ANKENY – GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann said Tuesday that President Barack Obama has a serious spending problem and it’s time to cut him off.
Bachmann reiterated her stand that she will not vote to raise the national debt ceiling, but she advocated a temporary fix that would pay the interest on the debt and military salaries as a way to stave off an economically risky U.S. default scenario as an alternative to plans being pushed in Washington that potentially could raise the ceiling to $16.7 trillion.
During a news conference outside an Ankeny restaurant, Bachmann, 55, a three-term Minnesota congresswoman and tea party movement activist, criticized Obama’s handling of the nation’s debt problem and indicated she also would not support fellow Republican House Speaker John Boehner’s plan to increase the federal borrowing authority — emergency legislation pending in the House to avert a threatened national default that the White House has threatened to veto.
“This Republican will not vote to raise the debt ceiling. I will not do that. My colleagues will have to make their own conclusions,” she told reporters, noting that she has never voted to increase the nation’s debt load and that Obama also voted against raising the debt ceiling when he was a U.S. senator.
Bachmann criticized Obama’s characterization of the nation’s $14.3 trillion debt as “a little credit card debt,” saying the Iowans and other Americans she has encountered on the campaign trail want Washington politicians to fix the problem by cutting spending without raising taxes. She said Obama’s proposed “balanced” approach uses focus group-tested “code” words that would mean more spending and higher taxes and Americans are not fooled.
“The president wants a $2.4 trillion license to keep spending money and borrowing money that we don’t have. The president has a serious spending problem,” she said.
Bachmann said negotiators from both political parties who are trying to beat an Aug. 2 deadline to raise the debt limit or face national default are starting from the wrong premise that the ceiling has to be increased when “what we need is a fundamental restructuring of our economy. That is not happening.”
“We’ve seen this movie play out before. We’re promised cuts and they’re never realized. The tax increases are always real, but the spending cuts are never real. They’re elusory,” said Bachmann, who advocated cuts in federal spending and tax rates on “job creators,” a repeal of the “Obamacare” overhaul of the health care system and a federal balanced budget amendment as solutions for turning around the nation’s economic fortunes.
Bachmann’s message resonated with Norma Righi and Sharon Meredith, two Ankeny women who applauded her stance and said they planned to support her in the crucial Aug. 13 Iowa GOP straw poll in Ames.
“She understands the problem we have. Men don’t seem to be able to get the drift of us being in debt and how to solve it. Women do,” said Righi, who shook Bachmann’s hand and had her autograph a book.
“I think she’s a special woman,” added Meredith. “I think she’s got courage and strength and conviction, and that’s what we need. She does understand the problem and she does want to help this country. That’s what we want. We don’t want people who are in there for self-aggrandizement. We want people who want to restore our country.”
Meredith said she suspected Obama wants more federal spending authority to have money “to dole out to his cronies in the next campaign – we’re not that stupid.”
Comments: (515) 243-7220; firstname.lastname@example.org