Alex Burns, who isn't exactly liberal (like most of Politico's writers are), told the facts on the 2012 GOP horse race. Even the former chair of the Denver Republican Party Mary Smith thinks Bachmann is a liability be elected and is running on her social issues in addition to her Fiscal Conservatism, who unlike the Bachmann shill Loesch claims she's running solely on her Fiscal record, tells the truth on that point. And she hammered Perry on that point as well. Smith states that addition attention on "Palin and other candidates will benefit from it."
Dr. Drew Pinsky hosts his radio show, Loveline, with co-host Psycho Mike, which airs on Emmis-owned KPNT (105.7 The Point) from 10PM-12AM CDT on Sunday-Thursday. Pinsky has also hosted the TV version of Loveline on MTV, Discovery Health (now OWN)'s Strictly Sex With Dr. Drew and Strictly Dr. Drew, VH1's Celebrity Rehab and its spinoffs Sober House and Sex Rehab, and more recently his HLN show (Dr. Drew) and coming to syndication this fall, Dr. Drew's Lifechangers (which will air on KPLR [CW] in the St. Louis TV market). He has been both praised and criticized for his tactics.
From the 08.18.2011 edition of HLN's Dr. Drew:
PINSKY: It`s very funny, but you can`t boil a person down to slipups and bloopers. And politics aside, Bachmann`s way is powerful. It`s undeniable. Her message resonates with many, and she angers many as well. Tonight, we`re looking at the person behind the politics and what our reaction to her says about us.
So, joining me now is Alex Burns from Politico. He is on the phone. I`ve got CNN contributor and editor of bigjournalism.com, Dana Loesch, also a political fundraiser and strategist, Mary Smith joins me. Alex, to you first. That clip we just saw, late night comics singling out Bachmann. Are they doing so unfairly?
VOICE OF ALEX BURNS, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER, POLITICO: You know, Drew, I think that the question is sort of what`s important for Bachmann whether it`s fair or unfair, but it`s certainly politically beneficial to her to be perceived as being under attacked like this. Her core supporters see her as a political outsider who`s willing to speak truth to power.
And when you see these prominent figures in the mainstream media, the comics that you played and the cover of "Newsweek" with unflattering pictures of her last, this sort of reinforces her core appeal.
PINSKY: Does it bring anybody over though who sort of have issues with her or does it just reinforce the sense that people have of her as kind of a cartoon character?
BURNS: Well, I think that`s a very fair point. For someone like Michele Bachmann who really does appeal to a niche part of the electorate, she`s not necessarily going to command a majority support in any sort of general election outside of her Congressional district. You know, for her to make an impact on the national stage, what she needs is that passionate, you know, 15, 20 percent that`s available to her and it`s ginned up by this kind of stuff.
PINSKY: Now, Bachmann took hit from the left for her views on homosexuality. This is how she put it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BACHMANN: It`s part of Satan, I think, to say this is gay. It`s anything but gay. If you`re involved in the gay and lesbian lifestyle, it`s bondage. It is personal bondage, personal despair, and personal enslavement.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: And as recently as Sunday, she reiterated her stance on gay marriage. Listen here.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BACHMANN: When it comes to marriage and family, my opinion is that marriage is between a man and a woman. And I think that`s been my view.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: She also says she`d bring back "Don`t Ask, Don`t Tell." And, she and her husband caught a good deal of grief for using what, sometimes, call this pray the gay away approach at their mental health clinics. Dana, does this impress her base and infuriate her detractors?
DANA LOESCH, EDITOR, BIGJOURNALISM.COM: Well, I think so if it`s presented in the manner in which it usually represented. Michele Bachmann`s views on gay marriage and "Don`t Ask, Don`t Tell" and so on and so forth, I mean, really, when you look at it, it`s in line with the tradition of most other faiths. And what she said in 2004, a lot of people focus on that, but at the same time, it`s not really a fair break, because no one questions the president on things that he said or the churches that he`s been to or sat in for 20 years.
But, the bottom line is that, one of the things that Michele Bachmann had said, and I understand that. She had said, I`m not running to be the judge of gay people. I`m running to be president of the United States. And I think the question comes down to whether or not she can govern in an impartial and fair way. And I believe that she can, and I have not seen any reason from her to say, otherwise.
PINSKY: Dana, I`m going to ask you a follow-up, and that is, I find her very appealing as a person, but, you know, we`ve just been through a thing in California here where a referendum overturned the concerted opinion of the Supreme Court of the state, and a minority was expunged of their rights as a result of just the tyranny of this majority. Some of the things she says scares me.
