Listen to our conversation with Michelle Bachmann.
Michele Bachmann, an American politician who served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives (2007–15). She sought the Republican nomination for president in 2012.
In 2006 Bachmann was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, becoming the first Republican woman to represent Minnesota in Congress. Two years later she made national headlines when she insinuated on a television talk show that some members of Congress, including presidential candidate Barack Obama, might have “anti-American views.” Although she subsequently apologized for her comments, weeks later she was reelected to her seat by a narrower margin than had been expected. At the same time, her outspoken dedication to conservative principles, such as a belief in limited government, won her the favour of the burgeoning Tea Party movement. In 2010, prior to her election to a third term, she founded the House Tea Party Caucus, attracting more than 50 Republican members of the House, and the following year she provided a televised response to the State of the Union on behalf of the movement. In June 2011 Bachmann announced that she was running for president. Two months later she won the Republican straw poll in Ames, Iowa. However, her campaign subsequently struggled, and on January 3, 2012, she finished in sixth place in the Iowa caucuses. The next day, Bachmann suspended her campaign.
During Obama’s presidency, the telegenic Bachmann made frequent media appearances that helped burnish her conservative credentials, and she was highly sought for speaking engagements, particularly for conservative organizations and candidates seeking to benefit from her prodigious fund-raising capabilities. Because of her high profile and fierce partisanship, however, she also proved to be a polarizing figure, as critics on the left called attention to her minimal legislative record and her tendency toward hyperbole and inaccuracy in her public statements. In 2013 Bachmann announced that she would not seek a fifth term in the House of Representatives, and she left office in 2015.
Bachmann remained active in politics, however. In 2016 she served on the evangelical advisory committee to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, and, after he won the election, she continued to be a vocal supporter. In 2017 Bachmann was among a group of evangelicals who traveled to Egypt to meet with Pres. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. Their talks focused on the persecution of Egyptian Christians. Core of Conviction (2011) was Bachmann’s autobiography.