Michele Bachmann Rips Media's 'False Narrative' Blaming GOP for Shutdown

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) slammed the "false narrative" of the media that Republicans are to blame for the shutdown. Her broadside came on Thursday's New Day.

She insisted, "remember that the mainstream media really has given a false narrative. Over and over and over again, the mainstream media has blamed the Republicans for this, and yet the only party that has put offer after offer after offer on the table has been the Republicans."

Bachmann's statement came after New Day co-host Chris Cuomo implied it was "reckless" of Republicans to tie ObamaCare to a debt ceiling deal:

 "But aren't Republicans also saying, 'and if you don't let us do that right now, we will continue to keep the government shut down. We will go through the deadline of the debt ceiling and see what happens next until you negotiate with us about Obamacare,' and is that reckless?"

As to the scenario of a debt ceiling deal without a delay or defunding of ObamaCare, Cuomo repeatedly pressed Bachmann if she still would support it, saying nothing of Democratic intransigence.

"But the question is still, even with that goal, whether or not you're going to risk that security for these families in the furtherance of that goal. You said yourself that you signed onto the bill for the Full Faith and Credit Act to make sure we never ever default, that the markets need to know that under no circumstances will the U.S. government default. You know as well as anybody that that is exactly the situation you put the U.S. economy into if you blow the deadline and start letting the dominos fall. Don't you have to stand against it if that winds up being the choice?"

Below is a transcript of the segment which aired on New Day on October 10 at 8:05 a.m. EDT:

[8:05]

CHRIS CUOMO: Let's take a look at the polls real quickly. You had said previously that the House GOP is happy about the position they're in. When you look at the polls, you still feel happy about the position you're in?

Rep. MICHELE BACHMANN (R-Minn.): What I said is that I was very happy that we were unified. We were completely unified around the idea that we need to have two parties come together. That's our form of government. The President, the Senate, and also the House need to come together and negotiate. And we as a House were completely unified, from the moderates to the Tea Party Republicans. We were unified in standing together that we need to represent the interests of the people, that we have a problem with debt, a problem with spending, and we need to get our economic house back in order.

CUOMO: So, it comes down to tactics when you talk about unity. Many in your party are saying, I'm not worried about the deadline with the debt ceiling. We'll be okay. Not you, though. You are worried about the deadline, you don't want to join what a lot of Republicans are suggesting, which is to let's blow off this deadline and keep fighting and see what happens.

You're saying you don't want to do that. Isn't that true?

BACHMANN: Well, I think that all of us agree that it wouldn't be good for our economy if we were to blow through the debt ceiling. I think that that's something that we all understand. And so, what we want to do is again make sure that we deal with the economic problems that we have right now. When President Obama voted against raising the debt ceiling, that was looking at a $9 trillion debt. Today, we're looking at a $17 trillion debt.

And I know you have the counter on your screen right now that talks about how many hours we've been in the shutdown. I would suggest that CNN also put up a counter of the debt clock, about how quickly we're accumulating debt. It's frightening when people see how fast that's accumulating. That's what we want to do is really come together, both Democrats and Republicans, and deal with this very serious issue that the next generation will have to face, and that's the accumulating debt that's hurting growth in the United States.

CUOMO: But it still does take us back to tactics, doesn't it, Congresswoman? Because while I think few would disagree about the need to address the national debt and the deficit connected thereto, it comes down to what you do to address it. We had a senator on, a Republican senator, who came on and said, I'm okay with a managed catastrophe involving the debt limit if it allows us to fight through to what we believe in. What about that, a managed catastrophe? Doesn't that sound dangerous as a way of dealing with politics?

BACHMANN: What Republicans have been trying to do from the beginning is put offer after offer after offer on the table to be able to get to yes. That's what we want to do. We didn't want the shutdown. We don't want to see the debt ceiling have a problem. What we want to do is solve this and that's why you've seen so many different offers on the table. This is a good move that today, there will be leadership members from the Republican Party meeting with the President of the United States. Perhaps we can move this ball down the court and actually get this settled. I think that we can.

