Bachmann Questions Obama Push to Spend on 'Green' Projects

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) pointed to Solyndra, the bankrupt solar panel company that received $535 million from the federal stimulus act, as an example of President Barack Obama’s unsuccessful attempt to pick winners and losers in the economy.

Solyndra had never shown a profit, yet it received millions of taxpayer dollars. “So this is something that needs to be looked into,” Bachmann said at a news conference following President Obama’s speech to a joint session of Congress.

Earlier Thursday, the FBI raided the offices of Solyndra, Inc. The company filed for bankruptcy last week, laying off 1,100 workers. This came after the “green” company received $535 million in federal tax dollars from Obama’s first stimulus proposal, which was intended to spur job growth.

“We need to go with what works, and clearly what doesn’t work is to have the federal government, again, with a government-directed solution, choosing the winners and losers in this economy,” Bachmann, a Republican presidential candidate, said.

It has been widely reported by Bloomberg News and others that George Kaiser, an Obama bundler who owns about 35.7 percent of Solyndra, made 16 visits to the White House since 2009, according to White House visitor logs. The Daily Caller reported Thursday that in all, Solyndra officials made 20 White House visits. The House Energy and Commerce Committee is investigating the matter.

Bachmann recalled that Obama, upon entering office, touted Spain as a model for green jobs that the United States should follow.

“The president has told us before that the United States should be like Spain when it comes to green jobs,” Bachmann told “Yet Spain has gleaned some of the highest levels of unemployment among Western European nations. For every green job that was created in Spain, 2.2 real jobs were lost,” Bachman said, referring to a study by Dr. Gabriel Calzada, an economist at Juan Carlos University in Madrid. “We cannot repeat this kind of job policy in the United States,” Bachmann added.