WASHINGTON — The last time President Obama spoke to Congress, when he gave a State of the Union address in January, Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann went on national television to offer a tea party rebuttal.
On Thursday night, Bachmann did the same thing, but her audience was a smattering of reporters and her message was veiled in the understanding that it came from a candidate looking to gain traction in the race for her party’s presidential nomination.
Bachmann called Obama “politically paralyzed and philosophically incapable of doing what needs to be done” to help the economy. She said his $447 billion jobs plan “continued to cling to the idea that government is the solution to creating jobs.
“The only remedies the president knows are temporary government-directed fixes,” she said. “And even if the president’s plan passes, we already know it will fail in practice. We haven’t paid for his last trillion-dollar jobs program [the 2009 stimulus act] and now his latest program would have us embrace over $400 billion in new government spending, and no one knows where that money will come from.”
Bachmann introduced a nine-point plan she said would help turn the economy around. At its heart: cut taxes, strip regulations and repeal Obamacare and the Wall Street reform law Congress passed in 2010.
“What I heard this evening from the president is no more than the failed gimmicks that he’s brought forth before,” she said. “These nine proposals are ones that would turn the economy around.”
The 6th District Congresswoman didn’t attend Obama’s speech because bad weather delayed her arrival in Washington. She said she listened to Obama’s speech on the radio driving to the Capitol. Bachmann had been in California for a Republican presidential debate Wednesday night.
Bachmann dipped into campaign mode a few times during her press conference. She told anecdotes from the campaign trail and highlighted her background as a small business owner and a tax attorney, both stump speech staples.
Bachmann’s polling numbers have dipped since Texas Gov. Rick Perry entered the presidential race on the same day she won the Iowa straw poll. She took no questions about the campaign during her press conference.
Devin Henry can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.