Bachmann Campaign Manager Jokes That Rick Perry "Ought To Stay In Texas"

August 01, 2011 4:27 pm ET — Julia Krieger

GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann earned her Tea Party stripes with her crusade against "socialized medicine" and "huge bureaucratic large big government," but she has privately benefited from federal programs that she publicly detests. 

As new details of her hypocrisy emerge, Bachmann's response has been tenuous at best. In a recent interview on Fox News Sunday, Bachmann insisted that public funding for her family's mental health clinic was "one-time training money" that "didn't help our clinic." But independent fact checkers and the press concluded that Bachmann's excuse was not true.

Appearing at the National Press Club last week, Bachmann flat-out refused to answer questions about her clinic, calling her business irrelevant to her run for the White House. Afterward, Political Correction caught up with Bachmann's campaign manager, longtime GOP strategy guru Ed Rollins, who attempted to justify his candidate's acceptance of federal funds by saying the clinic did not have a choice: 

PC: I heard a couple people in there say she really got grilled and they weren't expecting it — some of the reporters out there. Do you think she'll have any trouble answering questions about governmental programs that she's benefitted from?

ROLLINS: Well, I think, in the case, you know, that as she said, you know, the two programs they've tried to nail her on is, one is, you can't get a mortgage without — that's 90 percent of everybody in America, you don't go to a federal home loan bank, you go to the bank. And the other case — in the case of her husband's clinic, you know, you have to take Medicare patients who come in for treatment that they offer — whatever it is, Medicare, Medicaid.

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The Bachmann team's shaky response does not bode well for harsher competition as the primary campaign heats up. When we asked about one prospective source of that competition, Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX), Rollins acknowledged that Perry would be a strong candidate and joked that Perry "ought to stay in Texas and keep building jobs there."

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Political Correction intern Jake Miller contributed to this post.

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