM +3

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