We found this week alone that the American people – only 7 percent of the American people think the ObamaCare rollout has been successful, and I think this is something that we need to face. While the whole goal of Obamacare was to give health insurance options to Americans that didn't have health insurance, maybe we should take a different tact and allow people to opt in to Obamacare rather than forcing 100 percent of all Americans to buy a product that they're not interested in buying from a Web site that doesn't work.

It may be a good idea to let Americans just opt in and offer some sort of a fund for pre-existing conditions where people can get the help and assistance they need. I think it's time to re-look at this. That's all Republicans are saying. Let's actually have a system that works for the majority of the American people.

CUOMO: But aren't Republicans also saying, and if you don't let us do that right now, we will continue to keep the government shut down. We will go through the deadline of the debt ceiling and see what happens next until you negotiate with us about Obamacare, and is that reckless?

Rep. MICHELE BACHMANN (R-Minn.): Well, remember that the mainstream media really has given a false narrative. Over and over and over again, the mainstream media has blamed the Republicans for this, and yet the only party that has put offer after offer after offer on the table has been the Republicans.

The only position, unfortunately, of the President and Harry Reid, the Democrats in the Senate, has been we're going to hold our breath until we turn blue. In other words, we're not negotiating. That's not a reasonable, tenable position. So, we're seeing some movement now with the President being willing to look at a short term debt ceiling increase, and by meeting with the Republican leadership in the House of Representatives. I'm excited. I think that we're going to get there.

But again, I think the President has to recognize that while maybe his intentions were good with health care, it's costing a lot more. We're getting a lot less. Let's do what works for the American people and let people opt into ObamaCare. Don't force people to buy a product they don't want from a Web site that doesn't work.

CUOMO: I get the idea. The question is, at what cost? What I'd like to ask and see what your answer is on it, is if your leadership comes back to you and says forget it, they're not going to give us what we want on Obamacare, let's keep going, forget about the debt ceiling, we'll be okay. Will you stand with your leadership if they say, we're going to blow the deadline, let's see what happens?

BACHMANN: I think what our leadership is going to do is make sure that we're being responsible, that the American economy is going to move forward. Right now, we don't want to put the American economy at risk. There's – we haven't had a growth economy, we haven't had a job-producing economy, that's what we want to have.

So we want to be responsible, but at the same time again, like I would suggest to CNN, put the debt ceiling clock to be fair also on your screen so people can see the breathtaking, stunning increase in debt every single day, and I think then people realize what's at stake and why Republicans are trying to get a grip so that our children and grandchildren will have the same chance at a great life that you and I have enjoyed, Chris.

CUOMO: Right. But the question is still, even with that goal, whether or not you're going to risk that security for these families in the furtherance of that goal. You said yourself that you signed onto the bill for the Full Faith and Credit Act to make sure we never ever default, that the markets need to know that under no circumstances will the U.S. government default. You know as well as anybody that that is exactly the situation you put the U.S. economy into if you blow the deadline and start letting the dominos fall. Don't you have to stand against it if that winds up being the choice?

BACHMANN: I don't think that's what's going to happen. That's the point. This isn't just the House Republicans. This is a three-sided triangle. The President and Harry Reid have had one position. Don't forget – it's people within the White House that said they were willing to risk blowing the debt ceiling if it meant they could win. We don't see this as a political game. We see this as trying to get America's house back in order. So, that's why we will see Republican leadership at the White House today and we want to be able to get this solved. This is very real. This is about the next generation.

And that's why we've got to make sure that our answer isn't bringing the American economy down because remember, the credit rating agencies when they lowered America's credit rating, they said that Congress and the President are not serious about tackling our debt. We in the House Republicans are serious about tackling the debt problem. We need to have the President as a part of that conversation. That's why I'm encouraging CNN, put your debt clock on the screen so people can see the very real problem that we're accumulating every single day and let's get it done.

CUOMO: I'm going to put a third clock on there, that is the countdown to the middle of next week when we hit the deadline.

Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro was a News Analyst for the Media Research Center's News Analysis Division from 2010 through early 2014