Politico: Congressional Republicans fear ‘punishment’ from Michele Bachmann

Jeff Poor | Media Reporter

MSNBC’s obsession continues.

On Friday, another page of MSNBC’s seemingly tireless campaign against Minnesota Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann was written. “Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough questioned why Republican members of the House of Representatives won’t take a more aggressive stand against their colleague for her statements.

According to Politico editor-in-chief John Harris, the reason is fear.

“Because she is an independent power in the Republican Party and she has shown the ability punish people who speak out against her, even if she’s not necessarily taken that seriously in the House Republican caucus. Her ability to draw on support from the tea party movement is taken seriously. We saw very vivid examples of that this past week.”

MSNBC hosts have targeted Bachmann in the past few days, despite this alleged wrath she has at her disposal. He likened her to former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who has a very loyal following.

“What she can do is bring her supporters to bear on them,” Harris said. “And we’ve seen this time and again with Sarah Palin. If somebody speaks out, says something even mildly critical about Sarah Palin, conservative activists around the country just dump on that person. Something similar is going on with Michele Bachmann. For example, we saw this week, Joe – the example we saw this week is a lot of people were upset, the official response to President Obama’s State of the Union was supposed to come from Paul Ryan. It did come from Paul Ryan. But Michele Bachmann’s speech to the Tea Party Express got way more publicity.”


Harris cited an alleged dust-up between Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah and Bachmann. Chaffetz questioned Bachmann’s decision to offer her own message, but backed away from his statement days later, as reported by Politico.

“This congressman, Jason Chaffetz told us at Politico, ‘You know, I think that was a mistake. She was stepping on the message,’” Harris continued. “The next day, he had to retract that. It was a statement that came through Michele Bachmann’s office. Some people aren’t afraid of her. Joe Walsh, who is a freshman Republican — not incidentally Joe, the guy from the James Gang and the Eagles of the 1970s, different Joe Walsh — but he said that speech was out of line. But a lot of people are afraid to take on Michele Bachmann publicly because of her supporters.”

Scarborough’s view of this – if you’re afraid of a petite 54-year-old congresswoman from Minnesota, you don’t belong in the Washington, D.C. power structure.

“Hey listen, if you’re a Republican congressman and you’re afraid of Michele Bachmann, you don’t deserve to be in Congress,” Scarborough said. “Go home.”

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