Bachmann’s Tea Party Response Wages GOP Wars of Past Two Years

Posted January 25, 2011 at 11:03pm

Rep. Michele Bachmann delivered an “official” tea party response to the State of the Union address that was long on past recriminations but lacked policy proposals that make up traditional rebuttals.

In an unusual, televised rebuttal at the National Press Club in Washington that featured electronic charts and other props, the Minnesota Republican largely presented a summary of the same attacks Republicans have used on President Barack Obama over the past two years.

On the amount of federal spending, for instance, Bachmann said: “The White House promised us that all the spending would keep unemployment under 8 percent. Not only did that plan fail to deliver, but within three months the national jobless rate spiked to 9.4 percent. And sadly, it hasn’t been lower for 20 straight months. While the government grew, we lost more than 2 million jobs.

“Instead of a leaner, smarter government, we bought a bureaucracy that tells us which light bulbs to buy, and which will put 16,500 IRS agents in charge of policing President Obama’s health care bill,” she added.

On health care, Bachmann also kept her remarks limited to attacks on past political battles. “Unless we fully repeal Obamacare, a nation that currently enjoys the world’s best health care may be forced to rely on government-run coverage that will have a devastating impact on our national debt for generations to come,” she said.

Indeed, one of her only references to Tuesday’s State of the Union speech came as part of Bachmann’s summation of her indictment of Obama’s first two years in office. “For two years President Obama made promises just like the ones we heard him make tonight,” Bachmann said. “Yet still we have high unemployment, devalued housing prices, and the cost of gasoline is skyrocketing.”

Bachmann did make a handful of policy proposals, although they stuck closely to the standard GOP talking points, including barring the Environmental Protection Agency from creating a carbon trading system, passing a balanced budget amendment and adopting the party’s all-of-the-above energy platform, which includes developing alternative energy sources, “clean” coal, and American oil and natural gas resources.

And although Bachmann largely avoided making any controversial statements, her skills as a bombastic orator were on full display when she declared, “The creation of this nation was a miracle” and likened the current debt crisis to World War II.

“The perilous battle that was fought in the Pacific, at Iwo Jima, was a battle against all odds, and yet the image of the young GIs in the incursion against the Japanese immortalizes their victory. These six young men raising the flag came to symbolize all of America coming together to beat back a totalitarian aggressor,” Bachmann said.

“Our current debt crisis we face today is different, but we still need all of us to pull together. We can do this,” she added.