1. Headline
  1. Headline

Video: Bachmann talks taxes, economy and Cain

  1. Transcript of: Bachmann talks taxes, economy and Cain

    LAUER: All right, Lisa Myers in Washington . Lisa , thank you very much . Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann joins us now. Congresswoman Bachmann , nice to see you, thanks for joining us.

    Representative MICHELE BACHMANN (Republican Presidential Candidate): Good morning. Good to see you, too.

    LAUER: So we have to figure out what we know here. We know that Herman Cain is vehemently denying these accusations. We also know that it's been reported that at least three women accused him of sexual harassment back in the 1990s when he was the head of the National Restaurant Association . You're a candidate first, but you are also a woman. And as the only woman in this race, I just would like your perspective on all this.

    Rep. BACHMANN: Well, I don't have any comment on this particular issue. I don't have any inside information, there's nothing I know. The one thing I can tell you is that you won't find any surprises with me on my record. I have a very consistent conservative background and record on policy, and there won't be any surprises.

    LAUER: Yeah, but you've been listening, I know, to what's been going on and you've heard the comments Mr. Cain has made over the last several days. Do you think you are hearing the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth from Herman Cain ?

    Rep. BACHMANN: Well, this is garnering a lot of attention and people are going to continue to take a look at it. But again, I don't have any comment because I don't have any inside information.

    LAUER: Is a subject like sexual harassment, and if there -- especially if there is more than one instance of it, even back in the '90s, is it a game-ender if it's proven to be true?

    Rep. BACHMANN: That's something that you all will have to focus on. That's not for me. I'm focusing on Iowa , and I'm focusing on turning the economy around and creating millions of high-paying jobs.

    LAUER: All right. I won't ask you on the specifics anymore, though, but I will ask you about the comments that Herman Cain has made that he's being singled out because he is a conservative African-American . Do you think there is a race element to these accusations?

    Rep. BACHMANN: You know, again, I don't have any comment on this. And I think that, again, what people ask me about all the time is, ' Michele , when in the world are we going to see the economy turn around?' It's really desperate out here in Iowa , I want you to know that, it's really desperate, and people want to focus on what's very important right now, which is the economy.

    LAUER: All right, let's talk about your plan for taxes then. I can get a hint and I'll take it. Unlike a lot of your opponents, you want all Americans to pay taxes, even the poor. We know about Herman Cain 's 9-9-9 proposal, we know about Rick Perry and his flat tax and Newt Gingrich and his flat tax . What do you want the tax rate to be set at, Congresswoman?

    Rep. BACHMANN: Well, taxes rates are only one piece of the puzzle. I want them flatter, fairer, simpler. But there are so many other aspects of tax -- of the tax code rather than just rates. I'm a former federal tax lawyer, I have a doctorate and a post-doctorate degree from William and Mary in tax law . I spent years working in the United States federal tax court . Taxes are extremely complicated. They can't be reduced just to a sound bite. The principles are what's important. And people today , only 47 percent of the American -- 53 percent of the American people pay any federal income tax ; 47 percent of the American people pay zero federal income tax . That's not fair. Everyone benefits from this magnificent country, everyone needs to pay something, even if it's only $10.

    LAUER: Right.

    Rep. BACHMANN: Everyone needs to be invested. That's what the problem is. That's unique about my plan. I believe we have to broaden the base to include every American. It's about time and it's only fair.

    LAUER: Some of the other things you want to do, not -- in addition to reforming the tax code , you want to get rid of a lot of regulations. You want to repeal health care reform and Wall Street reform. Can you give me a number of how many jobs you think under your policies you could create in the first couple of years of a Bachmann presidency?

    Rep. BACHMANN: Well, I have no doubt that we would create millions of jobs. Remember, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said if we passed Obamacare , we would be creating four million jobs, 400,000 almost immediately. That's despite the fact that even the government said that Obamacare would result in 800,000 jobs lost. I can tell you that's the truth here in Iowa . I talk to job creators all the time in Iowa . They aren't hiring because of Obamacare because of all of the tax increases that are involved.

    LAUER: Right.

    Rep. BACHMANN: It's at minimum $2,000 per employee and then there's other hidden taxes beyond. Plus, I just talked to a doctor who said to me, ' Michele , I sat on the phone waiting two hours and 15 minutes to get ahold of someone at the IRS to get a number to fill out a Medicare certificate for one of my patients. That's because of Obamacare , because Obamacare is now enforced by the IRS with 16,500 new agents.

    LAUER: Let me ask you -- you keep talking about Iowa , and let me ask you about Iowa and the polls there which have you very low in the pack and nationally the same thing. In New Hampshire many members of your staff resigned en masse.

    LAUER: According to recent reports that I've read, your campaign is surviving on about $1.5 million. This at the same time when other candidates are hauling in huge donors. How long can you stay in this race and carve out a path to the nomination?

    Rep. BACHMANN: Well, you know, we are working very hard and we're very strong. We're hiring people on our campaign every single day. In fact, we're announcing more new people that we're hiring. Not one person has ever asked me about who we're hiring or who our staff is. What they say to me is, ' Michele , I really like your plan, it's real jobs right now' at michelebachmann.com because I intend to create millions of jobs. Just by legalizing American energy production, you create 1.4 million jobs. If you have everyone pay something on the tax code you get fairness, and if you repeal Obamacare you also create millions of jobs as well. So mine is a pro-growth, pro-job plan. That's what people want. That's what they're excited about here in Iowa .

