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Bachmann hit 14 national media outlets in the last seven days

The Minnesota Independent December 13, 2010

A study last year by the Humphrey Institute at the University of Minnesota found that Rep. Michele Bachmann appeared on cable news programs every nine days on average. Last week, she shattered those expectations by appearing on a cable news program at least once a day from Tuesday through Saturday making 14 national television or radio appearances.

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12.13.10 Minnesota Independent Humphrey Institute.pdf

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A study last year by the Humphrey Institute at the University of Minnesota found that Rep. Michele Bachmann appeared on cable news programs every nine days on average. Last week, she shattered those expectations by appearing on a cable news program at least once a day from Tuesday through Saturday making 14 national television or radio appearances.

Last week, Bachmann hired communications director Doug Sachtleben, a former spokesperson for the U.S. Senate campaign of Christine ("I am not a witch") O'Donnell. That brings Bachmann's communications staff to three people. Among what must have kept that staff busy last week: Six Fox News appearances. For comparison, Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who is preparing to promote his memoirs in anticipation of a presidential bid, did four national media interviews last week.

On Monday, Dec. 6, Bachmann appeared on Sean Hannity's radio show to denounce any extension of unemployment benefits.

"When you overspend you lose options," she said. "We're at a crucial tipping point and we can't add an additional year of unemployment benefits because we need to put our economy on a footing where we can see real job creation."

Tuesday brought Bachmann's call for the defunding of Planned Parenthood to CNS News.

The same day, Bachmann was on Fox's America Live with Megyn Kelly. "Extending the unemployment benefits for 13 months has a cost of about $54 billion dollars... It doesn't appear that that is paid for," she said. "That will add to the deficit going forward."

Also on Tuesday, the 6th District Republican was on the Mark Levin radio show where she said President Obama lied in his press conference about the tax cut plan earlier that day.

"And he said that Republicans oppose various credits for the middle class. Those are flat out lies! And then he said that it is our 'holy grail' to be able to stand for tax cuts for the wealthy. So he is continually setting up 'Marxist economics.'"

On Wednesday, as a guest on the Laura Ingraham radio show, Bachmann again criticized President Obama's press conference, calling him "angry and bitter."

"He made one false statement after another in this press conference," she said. "He's making thee wild unbased statements. He's such a promoter of class warfare. I don't think he did himself any favors with that press conference yesterday."

On tax cuts for the wealthy and middle class, she said, "No one is getting a tax cut. This is preventing tax increases."

Also on Wednesday, Bachmann was on Fox Business' Bulls and Bears to again talk about the president's tax cut plan.

She said she opposes the part of the plan to cut employees portion of the payroll tax saying it will cost Social Security $140 billion: "We are going to blow open in the Social Security trust fund."

On whether she would vote for the tax-cut plan: "I haven't made a final decision."

Host Liz Claman pressed Bachmann on the GOP's apparent about-face on tax cuts. "It's stunning to see that Republicans who had pushed so hard for this now say, 'Okay, maybe not,'" she said. "Do you guys even know what you want?"

Bachmann replied, "Our position has been we don't want the massive tax increases that President Obama has been advocating."

Bachmann departed a bit from talking tax cuts on Thursday, when she appeared on Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network to promote her new classes on the Constitution, which will include controversial guest lecturers like David Barton.

"The Judeo-Christian heritage isn't a belief," she said. "It's a fact of our nation's history. It's a fact...One thing we know from the Book of Isaiah is that Isaiah tells us that the government is on His shoulders. We can trust a holy, almighty God with our future and nothing is too big for Him."

On Friday, Bachmann spoke with Fox News Live about the tax cut plan: "It's interesting when people are allowed to keep their money that's considered a deficit to government, because it's less money for government. But it's people keeping their own money which gets circulated in the economy. We want people to keep more of their own money."

CNN's American Morning also hosted Bachmann on Friday to talk about tax cuts. CNN host John Roberts challenged Bachmann about her opposition to unemployment benefits because they increase the deficit and her support for the Bush tax cuts which would have the same effect.

"Part of the reason it increases the deficit is because you are maintaining those marginal tax rates for all income levels," Roberts said. Bachmann replied that she wants a change to the definition of "deficit."

"Remember the definition... it's a deficit to government but it's not a deficit to people who get to keep their money," she said. "So it's how you frame it."

She said, "I don't think letting people keep their own money should be a deficit. You are right about that John it is to the government but think about what else we could do right now: cut spending."

Meredith Viera of the Today Show was even more direct in her criticism of Bachmann's shifting definitions on Friday, and Bachmann's opposition to unemployment benefits; that conversation got tense.

VIEIRA: But how, how do you justify adding more money to the deficit? That much more?

BACHMANN: Well remember that money is, is, when people are allowed to keep their own money, that's considered a deficit. I don't, I don't agree with that definition. When people keep their own money, that's considered a deficit to government, but it's not a deficit to your pocket or mine. And so I think it's important that people can keep their money.

VIEIRA: Let me ask you about people who might be sitting there, watching this interview and they're frustrated because they feel while the Republican-

BACHMANN: I don't blame them.

VIEIRA: Well wait a minute! They feel the Republicans, they're all for these tax cuts, even for multimillionaires but opposed to extending the unemployment benefits that are helping the people who are hurting the most. To them, this is mean spirited. Why are they wrong?

BACHMANN: But we're not talking about millionaires sitting in leather chairs lighting their cigars with $100 bills. We're talking about a carpet layer in Sheboygan, Wisconsin who employs his brother-in-law and his son. And they have $250,000 in gross sales. That's what we're talking about. Real people who aren't living large.

VIEIRA: Well you're talking about everybody. That and also people who are living large.

BACHMANN: But we're talking about everyone and what, and remember those people who are the job providers, those are the people that won't be able to provide more jobs. That's what people want right now. They want jobs, they want paychecks. That's the focus.

VIEIRA: But they also want their unemployment benefits Congresswoman. They also want that and you're opposed to that.

BACHMANN: People want a paycheck, they want paychecks more than they want unemployment benefits. Right now unemployment is-

VIEIRA: If they don't have a job they want unemployment benefits.

BACHMANN: That's, that's right and that's what we want. We want people to have jobs. Right now it's historic. People have unemployment benefits for two years. It isn't just unemployment. It's also food stamps it's also housing assistance. It's also all the other programs that go along with it. So the best thing we can do is grow the economy and to do that we need to keep rates low enough so that employers can hire more people.

On Friday, Bachmann also hit up the studio of Lou Dobbs for an impromptu interview about her Constitution classes.

"We are going to do what the NFL does and what the baseball teams do we are going to practice every week, if you will, our craft," she said. "Justice Scalia has graciously agreed to kick off our class."

In yet another interview on Friday, Bachmann appeared on Fox Business' Freedom Watch to talk about the president's tax cut plan. She said the Democrats will reject Obama's plan because it does not increase taxes enough.

"They think that the tax compromise bill did not tax people enough," she said. "That's the bottom line. They want people taxed more than what Barack Obama has in this bill."

In still another interview on Friday, Bachmann joined Gretchen Carlson for Fox's Klimeade and Friends radio show, and on Saturday she was a guest on Fox's Geraldo At Large.

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