Tea party favorite Michele Bachmann Saturday brought up a topic many speakers at the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference have preferred to speak around: immigration reform.
Speaking to a sparse early-morning crowd, the outgoing Representative for Minnesota’s sixth congressional district urged Republicans to hold firm against President Obama’s push for immigration reform.
“The last thing conservatives should do is help the president pass his No. 1 goal, and that’s amnesty,” Bachmann, who has decided not to seek re-election this year, told attendees trickling in to kick off the third and final day of CPAC.
Warning of the potential negative impact of the Senate’s Gang of Eight proposal, which she likened to the 1986 immigration reform bill, Bachmann said Republicans must “stand with the middle class, [and] not the consultant class.” While popular polling on various immigration proposals is not decisive, big business and labor lobbyists are heavily invested in winning a comprehensive rewrite of existing immigration law.
Bachmann, a presidential primary candidate in 2012, also pushed back against the notion that inevitable forces of history are moving Hillary Clinton to the presidency. “We will have a woman for president — just the right one,” Bachmann said.
Bachmann threw a clever curve into the leftwing consensus, shaming Clinton for trying to blame the deadly September 11, 2012 attack on the weakly defended U.S. State Department compound in Benghazi, Libya on a “Hollywood filmmaker” — Cerritos, Calif., entrepreneur Mark Basseley Youssef, a.k.a, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, who was imprisoned for a year after Clinton’s State Department underlings claimed a trailer for his unproduced film Innocence of Muslims had inspired the attack.
Bachmann pointed to recent developments in Ukraine as proof of the failures of the “reset” policy with Russia, saying that it is in fact Russian President Vladimir Putin who has reset Ukraine’s situation by investing Odessa with troops following the impeachment of Russian puppet Viktor Yanukovych.
Also skewered by Bachmann: the popular belief that Democrats are the party of women. Bachmann reminded the crowd that Republicans are the only party to have had a woman on the presidential ticket this century — a reference to Sarah Palin, the former vice presidential candidate and resigned Alaska governor who will give this year’s final CPAC address Saturday night.
Bachmann made similar comments last month when she said Clinton’s qualifications have been overstated and that there was not a “pent-up desire” in the country to elect a female president.
Looking forward, Bachmann expected a replay of the 2010 midterms in the Senate later this year. “Taking the gavel out of Harry Reid’s hand on the first Tuesday of November is going to feel pretty darn sweet,” Bachmann said, reminiscing over her own joy at seeing Nancy Pelosi lose the speakership in 2010, after the first four years of the ongoing economic stagnation.
Republicans must not lose faith, Bachmann exhorted, even amid the domestic and international disasters of the Obama administration.
“We will survive Barack Obama,” Bachmann said. “Answering great challenges is what we Americans do for a living.”