LOESCH: Well, I mean, one of the things that I notice with -- if you`re referring to Prop 8. I mean, that was passed by a majority of individuals who ruled in a certain way. And I think that if you want to get into a discussion on gay marriage and civil unions, you know, that`s one thing, but that`s not what she`s running on.
And honestly, I think if you look at where the country is right now as someone who`s an independent conservative, I`m not so much focused on gay marriage or "Don`t Ask, Don`t Tell" right now as I am the economy. And, she`s been asked before, would you or would you not appoint an openly homosexual person into your administration, and she had said, look, if they can go by the constitution, I don`t this why this would even be a viable question, because that`s what it comes down to.
And ultimately, I think this issue -- and I say this constantly. I see this issue as something that has been hijacked by honestly progressives and to use as kind of a wedge issue when, really, limited government, fiscal responsibility, constitutional aspects that govern us, that is something -- it`s not patented by one group or another. That`s something that`s open to everybody regardless of your sexual orientation, regardless of your ethnicity, et cetera.
PINSKY: Well, it seems like limited government is what resonates with a lot of people, and we`re hearing the same thing from the governor of Texas. Alex, back to you, how do we distinguish these two candidates?
BURNS: You know, Drew, I think that for supporters of Governor Perry, these are people who are genuinely in line with Michele Bachmann ideological views. They`re also very conservative, very (INAUDIBLE) to federal government, want to get government out of business. This term constitutional conservative gets used by both of them.
But what Governor Perry has that Congresswoman Bachmann doesn`t have is the ten years running the second largest state in America. So, you know, he has proven himself to be the kind of person who can handle the pressure of a very big campaign with a, you know, more diverse voter base than a Bachmann has in her Congressional district, and frankly, to just raise the kind of money that you need to compete.
PINSKY: Now, I want to read you something from a speech Michele Bachmann gave in 2006. She said, quote, -- this is interesting -- quote, "My husband said, now you need to go and get a post-doctorate degree in tax law. Tax law? I hate taxes. Why should I go into something like that? But the lord says be submissive. Wives, you are to be submissive to your husbands."
Mary, I`ve been reporting this story about Warren Jeffs and that`s the kind of nonsense I heard from them. I hope that was just some sort of an out of context quote. But, these kinds of controversial statements, do those cause her trouble?
MARY SMITH, FORMER CHAIR, DENVER REPUBLICAN PARTY: They absolutely cause her trouble. And, with respect to other people on the panel, I think until these people can wrap their minds around issues like civil rights for all people, the Republican Party will be climbing an uphill battle before they can actually send somebody to the White House again. Michele Bachmann is out there talking about a lot of issues, and she`s not running on anything but fiscal conservatism.
The truth of the matter is it`s a four-year term. She needs to be open to having people of many faiths, of many beliefs, and of many life practices that make sense to them and allow them to continue as part of the American fabric. Same goes for Rick Perry. Same goes for everybody running.
PINSKY: Well, I just heard -- I think Dana saying that that`s actually what she intends to do, but don`t you think she needs to calm down her rhetoric a little bit if that`s really her belief system?
SMITH: I think that if it were really her belief system, she wouldn`t be using that kind of rhetoric to begin with. And I think it makes it very clear as she continues her path across America, that it`s important to ask her these hard questions. Yes, an unflattering picture in "Newsweek" is a tough day. But the truth of the matter is, she has to be out there and on about all of these other issues. It`s not about the gaps. It`s about being taken seriously as a candidate.
PINSKY: Dana, last word to you.
LOESCH: Yes. I`d like to add something about the submissive part. I would really hope that if people are going to quote the bible, that they actually get the full verse in. The other half of that scripture is that husbands should adore their wives and hold them up to the level that they do the church. That is an order that has not given to women.
That means that while women should be respectful to their husbands, men has to treat their wives as good as they would the church, and that`s something that`s repeated over and over again in the New Testament. That is incredibly tally (ph). And I think that`s very empowering to women, as well. So, I wanted to note that.
SMITH: Reach out to independents and people of all faiths. They really need to be able to expand beyond this kind of very specific --
LOESCH: And they absolutely have.
PINSKY: Wait, one second. One second. Host here, guys. Hang on. I got to interpret, because we have to go to break. We have more to come.
And up next, I have a question which is, do we treat Michele Bachmann differently because she`s a woman, and she`s an attractive woman? Another female power player thinks so. I`ll tell you who straight ahead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BACHMANN: Before we get started, I have to apologize to everyone in this room, because I did forget something, and I have to confess. I forgot my teleprompters today. And I know you`ve never seen a president without their teleprompters, at least, not the current (ph) one, but in the Bachmann White House, there will be no teleprompters.
