Announcement of Candidacy
Waterloo, IA Monday, June 27, 2011 [PREPARED REMARKS] / C-SPAN
great to be in Iowa and even
better to be in Waterloo where I was born. It's fitting to be here at
the Snowden House, the place that once served as the home of the
Women's Club. I stand here today in front of many friends and family to
formally announce my candidacy for President of the United States. I do
because I am grateful for the blessings God and this country have given
to me, and not because of the position of the office, but because I am
determined that every American deserves these blessings and that
together we can once again strengthen America and restore the promise
of the future. I want to bring a voice, your voice, to the White House,
just as I have brought your voice to the halls of congress to secure
the promise of the
future for our generation and generations to come.
say that everything I needed to know I learned in Iowa. It was at
and Valley Park Elementary Schools and my home, both a short distance
from here, where those Iowan roots were firmly planted. It's those
roots and my
faith in God that guide me today. I'm a descendent of generations
Iowans. I know what it means to be from Iowa—what we value and what's
important. Those are the values that helped make Iowa the breadbasket
of the world and those are the values, the best of all of us that we
recapture to secure the promise of the future.
was different five decades ago when I grew up here. That elementary
building was a lot younger and for that matter so was I. Five decades
ago when I went there to school the halls were teeming with young
like me, had dreams of their future. A future with promise and parents
who wanted it to be filled with more opportunities than they had. Five
decades ago America had less debt, in fact our national debt was less
than 300 billion dollars. A gallon of gasoline was 31 cents, and owning
was part of living the American dream. Today our debt is over 14
trillion dollars, a gallon of gas is still outrageously high, millions
of homes are
in foreclosure, and those dreams are distant for many Americans.
Times have changed here in Waterloo, but the people still have the same
spirit we Iowans have come to exemplify. We work hard, we live within
our means and we expect to pass on a better life to our children. But
government keeps getting bigger making it tougher for us to pass on
that life, causing our jobs to go overseas and spending more of the
money we make,
while we keep less of it.
Don't mistake my happy memories of
growing up in Waterloo as pining for the past. I recognize it's
to turn the clock back and go back to a different day. Instead, I want
this moment to serve as a reminder about the best of who we are as a
what our values are, and what went in to making America great to
capture its best for the promise of the future. I want my candidacy for
presidency to stand for the moment when "we the people" reclaimed our
independence from a government that has gotten too big, spends too
much and has taken away too much of our liberty.
have always confronted challenges. Ours is a history marked by
well as prosperity. My early days were difficult as they were for many
Americans, especially during the time when my mother struggled to raise
after divorce. But we made our own way. We depended on our neighbors
and ourselves and not our government for help. We trusted in God and
neighbors and not in Government. Americans still have that same spirit.
But government keeps trying to erase it because government thinks it
better—that government can create jobs, and make a better life for all
of us, even make us healthier! But that's NOT the case. We have to
recapture our founders' vision of a constitutionally conservative
government if we are to secure the promise of the future.
here because Waterloo laid the foundation for my own roots in politics.
I never thought that I would end up in public life. I grew up here in
Iowa. My grandparents are buried here. I remember how sad I was leaving
Iowa to go to Minnesota in the sixth grade, because this part of Iowa
was all I
knew—I remember telling my parents that we couldn't move to Minnesota
because I hadn't even been to Des Moines to see the state capitol.
I grew up a democrat. My first involvement in politics was working for
Jimmy Carter's election in 1976. But when I saw the direction
President Carter took our country; how his big spending liberal
majority grew government, weakened our standing in the world, and how
our liberties, I became a Republican. I remember standing in the
kitchen of my grandma's house on Lafayette Street in Waterloo listening
to my dad, a
Democrat debating the merits of the Great Society with my grandmother,
a Republican. I remember her prophetic admonition to my father that the
Society wouldn't work because it wouldn't be my father's generation who
paid for it, but rather my brother, David and me. And now that
come true and neither my democrat father nor my republican grandmother
would have condoned this spending and debt.
I hadn't planned on
getting into politics. I loved the law and went to law school. I went
on to William and Mary to become a tax lawyer. Together with my husband
started a successful small business.
When I saw the
problems with our local school district and how academic excellence was
eroded by federal government interference with the local schools, I
decided to do more than just complain about it. One of those Iowa
instilled in me was to always leave whatever you were involved with
better than when you found it, so I decided to seek public office to
local school district better. I didn't seek public office for fortune
or power, but simply to make life better in our community and education
for our children. And now I seek the presidency not for vanity, but
because America is at a crucial moment and I believe that we must make
choice if we are to secure the promise of the future.
We cannot continue to kick the can of our problems down the road,
are problems of today and not tomorrow.
• We cannot continue to rack up debt on the backs of future
• We can't afford an
unconstitutional health plan that costs too much and is worth so little.
• And we can't afford four more years of failed leadership
• We can't afford four more years of millions of Americans
work or in jobs that pay too little to support their families.
