CBS's Norah O'Donnell Presses Michele Bachmann On What 'Submissive' Means

On Sunday's Face The Nation, CBS's Norah O'Donnell interrogated Congresswoman Michele Bachmann on a 2006 statement she made about being "submissive" to her husband. O'Donnell not only played a clip of the five-year-old moment, but asked her three questions about the biblical verse: "What do you mean wives should be submissive to their husbands?...Do you think submissive means subservient?" [audio available here]

The fill-in anchor raised the issue, which also came up during the recent Republican presidential debate in Ames, Iowa, near the end of the interview. Bachmann more or less repeated her answer from that debate in reply to O'Donnell's question:

[Video clips below the jump]

 

BACHMANN: ...[F]or my husband and I, submission means respect, mutual respect. I respect my husband. He respects me. We've been married thirty-three years. We have a great marriage. We've built a business together. We've had five children together. We raised twenty-three foster children together in our home. And respecting each other, listening to each other, is what that means.

Seemingly not satisfied with this answer, the CBS journalist then asked, "Would you use a different word today other than submissive?" When the Republican reused her "respect" term, O'Donnell inquired if "submissive" meant "subserviant."

The transcript of the relevant portion of Norah O'Donnell's interview of Rep. Michele Bachmann, starting at the 38 minutes into the 10 am Eastern hour mark on Sunday's Face The Nation:

Rep. Michele Bachmann; & Norah O'Donnell, CBS News Correspondent | NewsBusters.orgNORAH O'DONNELL: Congresswoman, let me turn to something you said in 2006. I want to play the audio, so our viewers-

REP. MICHELE BACHMANN, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Sure-

O'DONNELL: Can hear this as well. Let's listen.

BACHMANN (audio clip of October 2006 speech at Living Word Christian Center): My husband said, 'Now you need to go and get a post-doctorate degree in tax law.' Tax law!? I hate taxes. Why should I go into something like that? But the Lord says, be submissive. Wives, you are to be submissive to your husbands."

O'DONNELL: Congressman, what do you mean wives should be submissive to their husbands?

BACHMANN: Well, there was a debate earlier this week and that question was asked in the debate. And for my husband and I, submission means respect, mutual respect. I respect my husband. He respects me. We've been married thirty-three years. We have a great marriage. We've built a business together. We've had five children together. We raised twenty-three foster children together in our home. And respecting each other, listening to each other, is what that means.

O'DONNELL: Would you use a different word today other than submissive?

BACHMANN: You know, I guess it depends on what word people are used to, but respect is really what it means.


O'DONNELL: Do you think submissive means subservient?

BACHMANN: Not to us. To us, it means respect. We respect each other, we listen to each other, we love each other, and that is what it means.

Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan is a news analyst at Media Research Center