Here are some highlights from Michele Bachmann’s appearance on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno on Friday, Sept. 16, 2011. We’ll have the complete transcript posted here once the show airs and the embargo is lifted.
JAY LENO: Well, the debate is heating up. You and Perry went over this HPV vaccine topic. Explain this whole deal.
MICHELE BACHMANN: Well, there was a situation where it was an abuse of executive power. And that’s something that the governor admitted, that it was an abuse of executive power. It was an action by the governor to write an executive order to order all 12‑year‑old girls to have an injection before they could go into school.
JAY LENO: But it was never implemented; right? He signed it, but it was never implemented.
JAY LENO: So how has the Tea Party changed the Republican party?
MICHELE BACHMANN: Well, I think in a good way, because a lot of people don’t know what the Tea Party stands for. And it stands for the fact that we’re taxed enough already. Number two, government shouldn’t spend more money than what it takes in. And number three, government should act within the bounds of the Constitution. That’s pretty mainstream stuff.
JAY LENO: But when President Bush was in office, we routinely raised it every two years.
MICHELE BACHMANN: Right.
JAY LENO: And it was a matter of rubber stamping. Is it because it’s Obama?
MICHELE BACHMANN: No, it’s ‑‑ no, it’s because ‑‑
JAY LENO: Do you think you would have been this strident if it was Bush‑Cheney?
MICHELE BACHMANN: Absolutely.
JAY LENO: Yeah?
MICHELE BACHMANN: Because you can’t ‑‑ you can’t double the national debt in, like, four years, because somebody’s got to pay that off. And that somebody are all the people sitting out here in the audience and at home. And they don’t want to get two and three jobs to pay off government’s debt.
JAY LENO: So who was running that, the Tea Party or Boehner? Who was running that whole ‑‑
MICHELE BACHMANN: Who was running ‑‑ well, it was working together.
JAY LENO: Like gay marriage, why be against it? I’ve been married 31 years. First wife. Very happy. Two gay guys get married. How does that affect my marriage?
MICHELE BACHMANN: Well, the whole thing is, with our clinic, whatever issue anyone has, we don’t discriminate. If they come into our clinic and somebody has an issue, our therapists deal with whatever the issues are. And if they can’t deal with it, they refer them somewhere else. And that’s it. It’s just ‑‑ it’s an ethics issue. Whatever issue ‑‑ we don’t ‑‑
JAY LENO: But see ‑‑
MICHELE BACHMANN: ‑‑ discriminate against people’s issues.
JAY LENO: But I’m not going to change your mind on that one. Do you think Sarah Palin will run? In or out?
MICHELE BACHMANN: She might. I like Sarah Palin. We’re friends. And she may. She may decide to do it. And the more people who come in, the merrier.
JAY LENO: How about ‑‑ should we pull out of Afghanistan? What do you think of that?
MICHELE BACHMANN: Well, I think that we’ve got a mess over there. And we just observed the 10th anniversary of 9/11. And 9/11 was hatched in the mountains of Afghanistan. That’s where the training was done for al‑Qaeda and the Taliban. And it’s an ugly situation, but one thing I do know is that our men and women in uniform are doing an unbelievable job ‑‑
JAY LENO: Who would you pick for a ‑‑ real quickly, last question: Who would you pick for a running mate? Would you want someone more moderate so it would balance out?
MICHELE BACHMANN: I want the best that there is ‑‑
JAY LENO: Come on.
MICHELE BACHMANN: ‑‑ out there. Absolutely, I want the best.
JAY LENO: Anybody in mind? Who do you like?
MICHELE BACHMANN: Well, you’re taken. You don’t want a cut in pay, so what can I say?
JAY LENO: Well, we’d probably have an argument over that gay thing.
MICHELE BACHMANN: Yeah.