Two years ago, avid Garnet Spy fan, Minnesota Congresswoman and darling of the Tea Party Michele Bachmann responded to some questions about the future of the Republican Party and conservatism.
Rep. Bachmann’s prominence on the national stage has grown considerably since then. Because of this higher profile and her recent barnstorming through South Carolina, a key GOP primary state, her post from February of 2009 is re-posted here.
[OK, “avid Garnet Spy fan” may be a bit fanciful.]
Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota has become an outspoken – and occasionally controversial – conservative voice in the House of Representatives since her first term began in 2007. A frequent guest on a variety of news and commentary programs on radio and television, Rep. Bachmann was kind enough to answer “Five Questions For Michele Bachmann.”
What must the GOP do – nationally – to convince voters that it has the best ideas for governing?
First and foremost, Republicans must once again embrace conservative principles, and thankfully if the vote on the Democrats “stimulus” package is any indication, we’re once again finding our conservative voice. We are and always have been the real party of reform and innovation – from health savings accounts to social security reform to reducing the role of government in our lives – we must make it clear that we are the real party of change. When we were in control of the White House and Congress, we squandered an ideal opportunity to advance conservative principles – the principles upon which we were elected – in place of big government programs and spending. Plain and simple, we governed like Democrats. If we refocus our message on core conservative principles, we’ll be winning elections again in no time.
From the TARP, to the automobile company bailout, to Al Franken and the Democrat majority, what should the Republican Party strategy be to get the country solvent both politically and fiscally?
Our government is recklessly burning through money that we don’t even have. It’s an awfully poor example we’re setting for Americans who are struggling with budgeting and debt of their own to see their government have no regard for fiscal accountability whatsoever. Remember, our children and grandchildren are the ones who are going to reap the horror of our reckless ways, and it’s the government that is sticking them with the bill.
>Thankfully, the Republican Party has been outspoken in its belief in real tax cuts and in reiegning in government spending. History has taught us that the best way to stimulate the economy and create jobs is to cut wasteful spending, reduce the tax burden on small businesses and families, and keep money in the private sector. In fact, Republicans have introduced the Economic Recovery and Middle-Class Tax Relief Act of 2009 to do just that.
Do you have any reservations about an Obama presidency? What do you see as a potential positive?
This is a historic presidency and a proud moment in America’s history. But we must separate the man his policy initiatives. With a liberal Democrat in the White House and liberals in control of the House and Senate, it’s my hope that the Republican minority will be forced to straighten out our own messaging and promote and defend the key principle of fiscal responsibility. Economic stewardship must be our priority not only because it’s right, but because it’s essential to the long-term viability of a prosperous America.
What do you see as the state of conservatism in the United States today?
I’ve said in other interviews in the past that conservatism is not dead; it simply needs to be reignited. When you have Democrats winning seats in Congress by running their campaigns with strong conservative undertones – low taxes, responsible spending, personal responsibility – you know that’s what America wants and expects from its elected officials. We need to once again take hold of those principles and act on them. Only then will the American people begin to trust and embrace the Republican Party.
You’re one of the fresh faces for the GOP. Who do YOU see as that future and why?
There are so many talented leaders in the Republican Party today, that you can’t possibly list them all here and do each of them justice. But Bobby Jindal is one of my favorites and is doing a phenomenal job as Governor of Louisiana. His name’s not going away and as you know, he’s being talked about as a Presidential contender in 2012. The Republican Party is not short on youth and talent, and the great thing is that many of our freshest faces aren’t afraid to embrace and make known their conservative beliefs.