ST. LOUIS — Speaking to a packed hotel ballroom at the conservative How to Take Back America Conference, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) said that exposes of “criminal tomfoolery” inside of ACORN could kick off a campaign to “defund the left.”
Bachmann was introduced warmly by Phyllis Schlafly, the iconic conservative activist whose Eagle Forum was the chief sponsor of the event. “She’s one of our Republican stars,” said Schlafly, “and some of you came here just to see her.” She got a second introduction from Dick Bott, a conservative radio host who briefly broke down talking about Bachmann’s hospitality to foster children.
Taking the stage, Bachmann thanked Schlafly, calling her an inspiration as a mother who transitioned into conservative politics, and said she considered the conference “a farewell party for ACORN!” The community organization group, she said, was the first, not the last, weak link in the liberal establishment.
“Defunding the left is going to be so easy,” said Bachmann, “and it’s going to solve so many of our problems.” She praised James O’Keefe III and Hannah Giles, the people behind the ACORN sting. “Hannah and James used Saul Alinsky’s ‘Rules for Radicals’ — that’s the community organizer’s bible — against ACORN! Brilliant!”
Bachmann touched on the priorities of Republicans if they retook Congress in 2010, to “pass repealer bill after repealer bill,” to prevent the creation of a one-world currency, and to pull the government back from the “36 percent of private business profits” that she claimed it now controlled. And she said Michigan residents were “depressed enough” without Gitmo prisoners being relocated to state facilities where they could inspire more terrorists.
“This is where they learn conversion to Islam!” said Bachmann. “In the prisons!”
After the speech, Bachmann had only a few minutes to sign autographs and collect a stack of CDs and books from fans who’d followed her into the lobby. I caught up to her as she headed outside and asked if she had any response to the murder of a Kentucky census worker, having noticed that the Census, a constant target for Bachmann, did not figure into her speech. Bachmann recoiled a little at the question and turned to enter her limo.
“Thank you so much!” she said.