How does Congresswoman Michele Bachmann — who, like Sarah Palin, is a mother of five and strongly allied with the Family Values wing of the Republican Party — react to news that the vice presidential pick’s daughter is pregnant with a child out of wedlock?
“The American people have a right to ask about this situation with her family,” allows Bachmann, a Republican who represents Minnesota’s 6th District. “But I think Sarah Palin and her family are making all the right moves.”
Bachmann, who met Palin for the first time on a recent trip touting oil drilling in the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge, believes the Palin family deserves credit for standing by their daughter, who will keep the baby and marry the father.
“No one would want to hear this news about their daughter,” the GOP congresswoman says. “It isn’t a plus for anyone to hear their child has conceived a child out of wedlock — that’s not what anyone wants to see.”
Still, Bachmann believes Palin’s response will turn the situation into a plus with delegates and — in time — with the American people.
“One of the things Govenor Palin has done is she’s made a judgment on the side of life; preserving life, protecting life,” Bachmann notes. “At whatever level, whether it’s her Down Syndrome child, or a child conceived in an unplanned pregnancy. So I think the American people are getting a wonderful glimpse, actually, to a very great lady.”
Doesn’t the episode expose some hypocrisy on the part of the abstinence-education crowd? Bachmann counsels tolerance. “Life isn’t perfect for any of us. I think this is something that happens to a lot of American families. Each one of us has different challenges in our life — the question is, how we deal with it. Sarah Palin is making a choice to love her daughter, support her daughter, be there for her daughter and her grandchild.”
Is it fair for Americans to consider Palin less of a vice-presidential candidate based on the actions of her daughter? “I’m not going to answer that,” Bachmann states. “I don’t know.”
And what about the timing — surely this can’t be what you wanted to talk about at the convention’s opening session? “This has been a very interesting day today,” the congresswoman says with a smile. “But I think again, they’re observing in Sarah Palin strong judgment, sound judgment and a consistency of standing in a loving way to support her daughter and her unborn grandchild.”