Bachmann accuses First Lady Obama of pushing nanny state in breast pump program
Rep. Michele Bachmann lashed out at First Lady Michelle Obama on Tuesday over her promotion of breastfeeding, particularly among black women, to curb obesity. On Laura Ingraham’s radio show, Bachmann said that Obama’s campaign — and an IRS change that makes breast pumps tax deductible — constituted a “nanny state” and that it was part of her “hard left agenda.”
Michelle Obama said last week, “We’re working to promote breastfeeding, especially in the black community, where 40 per cent of our babies never get breastfed at all, even in the first weeks of life, and we know that babies that are breastfed are less likely to be obese as children.”
The first lady wants to encourage employers to be more open to women who are breastfeeding. The IRS also announced on Tuesday that breast pumps are now considered as a tax-deductible expense for Flex Spending Accounts along with other over-the-counter medical items such as pain relievers, bandages and contact lens supplies.
But, on Ingraham’s show, Bachmann was having none of it.
“I think this is very consistent with where the hard left is coming from. For them government is the answer to every problem. Clearly they are wrong because more spending won’t do it,” she said.
Bachmann continued, “I’ve given birth to five babies and I breastfed every single one of these babies. To think that government has to go out and buy my breast pump for my babies. You wanna talk about the nanny state? I think we just got the new definition of a nanny.”
Ingraham asked if she thought that Michelle Obama’s push for breastfeeding was an indication of a run for U.S. Senate.
“I think she is really committed to the hard left agenda, more than anything else. Can you imagine if Laura Bush was doing this? The media would be after her.”
And thanks to Bachmann they are after the first lady.
Megan Kelly of Fox News provided “Breaking News” on Tuesday morning about Bachmann’s statements immediately following her interview with Ingraham.
Fox contributor Sandy Rios said she had concerns about Mrs. Obama’s proposal because it’s being promoted in the African American community. Rios is the former head of the religious right organization Concerned Women for America and current head of the Culture Campaign, a group “dedicated to involving citizens in the culture war.”
“You have to remember that 75 percent of American women already breast feed,” said Rios. “We are talking about a problem that is specifically in the black community and so for you to change federal law and IRS regulations and start forcing businesses to make accommodations for nursing women to promote it in the black community is the problem that I have with it and I agree with Michele this is the nanny state on steroids.”