BACHMANN: Because I Believe South Carolinians can take the raw, unvarnished truth.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SARAH PALIN, FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: Just because there may happen to be two women in the race that they would, you know, as Michelle had put it once, get in the mud and engage in cat fighting, that`s ridiculous. It`s kind of even a sexist notion to consider that the two women would be kind of duking it out. No. If I want to duke it out, I`m going to duke it out with the guy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: That, of course, Sarah Palin, undeclared but potential Republican presidential candidate, addressing friction between she and candidate Michele Bachmann. Back with me are Dana Loesch, CNN contributor and editor of bigjournalism.com and political fundraiser and strategist, Mary Smith.
Mary, I want to go to you first, and Dana, I`ll give you quite a chance to ring in here in a second here, but is it -- do we not sort of reserve a special should we call it aggression or enmity for women in politics, and particularly, attractive women in politics? And if we do, does it ever benefit them?
SMITH: Sure, it benefits them. The additional attention benefits them. People are drawn to attractive people. That is well proven across lots of different spectra. The issue with women in politics is special one because there are so few of them. So, the occasional gaffe by Sarah Palin or Michele Bachmann seems (INAUDIBLE) to everybody watching, and the truth of the matter is it just doesn`t have very often.
So, it`s a shiny new toy that people are watching, and they get a little bit of additional scrutiny. But, there`s a lot to be said for the - - all press is good press. They`re getting the attention. And it`s allowing them to get their ideas out there too and to be heard on a huge stage and on a huge scale. So, I wouldn`t -- I don`t feel sorry for these women. If you can`t take the heat, get out of the political kitchen, and neither of them are.
PINSKY: Well, Dana, I`m going to go to you. I`m wondering if it just says something about us that these female Republican candidates are often, when they`re attractive, often portrayed as dumb or silly.
LOESCH: Yes. That`s something that seems to be consistent. And quite honestly, having followed politics for and been involved for quite a while, I`ve seen this on both sides of the aisle. I definitely saw it with Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. I`ve seen it with Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann. And yes -- being good looking is definitely an asset. And I think any female candidate, if she`s good looking, use it to your advantage, because why not?
I think if you`re full well and able, then do it. But I definitely do think that something that Mary had said is that because there are so few women still involved in politics, anything that they do makes a much bigger statement than anything a male candidate does. And quite honestly, a lot of the sexism that I have seen against women hasn`t been from men. It`s been from other women. And I`ve seen a lot of women especially during the last presidential election.
They didn`t know whether or not Hillary Clinton would be able to do as well as Barack Obama, and they wondered how Sarah Palin would be able to deal with the White House when she had young children. And these were things that are never asked of male candidates. But, I heard them and I kid you not, more often from women than I did for men. So, what does that say about women?
PINSKY: It says you guys beat the crap out of each other, and you`ve been --
PINSKY: Hang on. And you`ve been doing so since you were 12. You`ve been doing it since you were 12 years old, and that`s my question to women is why are you so rough on each other? What`s that?
LOESCH: Women are catty. Women, I think, are catty. And I had this conversation the other day with a friend of mine. Have you noticed that so many reality shows are centered around women? Because women bring the drama. They`re manipulative. And I`m not saying it`s a bad thing. I`m just saying that that`s something I see more in women than I do in men.
We watch it because we like the drama for the same reasons that I think a lot of people get involved in politics and watch what`s going on in the political arena. It`s the new gladiator arena with women as gladiators.
PINSKY: What I do think -- I do think and Mary maybe you`ll agree with me on this, that we need to check ourselves and think about it when we mindlessly do this, particularly, women against other women, and merely -- and stop doing that. And us that are men if we find them attractive, they`re going to get our vote. Let`s listen to what they said.
And interestingly, Dana you sort of completed that scripture reference in that last segment from Michele Bachmann about submitting to your husband. I found that bordering on reprehensible in its incomplete form. You know what I mean?
LOESCH: Right. It sounds awful. It sounds horrible.
PINSKY: It sounds awful.
PINSKY: That`s right. So, in a way, I mean, maybe it`s time for some of these Republican candidates to stay away from some of that material and really focus on the governing. Mary, do you agree with me on that?
SMITH: Take almost any sentence out of the bible out of context and you`ll find something that`s reprehensible if it stands on its own. In context with the rest of it, a lot of it makes a lot of sense. A lot of it is across the board a good way to live your life. But -- and it`s not about women targeting other women. It`s a great stage. And now, we have serious candidates.