• We can't afford four more years of a housing crisis that
devaluing our homes and making home ownership impossible for many
• We can't afford four more years of a foreign policy that
behind and doesn't stand up for our friends and stand up to our enemies.
• We can't afford four more years of Barack Obama.
constitutional conservative, I believe in the Founding Father's vision
limited government that trusts in and preserves the unlimited potential
of the American people. I don't believe that the solutions to our
come from Washington: more than ever, Washington IS the problem, and
the real solutions will come from our businesses, our communities, our
and the most basic and powerful unit of all-our families.
We've started another campaign season, almost when it seemed like the
just ended. Through all of the rancor of the campaign, let us always
remember that there is much more that unites us than divides us. Our
don't have an identity of party, they are problems created by both
Americans agree that our country is in peril today and we
must act with urgency to save it. And Americans aren't interested in
affiliation; they are interested in solutions, and leadership that will
truth. And the truth is that Americans ARE the solution and not the
This election is about big issues, not petty ones. When all is said and
done, we cannot be about big government as usual. Then America will
In Washington I am bringing a voice to
the halls of congress that has been missing for a long time. It is the
voice of the people I love and learned from growing up in Waterloo. It
voice of reasonable, fair-minded people who love this country, who are
patriotic, and who see the United States as the indispensable nation of
My voice is part of a movement to take back our
country, and now I want to take that voice to the White House. It is
of constitutional conservatives who want our government to do its job
and not ours and who want our government to live within its means and
children's and grandchildren's.
I am here in Waterloo, Iowa
to announce today: We can win in 2012 and we will. Our voice has been
growing louder and stronger. And it is made up of Americans from all
walks of life like a three-legged stool. It's the peace through
Republicans, and I'm one of them, it's fiscal conservatives, and I'm
one of them, and it's social conservatives, and I'm one of them. It's
Party movement and I'm one of them.
The liberals, and to be
clear I'm NOT one of them, want you to think the Tea Party is the Right
of the Republican Party. But it's not. It's made up of disaffected
Democrats, independents, people who've never been political a day in
libertarians, Republicans. We're people who simply want America back on
the right track again.
We're practical people who want the
country to work again. This is a powerful coalition the left fears, and
they should because, Make no mistake about it, President Obama is a
In February 2009 President Obama was very
confident that his economic policies would turn the country around
within a year. He said, "A year from now, I think people are going to
see that we're starting to make some progress. If I don't have this
done in three years,
then there's going to be a one-term proposition." Well Mr. President,
your policies haven't worked. Spending our way out of this recession
hasn't worked. And so Mr. President We Take You at Your Word!
Waterloo holds a special place for me, but also holds a special place
our country. You sent and still do send your sons and daughters off to
fight for America and to protect the freedoms that allow us to gather
today. I honor my dad who served in the United States Air Force. I
honor my step dad who served in the United States Army. And I honor my
stepbrother who retired full United States Navy. We will never forget
those sacrifices; it is part of our past we must remember to secure the
of the future. It is those values that make our country unique and make
us the most powerful force for good on this planet. I believe the
States of America is THE indispensible nation. It is that spirit that
separates us from those who would give their own life for others from
sacrifice others, like terrorists who use little children as human
Perhaps the valor of our American fighting heroes was never
captured better than in the sacrifice made by the Sullivan brothers
from right here in Waterloo. The Sullivan family was much like other
America during the depression. They were fortunate to get by. Most of
the family worked here in Waterloo at the local meat packing plant.
close friend of the family died at Pearl Harbor, the five Sullivan
brothers enlisted in the Navy, but under the condition that they be
serve together. One of the brothers wrote, "We will make a team
together that can't be beat." Born and raised here in Waterloo, the
Sullivan brothers had always stuck together. However, one fateful
morning after a long night of intense battle, a Japanese torpedo struck
Juneau, the ship on which they served killing most of the crew and
launching the rest into the water. The oldest of the Sullivans, George,
tirelessly for his brothers, but they were not to be found. He had
survived the attack, but later perished at sea. All but 10 of the 697
of the Juneau, gave their lives for their country. In spite of the
intense pain of losing their five sons all at once, the parents of the
became an inspiration to America speaking to millions on behalf of the
war effort. To honor the Sullivans two ships were named for them. The
of the last ship—We Stick Together!
Theirs was a demonstration of the Holy Scriptures that says: "Greater
love hath no
man than this, but that he lay down his life for his friend."
That is the kind of love we Americans have for our country. We
Americans stick together. We triumph together. In the words of Daniel
Webster, we are, "One cause, one country, one heart." That is the
kind of commitment it will take to face the great challenges of today.
The people of this great country have that level of courage and they
longing for a President who will listen to them, who will lead from the
front, and not from behind.
I'm Michele Bachmann and I'm
running for President of the United States.
Together, we can do this. Together we can reign in all the corruption
and waste that has
become Washington and instead leave a better America for future
Together we can make a team that can't be beat!
Together we can secure the promise of the future.
Together we can - and together we will!
God bless you and God bless
the United States of America!