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Michele Bachmann endorses tolerance

U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann has kept a low profile since deciding not to seek another term in the House, but Jeff Zeleny of ABC News got her to sit for a five-minute interview.

Bachmann expressed regret over Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer’s veto of a bill that would have protected the rights of business owners to refuse service to gay couples (if their refusal is based on religious objections).

“I believe tolerance is a two-way street,” said Bachmann, who seldom spoke of the need for tolerance during her long battle against gay rights. “People with religious beliefs have to be respected. Right now there’s a terrible intolerance afoot in the United States and it’s against people who hold sincere religious beliefs.”

Bachmann says there will eventually be a woman president but it won’t be Hillary Clinton in 2016 because the United States doesn’t want a “third term of the Barack Obama presidency.” She added:

“President Obama has been nothing if not true to his statement when he said he was going to fundamentally transform the United States of America. He did. But he’s fundamentally transformed into something Americans no longer recognize. We didn’t want a Third World nation. We don’t want a so-called banana republic.”

Bachmann expressed high hopes that Republicans will capture the U.S. Senate this fall, and some skepticism that Minority Leader Mitch McConnell will become majority leader in that scenario, even if he wins another Senate term. But the most important thing, she said, is to get that majority leader gavel out of Sen. Harry Reid’s hands.

Bachmann passed up some opportunities Zeleny offered her to say something mean about House Speaker John Boehner. Tea Partiers and more traditional Republicans agree on 80 percent of the issues, she said, and invoked Ronald Reagan’s saying that the way to get something done was to find someone you agree with on 80 percent of the issues and work with that person.

You can watch the Bachmann interview here. 

Comments (22)

  1. Submitted by Neal Rovick on 03/05/2014 - 01:40 pm.

    What I suggest is that the people that don’t want interaction with LGBT people should be required post their “No gays wanted” signs in their clothing, windows, businesses, websites and vehicles. And then, for ideological purity, they should never be allowed to use businesses, organizations or facilities or interact with people that don’t have a similar sign posted.

    Oh, but THAT might be discriminatory….

  2. Submitted by Ron Gotzman on 03/05/2014 - 02:58 pm.

    Neal – your thoughts?

    Neal – should a church be able to refuse employment and refuse marriage to LGTB people?

    • Submitted by Neal Rovick on 03/05/2014 - 03:12 pm.

      Whatever their doctrine…

    • Submitted by jason myron on 03/05/2014 - 03:47 pm.

      No same-sex couple

      is going to want their special day ruined by asking some bigoted, christian hypocrite to perform the ceremony. As for employment, do people now have to check a box or place our sexual preference on our resumes?

    • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 03/05/2014 - 04:07 pm.

      No one has proposed

      requiring -any- religious order (including Christian churches, to be redundant) to marry anyone, or to require them to hire someone of another religion to provide services which are religious in nature.
      The problem comes when religious organizations choose to operate businesses which are not inherently religious in nature, and set religious hiring standards for those (secular) businesses.
      That is what is discriminatory.

    • Submitted by Diane Nelson on 03/05/2014 - 04:40 pm.

      Ron – your thoughts?

      Should a restaurant be able to refuse service to the other Old Testament “sins,” along with the LGBTs?

      Menstruating women? Those who work on the Sabbath (Saturday)? Those who use the name of God in vain? Those with unclean hands having touched pork or shrimp? If they refuse gays, should they be able to still serve pork or shrimp and be open on the Sabbath? Can my employees be slaves, as approved in the O.T., if they are from neighboring states? And may I be able to start stoning those who do not comply, as sanctioned?

      If not, and the reason is because these are archaic and do not belong in this century, should anti-gays be able to continue to cherry-pick out of that same Bible and discriminate just one of those “sins” while not the others?

      Then on that same note, can I refuse to allow in my restaurant those who refuse to serve gays in their own business? Can I refuse to do business with Republicans, if I sincerely believe they are evil? I’m curious how you think this should work.

  3. Submitted by Tom Christensen on 03/05/2014 - 02:59 pm.

    It’s Ironic

    Bachmann, the Rep without any accomplishments, all of a sudden knows how to get things done in Washington. Based on her philosophy of working with those who agree with her 80% of the time proves she couldn’t find anyone who agreed with her 80% of the time, thus no accomplishments. My suspicion is others agreeing with her is much closer to ZERO. Ever since she became a lame duck it has been a breath of fresh air not having to listen to her fiction.

    • Submitted by Dennis Tester on 03/05/2014 - 04:20 pm.

      She accomplished plenty

      She voted to stop every piece of democrat legislation that came up for a vote. And for that we should all be eternally grateful. I know I am.

      • Submitted by Tom Christensen on 03/05/2014 - 05:34 pm.

        Yeah I know

        It is the Republicans regressive ways to vote against everything. You can be proud of her if you want but I prefer to have someone who will work for all the people, not just the special few. I suspect she even voted against things she was once for because it was far more important to her to be an obstructionist than to work for the entire country. She has a very sad legacy. My indelible impression of Michelle is her hanging on the neck of George W. Bush at his State of the Union. We all know what wonderful things, her hero, did for the country. The Republicans were 100% behind George on his journey of destruction

  4. Submitted by Jon Lord on 03/05/2014 - 02:59 pm.


    “I believe tolerance is a two-way street,” said Bachmann, who seldom spoke of the need for tolerance during her long battle against gay rights. “People with religious beliefs have to be respected. Right now there’s a terrible intolerance afoot in the United States and it’s against people who hold sincere religious beliefs.”

