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June 27, 2011

Bachmann Stands with Radical Tea Partiers Over Most American Jews

Listed in: Women's Issues, Other Domestic Policy, Reproductive Rights, NJDC News, Press Releases

The National Jewish Democratic Council today denounced now-declared Republican presidential candidate Representative Michele Bachmann (R-MN)  for choosing to stand with the increasingly radical Tea Party elements of the Republican Party over the vast majority of American Jews on so many important issues. NJDC President and CEO David A. Harris said:

“Through her tenure as an elected official, Michele Bachmann has shown herself to be oblivious to the concerns of most Americans— including most American Jews. Her positions on such domestic issues as health care, the social safety net, and a woman’s right to choose prove that she is more focused on being the leader of Tea Party activists and radical Republicans than advocating for policies that benefit all Americans. Further, Bachmann’s attempts to turn Israel into a partisan wedge issue and her use of abusive Holocaust rhetoric expose her particular insensitivity to the American Jewish community and our values.”

As the leader of the Congressional Tea Party Caucus, Bachmann has been a staunch opponent of health care reform legislation and the social safety net. In February 2010, Bachmann told the Constitutional Coalition that “what we have to do is wean everybody else off [of Medicare and Social Security]... whoever our nominee is, is going to have to have a Glenn Beck chalkboard and explain to everybody this is the way it is.” [Think Progress, February 8, 2010]  She then attempted to repeal President Barack Obama’s healthcare legislation by co-authoring a bill that would give Congress the option to de-fund the program - essentially depriving millions of Americans of the health care they were promised. [Press Release, March 31, 2011]  During the June 13th Republican presidential debate in New Hampshire she said, “As president of the United States, I will not rest until I repeal Obamacare,” while falsely claiming that the law will cut 800,000 jobs. [Politifact, June 14, 2011]

Her vocal anti-choice beliefs show her blatant disregard for the health and dignity of pregnant women. During the June 13th debate she said that she “believes in the sanctity of human life,” then criticized the use of abortion in cases of rape, incest, and - perhaps most ironically - when the mother’s life is at stake. [CNN, June 13, 2011]

In 2004 she described same-sex marriage as an “earthquake issue,”  claiming that “[same-sex marriage] is probably the biggest issue that will impact our state and our nation in, at least, the last 30 years.” [“Prophetic Views Behind The News,” KKMS 980-AM, March 20, 2004]  In the years following, she has made numerous cruel and false statements toward the LGBT community, even claiming that suicide among gay teens is due to “the fact of what they’re doing” rather than bullying and discrimination. [Rolling Stone, June 22, 2011]

Bachmann has not hesitated to jump on the GOP bandwagon of politicizing support for Israel by deliberately misrepresenting President Obama’s pro-Israel record. In a statement, Bachmann falsely accused the President of “again indicat[ing] that his policy towards Israel is to blame Israel first,” and called his May 19 speech a “shocking display of betrayal” and “an insult” to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. [Press Release, May 19, 2011]

Bachmann’s own so-called “shocking display” came only a few weeks prior, when she offended and insulted the Jewish community by comparing the national debt to the Holocaust just one day before Holocaust Remembrance Day.  [Politico, April 30, 2011]

Michele Bachmann’s extreme political views and her repeated use of offensive rhetoric put her squarely at odds with the vast majority of American Jews. She has demonstrated her blatant ignorance of the facts as well as her disregard for the health and dignity of all Americans.  Bachmann’s radical stances are clear examples that the Republican Party cannot be trusted to fight for the values of most American Jews.