Bachmann leads Capitol rally against health care bill

Rep. Michele Bachmann
REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Rep. Michele Bachmann speaks at a health care rally before a “house call” at the Capitol Thursday.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Days before an expected vote on health care reform in the U.S. House, thousands of protesters descended on the Capitol Thursday to rally around Rep. Michele Bachmann and other GOP lawmakers who have denounced the legislation.

“You came for an emergency House call,” Bachmann, R-Minn., yelled to the sign-waiving crowd. “And are they going to listen? Oh yeah, oh yeah. They’re going to listen. It was Thomas Jefferson who said a revolution every now and then is a good thing. What do you think?”

The crowd met Bachmann’s question with a thunderous roar. Homemade signs that offered suggestions like “No Obama Care,” “You Can’t Fix Stupid” and “Waterboard Congress” were hoisted higher into the air.

Without delving into the specifics of 1,990-page health care bill, Bachmann focused much of her speech on the ideals of freedom and liberty.

“You literally stand with us on hallowed ground, this is hallowed ground of freedom,” Bachmann said, warning that Congress was in its eleventh hour on health care reform.

“And that freedom was purchased at an incalculable price that none of us could ever truly comprehend…” Bachmann continued. “And, so, now we are that privileged generation —  privileged to be here today, privileged as you stand here in place of other freedom- loving Americans all over the country today who would give anything to be where you are…but they are here, can you feel them? I can feel them. Americans yearning to keep a country that will be free.”

Bachmann was joined on steps of the Capitol by many other GOP lawmakers, including Republican leader John Boehner of Ohio, Republican whip Eric Cantor of Virginia and Rep. Tom Price of Georgia.

Actors John Voight and John Ratzenberger, who played Cliff on the TV series “Cheers,” also accompanied the House members and rallied the gathered protesters.

But, for all the speeches, there was a large group within the crowd who had come with only one thing in mind: to see and hear Bachmann.

Chanting “We Want Michelle,” the group repeatedly interrupted other Republican lawmakers as they discussed health care with the crowd.

“We would not have come if the GOP said, ‘Come,'” said Diane Leone, an interior decorator who came to Washington from Florida and considers herself a member of the Tea Party movement. “We came to hear her [Bachmann] speak, not the GOP.”

Leone specified that she saw Bachmann as more “real” than other Republicans — a  “rogue” member of the GOP.

“She is just a real person, she’s genuine, and she talks like we talk,” Leone said.

Bachmann promised to take a group of the protesters through the Capitol and office buildings later today.

Cynthia Dizikes covers Minnesota’s congressional delegation and reports on issues and developments in Washington, D.C. She can be reached at cdizikes[at]minnpost[dot]com.

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Comments (14)

  1. Submitted by Richard Schulze on 11/05/2009 - 02:49 pm.

    Some free headlines and no doubt an increase in her national fund raising efforts to boot.
    All in all, a good day for the Congresswoman.

  2. Submitted by dan buechler on 11/05/2009 - 03:13 pm.

    I gotta admit she’s a pretty good poet although she probably is not ideally suited for economic or scientific work. “That freedom was purchased at an incalcuable price that none of us could ever truly comprehend” If I was 30 years younger, female with drop dead looks I’d start a girl rock group called the Michelle Bachmanns. You go girls!! signed fifty year old balding fat white guy.

  3. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 11/05/2009 - 03:37 pm.

    Oh, yeah! Palin/Bachmann in 2012 ;-). Let the crazy begin!

  4. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 11/05/2009 - 04:39 pm.

    Judging by the recent actions, and reactions of the leftist dominated congress, I think it’s pretty safe to say “the crazy” is in full swing.

    10% unemployment: Crazy

    $2Trillion dollars debt in less than 12 months: Crazy

    “Cash for Clunkers”: Crazy

    Hiring a self described Communist into a high profile position within the President’s cabinet: Crazy

    Pandering to rogue nations: Way crazy.

    Rep. Bachmann is well along the way to becoming the best, and most influential US Representative Minnesota has ever sent to Washington.

