Michele Bachamann, as self-proclaimed fiscal hawk who has spoken often and ardently against those who benefit from federal dollars, was not forthcoming with Fox News’s Chris Wallace about how her family has personally benefited from federal money.
WALLACE: The Los Angeles Times has a story out today that says for all your talk of being a fiscal hawk, that, in fact, you have gone after federal and government -- excuse me, state government money over the years, both personally and professionally. And let's it up on the screen.
A counseling clinic -- excuse me -- run by your husband got almost $30,000 in state federal funds. A farm, in which you are a partner, got almost $260,000 in federal subsidies. And over the years, you sought more than $60 million in the state earmarks and more than $3.7 million in federal earmarks.
Question -- that's a fiscal hawk?
BACHMANN: Well, let's go through them. First of all, the money that went to the clinic was actually training money for employees. The clinic did not get the money. And my husband and I did not get the money either. That's mental health training money that went to employees.
Number two, regarding the farm, the farm is my father-in-law's farm. It's not my husband and my farm. It's my father-in-law's farm. And my husband and I have never gotten a penny of money from the farm.
Regarding the earmarks, I believe the right place to build projects is in the states and the states have to build roads and bridges. And I don't apologize for building roads and bridges.
The Los Angles Times shows just how Bachmann and her familiy have benefited from federal aid.
A counseling clinic run by her husband has received nearly $30,000 from the state of Minnesota in the last five years, money that in part came from the federal government. A family farm in Wisconsin, in which the congresswoman is a partner, received nearly $260,000 in federal farm subsidies.
Her public statements are inconsistent with her personal history.
“I don’t need government to be successful,” she proudly told Fox News host Bill O’Reilly in fall 2009 when he asked why she inspired such ire among liberal critics.
Yet despite her broadsides against “socialized medicine,” Bachmann’s husband, Marcus, applied for public funds for his counseling clinic, Bachmann & Associates. Since 2006, he has received nearly $30,000, according to Minnesota state records. The bulk of the money -- $24,041 -- came in the form of grants from the state Department of Human Services to train staff how to deal with clients suffering from chemical dependency and mental illness. That program was financed in part by the federal government.
And Bachmann has spoken out against federal farm payments in spite of having received these benefits. Bachmann also spoke out against President Obama’s stimulus package, proclaiming, “I cannot support this new direction for the American economy.”
But seven months later, Bachmann wrote six letters to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood asking for stimulus-financed grants for infrastructure projects in her district, such as expanding commuter rail and constructing a bridge over St. Croix River. (The letters were first reported by the Center for Public Integrity.)
Rep. Bachmann is going to have to satisfy questions about these conflicting actions and statements if she is to be a serious candidate for president.