The 8 Most Outlandish Moments Of Michele Bachmann’s Time In Congress

Written by Annie-Rose Strasser

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) announced late Tuesday night, in a recorded video spot, that she will not be seeking reelection in 2014. Bachmann, a Tea Party standard-bearer, has been under Congressional investigation for misuse of funds during her failed 2012 presidential bid, but insisted in her video, “This decision was not impacted in any way by the recent inquiries into my former presidential campaign… compliance with all rules and regulations was an absolute necessity for my presidential campaign, and I have no reason to believe that that was not the case.”

“The law limits anyone from serving as president of the United States for more than eight years,” Bachmann added, in a clear effort to appeal to her nationwide Tea Party following.

Bachmann leaves behind one of the most politically heated Congressional careers in recent memory. Her stances on major issues — and the initiatives she has pushed throughout her eight years — have been dangerous and insensitive. Here is a look back at some of Bachmann’s most controversial moments:

1. Bachmann peddled a dangerous anti-vaccine conspiracy. Bachmann pushed the disproved theory that the vaccine for HPV — which prevents cervical cancer — can cause mental retardation. That misinformation has had a wide and lasting impact: Vaccination rates are still remarkably low, and experts blame figureheads like Bachmann who communicated misleading information to the public.

2. Bachmann called being gay ‘personal enslavement.’ On the issue of LGBT rights, Bachmann has a long record of either mocking gay and trans (like when she said she’d mistaken ex-gay therapy for anti-aging therapy, ‘pray away the grey‘). But when she isn’t mocking sexual orientation, she has treated it more like a mental disorder. Famously, Bachmann once said, “It’s a very sad life. It’s part of Satan, I think, to say this is gay. It’s anything but gay. [...] Because if you’re involved in the gay and lesbian lifestyle, it’s bondage. Personal bondage, personal despair, and personal enslavement. And that’s why this is so dangerous.”

3. Bachmann considers climate climate change ‘a hoax.’ While experts warn that global climate change is already set to have a lasting impact on our environment, Bachmann calls climate change “all voodoo, nonsense, hokum, a hoax.” She also cast doubt on the entire field of climate science. At a town hall in her district, Bachmann informed constituents that climate science is not “real science” but “manufactured science.”

4. Bachmann led an Islamophobic witch hunt. Last year, Bachmann sought to “expose” members of the Muslim Brotherhood within the U.S. government. The totally unfounded witch hunt was essentially Bachmann’s personal indictment of one of then-Sec. of State Hillary Clinton’s aides, Huma Abedin, but it also served to fuel anti-Muslim bigotry. Bachmann’s fellow party members came out against her, with Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) slamming her on the Senate floor for her “unwarranted and unfounded attack.”

5. Bachmann claimed Obamacare would ‘literally’ kill people. In a screed against Obamacare on the House floor, Bachmann warned that the law “literally kills women, kills children, kills senior citizens.” She also questioned, in an interview with a fringe website that peddles conspiracy theories, whether Obamacare would allow the IRS to “deny or delay access to health care” for conservatives.

6. Bachmann told the American people that Iran had plans to nuke the U.S. During a presidential debate on the issue of national security, Bachmann falsely claimed that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had laid out plans to bomb the United States with a nuclear weapon.

7. Bachmann called on the American media to investigate ‘anti-American’ politicians. Bachmann’s first witch hunt of her career was against her own colleagues in Congress. In 2008, Bachmann told MSNBC’s Chris Matthews that she hoped the media would investigate Democratic members of Congress, including Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV). “I wish the American media would take a great look at the views of the people in Congress,” she said, “and find out, are they pro-America or anti-America?”

8. Bachmann wanted to ban all porn. As part of her crusade for conservative values, Bachmann has pushed to ban “all forms of pornography.” This is actually contradictory to the Tea Party’s focus on the constitution, given the fact that pornography clearly falls within First Amendment right to freedom of expression.

There’s no definitive word yet on what Bachmann will do next, but she closed out her video announcement with a promise to remain involved in politics. “Looking forward, after the completion of my term, my future is full, it is limitless, and my passions for America will remain,” she said.

This post was originally published by ThinkProgress.


Photo: Gage Skidmore/flickr

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Paul M.
Paul M.2 years ago

Backmann is a symptom of a much more worrying problem ... the low quality, genreally, of those who enter politics.

"The United States was founded by the brightest people in the country — and we haven't seen them since.” Gore Vidal

Danuta Watola
Danuta Watola2 years ago

Thank you for sharing

Dennis D.
Dennis D.2 years ago

Steve W. Few politicians have ever been so consistently so far off the deep end that one stops to ask. How does this operate and how did this politician ever get elected in the first place.

Almost any other politician has enough sense to look abashed at making a faux paux. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) on the other hand not only does not look apologetic then she comes out with her nutty comments, but stands by them. Regardless of whether it has any relation to reality.

Even former Sen. Ron Paul had sense enough to know when he made a fool of himself and to at least look embarrassed.

Rep. Bachmann on the other hand does not seem to have enough sense to get out of the rain. She just keeps on talking even louder and up the ante on the stupid. It makes her look like a bad caricature. Because no matter what tin hat conspiracy theory she is espousing or what nonsensical fool thing that drops out if her mouth. She willingly owns it all. Making it clear she believes and hold these opinion as being real.

If nothing else she proves two things. What killed vaudeville and Hollywood could only wish Will Ferrell go do such a character in a movie so believably well.

Steve W.
Steven W.2 years ago

How about the Democrat congressman that believes the island of Guam may tip over/capsize if too many people are on it? Or the Democratic Presidential Contender who said he had been to "all 57 states"? Or the Democratic congresswoman who said "we don't know what is in this bill, but we have to pass it so we can find out"? Or the Republican congressman that stated during rape, a woman's body shuts down so she can't get pregnant? Stupid is as stupid does. Politicians are well known for horrendously funny statements through out their careers.

janice b.
jan b.2 years ago

John ---if anyone else has made some foolish comments....they aren't so consistently stupid about it....and besides they didn't MEAN it .....BUT Bachmann REALLY means what she says that's the difference.

janice b.
jan b.2 years ago

Some other republican will take her place. Some might say it will be Ted Cruz who has some pretty crazy ideas.

john hall
john hall2 years ago

Just remember this while your making fun of Michele Bachmann which after reading this artical was pretty funny you on the left have your own goofy women . Yoy have Pelosi,Fienstein and several other's who match up pretty well with Bachmann and have said some really funny and stupid comments . It make;'s me wonder mo matter what party you belong to is this the best we can get to represent the people.

Sylvia M.
Sylvia M.2 years ago

Maybe she'll move to one of those gated community places and become the President of the Home Owners Association and drive around in a little golf cart and issue tickets to people who have the wrong color flowers out front, or too big a vehicle in the driveway, etc. Dictator on a smaller scale. Adios, Michele.

paul m.
paul m.2 years ago

I blame the people who put her into office ,,,,

Magdika Cecilia Perez

thank you