  5. Submitted by Karl Bremer on 11/05/2009 - 04:54 pm.

    Here’s one thoughtful sign you missed from Bachmann’s supporters comparing the Democrats’ health-care reform with Nazi Germany death camps:

  6. Submitted by dan buechler on 11/05/2009 - 04:56 pm.

    Yeah Eugene McCarthy was such a lightweight. An hee fer sure waint no poetess like r very own michele Bachmann. Why hee didn’t even have hes very ownn plastic action figure doll. go figure.

  7. Submitted by Peter Soulen on 11/05/2009 - 04:57 pm.

    Vintage Swiftee.

    Vintage Bachman too. Attractive on the outside…

    The speech on freedom would be OK I guess if it were not so obvious that the freedom she’s talking about is “freedom from having to pay taxes for anything that does not benefit her followers”. Pandering indeed.

    Vintage I. Me. Mine.

  8. Submitted by Richard Schulze on 11/05/2009 - 06:16 pm.

    Although the congresswoman resonates well with the voters in the sixth. There are no numbers that would indicate that she can resonate either state wide or nationally. She is a niche product and she makes the most out it.

    The claim “most influential” makes for great rhetoric but I think that outside of the sixth and again with her rather tiny national niche she may be “influential”.I wouldn’t go any further than that. She is good at what she does and the national far right conservatives will put their money where her mouth is. Clearly she is not near where the middle-right majority resides.

  9. Submitted by Roger Iverson on 11/06/2009 - 06:41 am.

    So Michelle Bachmann’s followers chant “Freedom” and recite the Pledge of Allegiance boastfully emphasizing the parts about the flag and God. What they don’t really like though, is the fact that we are one nation with liberty and justice for all. They really don’t want a republic but a collection of individual states with more power than the federal republic. And they definitely do not want equal rights or justice for all. No rights for fair voting, gays or women, the poor and the sick. To be honest their pledge should be much shorter: “I pledge allegiance to the flag and God.”

  10. Submitted by Jeff Klein on 11/06/2009 - 09:02 am.

    The unemployment and the debt are “crazy”, Mr. Swift? You are aware who left office less than a year ago, right? And that everything economic has time scales of years, not months? I won’t fall for your trying to pin this on Democrats, and I hope most people are sharp enough not too.

    As for “pandering”: it’s called “diplomacy”, and it’s how every other first world country operates, except for us. And those other countries aren’t losing hundreds of soldiers a year in wars for no apparent reason. I’d say it’s time to follow their lead.

  11. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 11/06/2009 - 01:34 pm.

    Flash forward 2011: Unemployment hits 20%

    “You are aware who left office less than three years ago, right?”

    2012…It will be nice to have someone big enough to hitch up his pants and take responsibility. Just three more years; not so very long to hold tight.

  12. Submitted by Glenn Mesaros on 11/06/2009 - 03:18 pm.

    Michele Bachmann can get 10,000 citizens to Washington, D.C. in one week’s mobilization, and the pathetic whining liberals can’t get 10 Acorns to Washington to campaign for Obamacare, and his peculiar form of National Socialism.

  13. Submitted by david granneman on 11/06/2009 - 03:45 pm.

    hello MR Howard Miller
    YOU ASKED “What is Michele Bachmann’s plan for reducing health care costs and extending coverage to all of our citizens?” you said you have not seen a plan from the repulicans – i suspect you have not looked very hard – but if you really want to see the republican plan go this website.

  14. Submitted by Jim Hart on 11/06/2009 - 07:02 pm.

    dan buechler- “…she probably is not ideally suited for economic or scientific work.”
    I guess a tax attorney doesn’t qualify. Maybe that band will have to be the Eugene McCarthys.

    Karl Bremer- one sign from an uncontrolled access rally? Don’t bother to google “Bush = Hitler” or “LaRouche democrat” or anything.

    Jeff Klein- “As for “pandering”: it’s called “diplomacy”” Well, there’s diplomacy from a position of strength, and then there’s the supine variety. Unless of course you can support some thug (see Honduras, Iran, Nicaragua, etc.)

    Howard Miller- It’s ‘tea party’. If you don’t know that the term you use describes a perverse gay sexual practice, maybe you should educate yourself. If you do, then call me shocked.

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