National Press Club

Bachmann won’t support debt-limit plan that fails to revamp federal spending

July 29, 2011 | By Terry Hill |

Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann.

Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann.

Photo/Image: Sam Hurd

With the hours quickly dwindling before the U.S. House of Representatives was scheduled to vote on raising the national debt limit, Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann told a National Press Club audience on July 28 that she would oppose any effort to raise the debt ceiling that did not revamp U.S. spending policies.

“I cannot support any plan that begins with the assumption that we have to raise the debt limit and yet doesn’t offer a fundamental restructuring of governmental spending habits. I won’t do it,” said the Minnesota congresswoman, invoking the fiscal legacy of President Ronald Reagan.

“I won’t raise taxes," said Bachmann, a favorite of the tea party movement. "I will reduce spending. I won’t vote to raise the debt ceiling. And I have the titanium spine to see it through."

While embracing the principles of the House Republicans’ “cut, cap and balance” plan, she said it did not go far enough to meaningfully alter “the way this city spends the American people’s money.”

Forty percent of the cuts in Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s plan to raise the debt limit, which has President Barack Obama’s support, are “completely counterfeit,” she asserted, citing the $1 trillion dollars of that amount would come from the planned troop drawdowns in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Reid’s military savings aren’t real, according to Bachmann.

“It’s almost like saying we will save trillions of dollars by promising not to invade Canada," she said. "It’s never going to happen.”

Bachmann, who said she was initially a Democrat and had voted for President Jimmy Carter, repeatedly accused Obama of failing to lead the nation.

She said he has presided over the erosion of welfare reform, vastly increased the federal budget, allowed the number of government employees to skyrocket and almost doubled the nation’s debt.

“I’m not fooled by President Obama’s math," Bachmann said. "People all across the heartland of this country are not fooled by President Obama’s math either.”

Calling the president’s new health reform law the largest spending and entitlement program ever passed in the nation’s history, she said Congress must repeal and defund the measure as part of any solution to the current national debt crisis.

Bachmann sidestepped questions from the audience about the possibility of House Speaker John Boehner being ousted and whether her husband’s clinic engages in therapy to help homosexuals change their sexual orientation.

She offered no details about her personal finances.

“I’m running for president of the United States and I have no doubt that every jot and tittle of my life will be fully looked at and inspected prior to November 2012,” she said.