    LAUER: Congresswoman Michele Bachmann , thanks for joining us this morning. It was nice to see you.

    Rep. BACHMANN: Hey, good to see you. Where are you going to go next week?

    LAUER: I'm not telling not even you.

    Rep. BACHMANN: That's what I'm wondering. WHERE IN THE WORLD are you -- oh, come on.

    LAUER: Not even you I'm telling. No.

    Rep. BACHMANN: Give us a tip.

    LAUER: No, no.

    Rep. BACHMANN: Everybody wants to know. Oh, come on.

By
updated 11/4/2011 8:46:25 AM ET 2011-11-04T12:46:25

Republican presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann believes she can create millions of jobs for struggling Americans if elected president.

  1. Stories from
    1. Husband Convicted Of Murdering Wife with Lethal Injection of Nicotine
    2. Holly Williams Welcomes a Daughter
    3. Police Baffled by Utah Family of 5 Found Dead in Living Room
    4. Ashley Tisdale Goes Purple! See Her Fun New Hair Hue
    5. Mom Accused in Salt Poisoning of 5-Year-Old Says Child May Be Responsible for His Death

Bachmann appeared on TODAY Friday to talk about the controversy surrounding her rival, Herman Cain, but instead steered the conversation toward her plan to jumpstart America’s economy.

Video: Bachmann talks taxes, economy and Cain (on this page)

“I intend to create millions of jobs,’’ she told Matt Lauer. “Just by legalizing American energy production, you create 1.4 million jobs, (and) if you have everyone pay something on the tax code, you get fairness, and if you repeal Obamacare, you create millions of jobs as well. Mine is a pro-job plan. That’s what people want, and that’s what they’re excited about in Iowa.’’

Bachmann has made a point not to weigh in on Cain, who has been dogged by reports that at least three women accused him of sexual harassment in the 1990s when he was the head of the National Restaurant Association. He has vehemently denied the claims.

“I don’t have any comment on this particular issue,’’ Bachmann said. “I don’t have any inside information. There’s nothing I know. The one thing I can tell you is that you won’t find any surprises with me and my record. I have a very consistent, conservative background and record on policy, and there won’t be any surprises.’’

October jobs report hints at improvement

Bachmann also dodged commenting on whether she believes race is a factor in the situation involving Cain, who is African-American. She declined to take any shots at Cain.

“That’s not for me,’’ she said. “I’m focusing on Iowa. I’m focusing on turning the economy around and creating millions of high-paying jobs.’’

While Cain has outlined his 9-9-9 plan and Rick Perry has proposed a flat tax, Bachmann did not detail a specific reform strategy.

Story: Gloria Cain emerges as non-traditional campaign wife

“Tax rates are only one piece of the puzzle,’’ she said. “I want them flatter, fairer, simpler. Taxes are extremely complicated. They can’t be reduced just to a sound bite.

“The principles are what’s important. Only 53 percent of the American people pay any federal income tax, (and) 47 percent of the people pay zero federal income tax. That’s not fair. Everyone benefits from this magnificent country. Everyone needs to pay something, even if it’s only 10 dollars. Everyone needs to be invested. I believe we have to broaden the base to include every American. It’s about time, and it’s only fair.’’

Video: Cain backers complain of ‘high-tech lynching’

Bachmann also touched on her plan to repeal President Obama’s healthcare program. “I talk to the job creators all the time in Iowa,’’ she said. “They aren’t hiring because of Obamacare, because of all the tax increases that are involved. I just talked to a doctor who said to me, ‘Michele, I sat on the phone waiting 2 hours and 15 minutes to get ahold of someone at the IRS to get a number to fill out a Medicare certificate for one of my patients.’ That’s because of Obamacare, because it’s enforced by the IRS.’’

Bachmann’s poll numbers have steadily declined, leaving her near the back of the pack of Republican candidates. There also have been reports that her fund-raising has dramatically lagged behind her competitors', and several members of her campaign team have recently quit.

“We are working very hard, and we’re every strong,’’ she said. “We’re hiring people on our campaign every single day. We’re announcing more new people that we’re hiring. Not one person has ever asked me about who we’re hiring and who our staff is. What they say is, ‘I really like your plan.’’’

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments

More on TODAY.com

  1. Peter Kramer / NBC

    Derek Jeter tells TODAY: ‘I consider myself young again’

    9/30/2014 10:30:02 PM +00:00 2014-09-30T22:30:02
  1. 20th Cenrtry Fox via Everett Col

    Should you see ‘Gone Girl’? From Affleck to Fincher, 4 reasons to buy a ticket

    9/30/2014 5:37:22 PM +00:00 2014-09-30T17:37:22
  1. CDC confirms first Ebola case in U.S.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed the first patient to accidentally carry Ebola to the United States has been diagnosed at a hospital in Dallas.

    9/30/2014 9:02:46 PM +00:00 2014-09-30T21:02:46
  1. J. Scott Applewhite / AP

    White House breach was ‘unacceptable,' Secret Service director testifies

    9/30/2014 6:37:10 PM +00:00 2014-09-30T18:37:10
  1. Detroit Lions via Twitter

    Fumble! NFL player injured while potty-training his puppy

    9/30/2014 4:23:14 PM +00:00 2014-09-30T16:23:14