WASHINGTON — There are different ways to answer a question in the affirmative, and Rep. Michele Bachmann today delivered the sort of yes that has more than enough wiggle room to ignite a controversy, or at least a spate of follow-up questions.
The question was simple: “Who are you going to vote for for speaker of the House?” Here’s her answer that has since made national headlines:
“Right now, we don’t know exactly who the candidates will be. It may be John Boehner. If John Boehner’s the only candidate running, I’ll be voting for John Boehner,” Bachmann said.
And if the Tea Party puts up a candidate?
“I would look at all the candidates,” Bachmann said, “and weigh it accordingly.”
The exchange caught both The Hill and National Journal‘s eyes, among others, with the National Journal’s lead sentence being “Tea party favorite Michele Bachmann is not a John Boehner enthusiast.” Said the Hill: “Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) suggested Thursday that she might not support John Boehner (R-Ohio) as the next Speaker.”
Bachmann spokesman Sergio Gor said it’s much ado about not much, adding that the congresswoman is only focused on her election on Tuesday. “That’s an official decision to be made after the election, we’re not going to speculate before then,” Gor said.
The leader of the House Tea Party Caucus, by the way, isn’t interested in the job herself, Gor said. Asked if she would run, he said “no.”
Missed in the hubbub: Tarryl Clark didn’t commit to Nancy Pelosi either, and Bob Anderson simply commented that he doesn’t like Pelosi or her Republican predecessor Dennis Hastert.
If you missed the MPR debate, you can listen to it here. This exchange starts around the 18th minute.