As other candidates grabbed headlines in the most recent GOP presidential debates, an establishment consensus has emerged that Michele Bachmann’s campaign is at an end.
It pinpoints the start of her decline to the days after her victory in the Ames Straw Poll. Politicos sagely attribute her fall to the timing of Rick Perry’s entrance in the presidential race. They go on to note how the frontrunner in waiting’s announcement undermined her electoral strategy in Iowa by adroitly siphoning away media attention and blocking potential new donors from the cash-strapped campaign at a crucial juncture.
However, talk of a failed candidacy – and its apparent confirmation in a recent Fox News poll reporting her support fell to 3% from 15% in mid-July – is meeting resistance from talk radio.
And the rush to begin her candidacy’s postmortem exam is prompting a recurring criticism:
The national media is looking to anoint a nominee before a single vote is cast in the GOP primary. Some also insist the Republican establishment – fearful of the victory of a conservative nominee – is complicit in the process.
On September 28th radio program, Sean Hannity rebuked the congresswoman’s detractors, calling attention to polling data from the America Research Group that showed Bachmann in second place in Iowa. At 15%, it put Bachmann in a close race behind Mitt Romney’s 21% and ahead of Rick Perry’s 14%.
“Bachmann being within striking distance in Iowa is not going to please the establishment,” Hannity predicted.
Both Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin echoed similar sentiments throughout the week, insisting none of the candidates were out of the race and bemoaning the party establishment for its belief conservatives cannot win general elections.
Herman Cain’s recent 11 point surge in the polls isn’t an argument against the viability of Bachmann’s candidacy, it illustrates why the Minnesota congresswoman shouldn’t be counted out.
Despite her second place position in Iowa in recent polling, Bachmann has admittedly lost ground and is combating a dearth of press coverage. However, the same could have been said for Herman Cain before the Fox News/Google debate. Moreover, the lack of media attention was arguably worse for the former Godfather Pizza CEO’s prospects because of his low name recognition among GOP primary voters. Yet he was able to extricate himself from the political quagmire.
Bachmann & Levin tag team GOP establishment
Interviews on talk radio give candidates huge opportunities to reclaim the spotlight. And Michele Bachmann wisely exploited that advantage Tuesday evening in an effort to regain momentum and combat the characterization of her candidacy as “fading”.
The Minnesota congresswoman joined Mark Levin for the third hour of his program on September 27th to discuss the media, Obamacare, and the economy. Levin, who has been deeply critical of GOP efforts to pressure New Jersey Governor Chris Christie into the race, began by asking:
“What do you think of the establishment press, the establishment Republicans, constantly writing candidates in and out? I mean they didn’t expect Herman Cain to do what he did in Florida, they didn’t expect you to do what you did in Iowa. And I just keeping hearing about [how] the two frontrunners are supposedly the fellow from Massachusetts, the fellow from Texas. They’re perfectly fine gentlemen, but we don’t have any frontrunners, do we?”
Bachmann responded, “continually it’s the media that wants to choose, or it’s the establishment class that thinks they have the right to choose, and this is a completely different election. We saw that in 2010, the Tea Party ran that election. The real people out there went out there and raised the money, and knocked on doors, and made the phone calls, and that’s how we won 63 seats in the House of Representatives.”
She continued, “we’re told we’ve got to have the anybody but Obama, we’ve got to have the quote ‘safe candidate’, the one that can win. And of course, the one that they believe can win is the moderate or the compromise candidate, and they don’t believe a true conservative can win. And of all years not to settle, it’s this year.”
Levin & Bachmann slam Obamacare & EPA
After discussing the GOP establishment, the congresswoman shifted focus to the adverse impact of Obamacare on the economy, arguably her signature issue.
“So now we have a report from [UBS Investment Research] saying this is the number one job killer in America, Obamacare…because it adds at minimum two to three thousand dollars per head on the price of hiring an employee. And I’ll tell you who it really is hurting, its African Americans and its Hispanic kids. Because African American youth unemployment is 47% right now and Hispanic American youth unemployment is 36%. These are good kids that want to work. But because they’re unskilled Obamacare means that they will cost another two to three thousand dollars for an employer.”
Levin also broached the subject of EPA attempts place additional regulatory burdens on the economy, insisting that “this agency must be taken under control.”
“Well of course,” Bachmann agreed. “Right now there needs to be an immediate moratorium on any more rules and the rules [from the EPA] that are in the pipeline, there just has to be a moratorium. We saw that a couple of weeks ago even President Obama saw how over the top this was. They were looking at shutting down over 20 percent of all coal-fired plants in the United States,” a reference to the EPA’s failed Cross-State Air Pollution Rule on ground level ozone.
Levin concluded his remarks with the congresswoman by again cautioning his listeners to remain skeptical of media narratives dismissing the prospects of specific candidates.
“Never say never, it’s what I’m telling everybody. We’re not going to allow the Republican establishment and their media friends to pick our nominee.”
Free podcasts of Mark Levin’s radio program, including his September 27th interview with Michele Bachmann, are available here
Podcasts and recaps of Sean Hannity’s radio program are available here