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Sep 28th, 2009


Young Americans for Liberty “refuse to publicize” Michele Bachmann’s appearance with Ron Paul

“We don’t feel that we can promote her in good faith, because she represents none of the libertarian principles that we joined this group for,” says vice president of University of Minnesota’s Young Americans for Liberty chapter.

Paul, Bachmann Seek Common Ground at U of M Rally

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Supporters of Ron Paul hold up signs during a town hall event at the University of Minnesota on Friday, Sept. 25, 2009. Rep. Ron Paul’s comments about monetary reform and personal liberty received the biggest applause. (Photo credit: MPR  / Madeleine Baran)

By Jessica Mador and Madeleine Baran
Minnesota Public Radio
September 26, 2009

Minneapolis – More than 1,000 people rallied Friday night at a Minneapolis town hall meeting hosted by Reps. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn. and Ron Paul, R-Texas.

The two very different Republican members of Congress don’t usually share the spotlight, but they do share a strong disdain for what they see as excessive government spending.

Organizers billed the town hall, held at the University of Minnesota’s Northrop Auditorium, as a discussion on monetary reform, limited government and free market economics, all mainstays of Ron Paul’s Libertarian-leaning platform. …

Bachmann and Paul … didn’t discuss their political differences. Instead, Bachmann stressed what they have in common.

“Do you remember last year’s $700 billion dollar bailout? Well, that is how Ron Paul and I got really acquainted. We voted no on every bailout, on every stimulus, on every scheme that came before the Congress and it was a privilege to vote no.”

Bachmann says she’s been attending Paul’s regular fiscal policy meetings and has worked to align herself with his views on monetary reform.

But the two congressmembers remain far apart on other issues, including foreign policy. Paul advocates a non-interventionist foreign policy.

The Texas Congressman took the stage to enormous applause and then talked for almost an hour about free market principles. He urged his supporters to organize, saying the voice of the conservative movement needs to be heard.

“And yet we are losing the argument. Conservatives and Libertarians do not give a good case and say that if you truly care about your fellow man what you ought to do is promote liberty and limited government and more people will be taken care of better than any other way,” he says.

Afterwards, College Republican Chair Abdul-Rahman Magba-Kamara was satisfied with the event, although he acknowledged that Paul and Bachmann have little in common.

“I think it’s just important thing that they have a large group of people who want to have our liberty stood up for and Ron Paul and Michele Bachmann are perfect examples of people that can do that for us.”

Some political analysts say we could see more strange political bedfellows as the National Republican Party struggles to define itself heading into the next election cycle.

The local chapter of Young Americans for Liberty, a national libertarian group that hosted the event, refused to publicize Bachmann’s appearance.

“We don’t feel that we can promote her in good faith, because she represents none of the libertarian principles that we joined this group for,” said Jennifer Schreiter, the chapter’s vice president.

Chris Huxtable, the chapter’s president, said he was surprised by the pairing. “It is a weird combination,” he said. “And a lot of people don’t really appreciate that she’s going to be there because they think that she’s crazy, or they just call her a lot of different names.”

Huxtable said he hopes that Paul can move Bachmann toward a more libertarian ideology.

“If Michele can agree that the government has out of control spending, then maybe Ron can help her to understand that a large part of our funding is going to an overseas empire that is having bases in every country and wars waging in countries,” Huxtable said. “So, maybe small steps in the right direction might be able to help her understand things like that.” …

———

Audio

Rice University politics professor Bob Stein talks about the event on MPR’s “All Things Considered”

Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul at the University of Minnesota

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Related report (Opinion)

What Happens When the ‘Ron Paul Revolution’ Meets Michele Bachmann


AP — Lawrence Jackson / Tom Olmscheid

By Faiz Shakir
ThinkProgress
September 26, 2009

Yesterday, the Young Americans for Liberty sponsored an event at the University of Minnesota that brought together the odd pairing of Reps. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) and Ron Paul (R-TX). Bachmann solicited Paul for the event, hoping that his presence would help her attract support from young conservatives and libertarians.

Writing for The Daily Beast, Maureen O’Connor notes that the event melded two “wingnut worlds”: “the fanatically religious Bush-era neocon, a flag-waving patriot who likens gay sex to bestiality and fantasizes about lobbing nukes at Iran” and the libertarian “Ron Paul Revolution.” Indeed, for Bachmann, the presence of Paul created numerous awkward moments, particularly as the Texas congressman sermonized at length about his isolationist views. For example, Paul said:

  •  We should never go to war if they’re telling us a lie about what’s happening. … We took the position, over my strong objection, we took the position that we had to have regime change in Iraq.
  • What they’re getting ready to do is put very, very strong sanctions on Iran. … But sanctions, and blockades, and prevention like this is an act of war.
  • The proper foreign policy under the Constitution is non-intervention and mind our own business.
  • I say bring all the troops home – Japan, Korea, and Germany.

For Bachmann – a typical neoconservative on foreign policy issues – Paul’s rhetoric stunned her into stone-cold silence. O’Connor describes the scene:

As Paul spoke passionately about ending all military operations and keeping government out of people’s “lifestyles,” a lone heckler began to shout, “Tell her!” Bachmann remained serene, hands folded in her lap, facing Paul. Bringing up Obama’s announcement that Iran had secret underground nuclear facilities, Paul announced that he had had enough of “fear-mongering” for the sake of the “military-industrial complex.” Bachmann, who once advocated nuking Iran, kept her eyes trained on Paul as her heckler repeated, “Tell her! Tell Michele! Tell her!”

Bachmann issued a very simple statement saying that she believes in “the mission of our men and women fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.” The UpTake has posted video of Ron Paul’s speech last night. Watch it:

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Related analysis

Has Ron Paul converted Michele Bachmann to libertarianism?

Eric Ostermeier of “Smart Politics” (the blog of the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs) analyzes Michele Bachmann’s reaction to Ron Paul’s speech, noting “which of those key moments in Paul’s town hall address that engendered widespread applause from the audience also inspired applause from Congresswoman Bachmann, and which did not.”

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FROM THE ARCHIVES: One Year Ago — September 28, 2008

After the Primary Election: Day 19

One year ago today, on the 19th day after losing my 2008 primary challenge against U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann in Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District, in line with my focus on national security, I reported on violence in Iraq’s disputed Kurdish region and bombings in Baghdad, posted a daily summary of security incidents in Iraq, and documented political assassinations and kidnappings in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

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7 Responses to “Queer Bachmann-Paul Pairing”
  1. Immelman For Congress » Blog Archive » Queer Bachmann-Paul Pairing « All About The Politics Says:

    [...] “We don’t feel that we can promote her in good faith, because she represents none of the libertarian principles that we joined this group for,” says vice president of University of Minnesota’s Young Americans for Liberty chapter. [...]

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