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.