Yes, she lost the second debate, too. But it was on Minnesota Public Radio, which is like National Public Radio. And the kind of voter who listens to that, already knows that Bachmann's nuts.
If any of them didn't know that, they learned it when they heard Bachmann propose "curing the diseases" as her specific proposal for containing Medicare costs. (Details below.)
It was worth listening to, just to hear Bachmann alternately evading, ignoring, misstating, and lying about facts and her positions of record. What follows is a summary, not a transcript. I don't have a full transcript to work from, so I apologize in advance for anything I misheard or got wrong. It's pretty funny, though (when it's not downright scary.)
First: it got testy in there, right away. They opened with abortion. Miller played audio of Republican candidate Richard Mourdock's comment about how pregnancies resulting from rape are "something that God intended to happen." Miller asked Michele for her thinking on that one.
"That's not at issue," said Michele said of God-intended rape pregnancies, and went into repeating that she supported the protection of life from conception to birth--same as the Catholic Church. (Michele's certainly not a Catholic, but she kept giving them as a reference on this.)
Miller asked whether Bachmann continued to support requiring women considering abortion to undergo trans-vaginal ultrasound. Bachmann said the procedure was necessary medical information and (so a pregnant woman could hear an unborn heartbeat.)
Miller asked if there were any exceptions under which abortions should be permitted. Bachmann said she would permit abortion to save the life of the mother. How about if a woman was raped?
BACHMANN: (no comment on that directly but)...my position is in line with the Catholic Church, that’s been my position for 40 years, it hasn’t changed.
(LIE: During a public meeting six years ago, Bachmann stated that she would "give you the exceptions for rape and incest" if you'd let her ban other abortions.)
Miller asked Bachmann about this "personhood" amendment to the US Constitution Bachmann was backing. The amendment would outlaw abortion, declaring that personhood exists from the moment of conception. Miller played audio of Bachmann advocating for the amendment.
MILLER: Just to be clear here though, we are talking about an amendment to the U.S. Constitution here. Declaring personhood, right? From the moment of conception.On the Minnesota Progressive Project blog, this is what we call Michele's "bizarro world hypocrisy." She has no problem telling an anti-abortion audience that she supports an amendment that would effectively ban abortion. But when she goes on MPR and is asked directly about permitting exceptions in the case of rape: well, she won't answer that one directly because she knows this audience won't go for a "no exception for rape" answer. And because she knows they're taping this; she doesn't want to get Mourdock'd.
BACHMANN: If– what — From the moment of conception declaring the personhood of an individual would again be in line with saying that I am 100 percent pro-life and I believe in the protection of human life from conception to natural death.
More "bizarro world hypocrisy:" Bachmann claims to be a conservative trying to limit the size and reach of government--but she want to expand the power of the federal government requiring American women to undergo vaginal insertion if they want an abortion. First time in US history I've heard of a call for a federal law requiring vaginal insertion--and it's coming from someone hailed as a hero by small government conservatives. Nuts, absolutely nuts.
Moderator Miller pointed out that the personhood amendment could end fertility treatments via in vitro fertilization (IVF) because embryos are involved. At first Bachmann dismissed that as a minor concern. But Miller said it wasn't, so Bachmann said maybe we could talk about waivers for these fertility treatments.
Bachmann said the main thing was to stop abortion. The IVF thing? That's an exception.
Miller said the exceptions are important, there are millions of men and women involved in IVF--
--Bachmann said it had to be part of an exception--
--Miller said, so you're supporting an exception for IVF?
...and Bachmann collapsed, said she's "not taking a position on that." And then she went straight into her five biological children and twenty-three foster children story again.
How about Graves on these issues? He said if you get women access to health care, birth control, equal pay for equal work--you eliminate reasons that women have abortion. At the end of the day, it's a woman's health issue between her, her family and her God.
Finally the abortion segment was over. And then on, it got worse for Michele.
Graves said he wouldn't vote to repeal it because he hasn't heard Republicans propose anything better.
Bachmann said she would repeal it, claiming that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) says it would eliminate 800,000 jobs. The moderator pointed out that the CBO did not say that.
Bachmann said that Obamacare was already costing Americans a $2100 to $2200 increase in their insurance premiums. The moderator asked her how it is possible to claim it's causing the rise in premiums--if the law hasn't actually gone into effect yet? We can't correlate premiums today with what they will be, eighty per cent of the law hasn't gone into effect.
Bachmann said the private health insurance companies are hiking the premiums to protect their capital in order to prepare for Obamacare.
Graves came in to say that wasn't true at all. He noted that the system was broke and that it's not enough to be against everything, we have to be for something.
Miller asked Bachmann what she would replace Obamacare with, if she got it repealed.
Bachmann went to an old stand-by she's been touting for years as "the solution:" allowing Americans to buy health insurance across state lines, anywhere in the US. (Not a solution and she knows that. Never happened, not even when Republicans were in effective control of all three branches of government. Didn't happen when the tea party congress came in, either. She knows that it's a non-starter, but continues to pretend it it's a solution.)
Her other suggestions: allow Americans to create a tax-free set-aside account to pay for health insurance. (Again: a non-starter. Doesn't actually require Americans to purchase insurance, so you end up with those millions of uninsured and the rest of us still stuck with the bill for their emergency care.)
Finally Bachmann said that we can get costs down by limiting medical malpractice lawsuits. The moderator pointed out that medical malpractice represents less than two per cent of the cost problem.
