Minnesota Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann has her share of detractors on the left side of the political spectrum. But she also has some critics on the right who question her conservative credentials and whether she deserves to be a leading figure of the Tea Party movement.
Conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh dismissed Bachmann’s conservative critics on his Monday show and explained the source of such criticisms directed at the Minnesota Republican congresswoman.
“There is a little game being played by the establishment-Republican commentariat, the what I call ‘the inside-the-beltway conservative intelligentsia, the Republican intellectual elite,’” Limbaugh said. “And it is aimed at muddling conservatism and discrediting – taking down, if you will, conservative Tea Party candidates in the Republican presidential primary process. And the way to do it, by the way, is a page out of the Democrat-left’s playbook.”
Limbaugh theorized that the Republican establishment is motivated by the belief that a principled conservative can’t win elections. Limbaugh cited an article from The Daily Caller’s Matt Lewis challenging potential 2012 Republican presidential contender Rep. Michele Bachmann’s record on “earmarks, farm subsidies and pardons.”
“[I]t’s a takedown of Michele Bachmann in The Daily Caller,” Limbaugh said. “In this case it’s not because she’s too pure. In her case it’s because she is too impure. In other words, let’s not support candidates who are unabashedly conservative because they can’t win. That’s the advice – Michele can’t win because she’s too unabashedly conservative.”
Limbaugh said it should come as no surprise that the so-called establishment is trying to take down Bachmann.
“Now let’s look at Bachmann, just a quick peek here at Michele Bachmann,” he continued. “She’s a favored target of establishment Washington. Now that doesn’t come as a surprise to you, does it? You know she’s a target, you’ve seen it. It might perplex you as to why at this stage of the game – look I know where in the Republican primaries and the battle is between ourselves now. It’s understandable. But establishment Washington – Bachmann is a favorite target, and even to the point to talking about how she is too short, or she’s radical or what have you.”
But the arguments thrown against Bachmann vary, Limbaugh said. While in some cases the argument is she is too pure a conservative to be politically viable, in others it is that she is not as pure a conservative as she claims to be, Limbaugh explained.
“The attack on her is that she supported earmarks and ethanol,” Limbaugh said. “So the argument here is – this is the reverse purity argument. The argument here is that she is not pure and therefore not pure enough for Tea Party activists. This is an attempt to alert the Tea Party that Michele Bachmann is a fraud, that she’s really not one of you. She’s out there trying to create support, command support while all you Tea Party people, but she’s not one of you. She’s not pure. She’s voted for earmarks and ethanol.”
Limbaugh went on to refute those claims, citing Bachmann’s effort to strip $105 billion from Obamacare to thwart its implementation, her opposition to continuing resolution funding of government during the budget negotiation process, her opposition to amnesty for illegal immigrants, her staunch support of national security and defense and the leadership role she plays in Tea Party movement.
“Now, all of that distinguishes her quite a lot from most of the candidates who are seeking the Republican nomination for president or planning to,” he said. “However, because she supported some earmarks and ethanol she said by non-conservatives not to be pure enough for conservatives who are demanding purity. And in another piece, they’ll say demanding purity is a bad thing. Right now, she’s not pure enough. Nobody can be everything to everybody. On the big stuff, Michele Bachmann has flying colors when it comes to being defined as a conservative. It is a stretch – it would be an incredible stretch to say she is not a conservative. I think – we’ve talked about earmarks, ethanol – those two things, considering everything else we face, that’s chump change. But if you want to focus on those two things trying to say she is impure – that’s what’s doing now. That’s what’s underway – people on our side.”