    There’s an intolerance against sincere ‘intolerant’ religious beliefs yes. But Bachmann doesn’t believe in tolerance as a two-way street. Not in any real sense of the word anyway. She’s been calling on God to end the world soon. That’s her religious vision. Her world view is being sullied. She doesn’t like Obama. Dinosaurs lived in the Garden of Eden. Her beliefs…are strange.

    Interestingly Pat Robertson recently said that there were no dinosaurs in the Garden of Eden. They lived millions of years before man. Smart man. He also said the earth is billions of years old, that there was a big bang, and those ‘Christians’ who keep denying those things only serve to make themselves look like idiots. He still believes in Creation yet but also in Evolution too now. How awesome is that? It’s a major step forward from someone from the ranks of the religious right. He received a lot of backlash from the evangelicals but he’s on the ‘right’ track. It doesn’t make him a tolerant religious person but the day he said those things several pigs must have taken flight.

    • Submitted by Dennis Tester on 03/05/2014 - 04:22 pm.

      Your mocking of

      the religion practiced by hundreds of millions of people is the type of example of intolerance she is referring to. Sir.

      • Submitted by Neal Rovick on 03/05/2014 - 05:14 pm.

        And your statement is intolerant of the freedom of expression.

        See, we can go around forever.

        Time to realize that everyone doesn’t need to hold the same views and respect the same ideas as you do.

        Isn’t that the FREEDOM you are always decrying the lack of?

      • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 03/05/2014 - 05:14 pm.

        So Bachman

        is now Jesus?
        Mocking Bachman is hardly the same as mocking Christianity.
        In fact, one might say that she makes a mockery of much of what Christ professed.

  5. Submitted by jason myron on 03/05/2014 - 05:13 pm.

    Anyone catch Ms. Bachmann’s

    latest interview with Tony Perkins from the Family Research Council? In it, she chastise Jews for voting for Obama and helping him bring about the end times. This from a sitting U.S. Congresswoman…good stuff.

  6. Submitted by James Hamilton on 03/05/2014 - 05:18 pm.

    I had an irrefutable argument

    all ready to present here, then remembered you can’t argue with superstition and mysticism.

    If she wants to live in a theocracy, somebody buy her a ticket to Israel.

  7. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 03/05/2014 - 05:42 pm.


    I think my irony meter just broke.

    Mrs. Bachmann endorsing tolerance is, if nothing else, jaw-droppingly hypocritical. In addition to “clueless” and “vapid,” the characteristic I most often associate with her is “intolerant.” I believe her public statements regarding people with whom she disagrees – at least in the few years I’ve been in Minnesota – will support the suggestion that intolerance is a firm and abiding Bachmann principle.

    Well, that, and not having any idea what she’s talking about. The state will be well-served by her retirement, almost without regard to who her replacement might be.

  8. Submitted by jason myron on 03/05/2014 - 07:48 pm.

    As opposed to her mocking

    every religion other than her own? Yup, I just love the “you’re intolerant for pointing out our intolerance” card you people are playing as of late. It’s okay to infer that Obama is a Muslim, like it’s some sort of scarlet letter, but when the shoe is on the other foot, the whining and pouting is through the roof.

  9. Submitted by John Roach on 03/06/2014 - 04:50 am.

    She still knows how to blow her dog whistle.

    “Banana republic”, indeed. The principal trait of such governments is that their leaders are not elected in free and fair elections. Since that hasn’t been the case in the last two presidential contests, she must be obliquely referring to some other trait. How subtle.

    Since even the legislators who voted for the vetoed Arizona law later urged governor Brewer to veto it, and over three quarters of Arizonans support legal recognition of gay unions, I would venture that her position as usual, is a fringe outlier. Even she recognizes that she probably could not continue to hold her congressional seat even in her own very well protected district.

  10. Submitted by Wes Davey on 03/06/2014 - 06:56 am.

    Religious intolerance? Baloney.

    “Right now there’s a terrible intolerance afoot in the United States and it’s against people who hold sincere religious beliefs.”

    Like Ms. Bachmann, I have “sincere religious beliefs” (though of a different Christian denomination) and the only religious intolerance I’ve ever felt is by those people of conservative faith denominations who intolerantly tried to impose their conservative doctrine on myself and others.

    A prime example: the contentious fight here in Minnesota over the marriage amendment was the result of conservative religious leaders attempting to impose their conservative doctrine on those outside their denomination – an attempt foiled in part by the efforts of moderate and liberal faith groups from around the state.

  11. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 03/06/2014 - 12:25 pm.

    Tolerating intolerance

    People like Bachmann don’t understand the difference between practicing religion and practicing religious intolerance. One is protected by the US Constitution and other is not, a lot of people don’t seem to know which is which.

    Libertarians and reactionary Christians don’t actually believe in Democracy. They don’t get the fundamental fact that civilization isn’t simply about having individual rights. When you oppress someone or an entire class of people based on your bigotry you aren’t just practicing your rights, you’re harming your fellow citizens.

    The basic tenet of all lawful societies is that your rights are protected and appropriate up the point where you’re harming someone else. If you refuse service, loans, jobs, whatever to a person for no reason other than your prejudice, your harming another person. There is no principal of civilization, or text in the Constitution that makes harming people outside of emergencies like self defense, a protected activity. The basic problem here is that people like Bachmann cannot distinguish between the imaginary harm they think LGBT people “might” inflict on someone just by being who they are, and very real harm religious intolerance inflicts on it’s victims.

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