The auto industry bailout:
The moderator pointed out that Bachmann voted against it. Bachmann started talking about the Wall Street bailout instead of the GM bailout, but moderator Miller didn't allow her to duck the original question.
Miller pointed out that the auto industry bailout saved the industry and the jobs and the companies were profitable again and paying back the loans and creating even more jobs. So wasn't the auto bailout by the government a good bet?
Bachmann said we should have let those auto companies go through an "orderly process of bankruptcy." The federal government now has ownership of GM, and that's bad.
Grave mentioned TARP (the Troubled Asset Relief Program.) He said what had happened was that the biggest economy in world--the United States, an economy bigger than all of Europe and twice as big as China--went into cardiac arrest. Something had to be done, and Hank Paulsen put some really good clawbacks into TARP.
As for the auto industry bailout, Graves said that the litmus test for something like that is: what is in the best interests of the country? Graves pointed out that even major car companies that didn't get any bailout money (for example, Ford) backed the federal bailout of the auto industry--because that the industry supply lines would dry up if the auto industry failed.
Bachmann noted that she did not support her party or President Bush on the Wall Street bailout. She said she worked in a bipartisan way for two weeks to stop the Wall Street bailout.
Graves commented on that: Michele, you're great at creating headlines. But we saw Lehman Brothers go down. If we had let the entire financial sector collapse you wouldn't have even been able to use your credit card at the grocery store.
Bachmann said that she didn't agree about what the results would have been. She said she didn't believe there would have been financial Armageddon. (Christ! And she's one of the most influential people in the modern GOP!)
The Ryan budget:
Moderator Miller noted that Michele supported the Ryan budget. Miller said that the Kaiser Foundation analyzed the Ryan budget and found that one of its provisions would set a Medicare cap for seniors and--after that amount was exhausted--compel seniors to finance health care out of their own pockets.
Miller asked if Bachmann supported the Ryan budget and the details Ryan proposed. Miller asked her that at least three different times in three different ways.
But Bachmann did not want to give a straight answer. She said that she supported the free market. She said yes, you're right about the Kaiser study finding, but we sell all kinds of studies in Washington all the time. Anyway--we could support the premiums paid by seniors. (Sounds like she's supporting big government intervention in the free market, there. But don't worry about it, her word's no good for anything.)
Miller put it to Bachmann that she supported the Ryan plan and supported the principles of the Ryan plan. Bachmann finally said she voted for it.
Graves said he would not have voted for the Ryan plan; to voucherize Medicare is a bad idea. To cap it at $7500 and then say to seniors "baby, you're on your own"--that's not what we do to seniors.
Graves pointed out that the Ryan plan option to choose traditional Medicare was meaningless, since all it guaranteed was that the taxpayers would stuck with the high risk pool for care.
Bachmann suggested allowing seniors to purchase into public employee health care plans with premium support. (Again: this is big government intervention in the free markets. And again: Bachmann's word on this is worthless.)
Bachmann went on to praise a Mike Milliken (?) suggestion--that we encourage healthy habits! We have a problem with obesity, she noted.
And (this Bachmann proposal for health care reform will kill you:) Bachmann added that she was a great believer in cures for diseases! (Why didn't anybody else in the national health care debate propose that as a cost-saving solution before?)
Miller said the things Bachmann was now talking about were not specific solutions to funding Medicare. Now back to the Ryan plan--
Nope. Bachmann talked about free markets, and she said that she disagreed with Miller that cures are not an answer.
Miller said that no one disputes that cures are an answer to disease, but--
Bachmann said she had an example. A lot of money was budgeted for treatment of polio, but Jonas Salk cured it, and the costs designated for treating polio were cut. (See how it would work? Cure all the diseases, and we don't have to worry about health care costs next year. Sometimes I think Lewis Carroll is writing her copy.)
Graves proposed an actual cost-cutting measure: let's open up the bidding procedure for pharmaceuticals purchased via Medicare Part D.
Bachmann said she backed free market principles. But when you allow the government to negotiate prices--you end up paying $800,000 for an outhouse.
Moderator Miller said that Congress has voted not to allow bidding for prescription drugs. Graves asked Bachmann for a straight yes or no on the idea. Bachmann said that bidding represented price fixing.
Miller(?) asked: Doesn't it benefit big pharm to have no bidding?
Michele didn't want to "go there," either.
Graves said he wanted to talk about how to stabilize Social Security. He wants to get rid of the current cap on Social Security taxes to improve funding.
Bachmann said Graves was willing to raise taxes on the middle class and she was not. She also repeated her claim that raising taxes on Social Security would cost thousands of jobs.
Puzzled, Miller asked Bachmann what was the "jobs" connection in that particular Graves' Social Security proposal. Bachmann said that Social Security is not subject to tax above $100,000. If we capped that tax it would be pure redistribution of wealth and a job kiler--because the job creators would have less money for investment. And Social Security would still go bankrupt, anyway.
Graves said that that's not a fact. He could have said that at practically any point in the debate, actually.
ACTION LINK: Jim Graves for Congress. Stop the lying nut who's introduced so many other lying nuts into our government.
ACTION LINK: You don't have to be from the district to phone bank for Bachmann's opponent, Jim Graves. You don't even have to be from Minnesota. Call this telephone number for more information: 320-252-4446
(Full debate audio at MPR:)
(Transcript of Bachmann on abortion from "Think Progress.)