Michele Bachmann wouldn`t be on the cover of "Newsweek" if they weren`t taking her seriously. They are. You didn`t see Donald Trump actually making it, talk about a caricature. He`s gone. It`s gone. What we have are some serious people bringing up serious issues. I find it fairly disappointing that we`re spending so much time on John Wayne versus John Wayne Gacy or somebody`s birthday or somebody`s, you know, the day of their funeral.
That`s disappointing, because the substance is lost when we, as Americans, maybe there`s just too much news because we`re concentrating too much on this little stuff and not actually listening to what`s going wrong in the country and the solutions that people are offering to fix it. We need to look more towards the fixes and really hold their feet to the fire. If somebody`s making chitchat about the corn dogs or the fair or whatever, change the dynamic. Change the conversation.
Talk to them about what their ideas, what they are actually going to do. Not their track record, not what they have done in the past. How are you going to bring that to the fore so that you can solve the problems that are right here right now?
PINSKY: More after this. Stick around.
BACHMANN: I`ve been at the tip of the spear.
I`ve been at the tip of the spear.
I`ve been at the tip of the spear, and I`ve been a champion for people.
I was the leading voice in Washington against raising the debt ceiling.
I`ve been leading on this issue of not raising the debt ceiling.
I was leading on not increasing the debt ceiling.
We took the biggest punch to the gut this week.
This last week, we got a punch to the gut in the United States.
We saw a punch to the gut in the United States this last week.
We really had a punch in the gut.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BACHMANN: Better late than never is no way to conduct United States foreign policy. Finally, after weeks of violence by President Assad against his own people, President Obama has called for President Assad to step aside in Syria. This is yet one more instance of President Obama leading from behind on foreign policy.
The president should have acted weeks ago to call on President Assad to step down when his regime started slaughtering and oppressing his own Syrian people. By this count now, it`s thousands of Syrians.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SMITH: Where are those people who decided to vote for Barack Obama? I know a lot of them who wish they had voted for Hillary Clinton in that primary race and believe that she, as a woman, but more as the candidates and as the leader, would have done a better job if she was in that position today than he is. I agree with them.
PINSKY: Mary, you bring up the point, and this is something, Dana, you do the final word on this, which is I hear -- I`m clearer about what Rick Perry`s position is on his stance towards how he plans to govern, although, it`s a little unclear. I`m clearer about it than I am, say, with Michele Bachmann where so much noise gets in the way. How do we get passel the noise and the jokes to hear what it is she would do as a candidate?
LOESCH: Are you asking me this?
PINSKY: I`m asking you that.
LOESCH: Well, something Mary said that I thought was incredibly interesting when she was saying that -- when she said that there`s -- maybe there`s too much news. I don`t know if there`s too much news rather, I think sometimes the news focuses on the wrong thing, because when you go to the ballot box, you`re not going to be thinking about what Michele Bachmann said about Elvis` death day.
You`re going to be wondering, well, why did she vote the way that she did on cut, cap, and balance? Why did she vote the way that she did on TARP. What has her record then? And I think -- and Dr. Drew, you made a very interesting point in terms of you know more how Rick Perry would govern as oppose to Michele Bachmann.
And this says, we could -- I could go off on a tangent on this that`s because, you know, the gubernatorial poll obviously very different than coming from House of Representatives, and presidential candidates don`t normally come from the house. One in the past 100 years, in fact, has. But, I think, it`s very important.
The media is there to sort of enhance and give platform to what is going on news wise. And instead, it seems that a lot of regular supposedly objective news organizations seem to try to adopt the tabloid style of reporting and focusing on things that, in the end, don`t really matter.
PINSKY: Well, it enhances our ratings. That`s why we do it. But guys, I`ve got to stop the conversation there. It`s very sad. Yes, it`s very sad. That`s why I`m trying not to do that tonight. I would like to cut through that and really find a candidate who`s going to change things for the better for all of us. So, thank you, ladies, for joining me.
Now, whatever else you might say about Michele Bachmann, she is a force to be reckoned with this election season. Underestimating someone because of gender is unfair. There is a wrong (ph). It`s also unfair to take shots at a person`s strong sense of values. But it`s important question to ask, do we worry about values that might translate into laws that are unfair?
That`s what I was asking about here a little bit. These are the questions we have to ask ourselves and the ones who come to light when a magnetic and polarizing figure like Michele Bachmann emerges on the landscape. These are the things that we start thinking about. So, it`s going to be an interesting election season. I want to thank you all for watching. We`ll see you next time.
Why does CNN and HLN give her a platform to spew out falsehoods uncontested? Dr. Drew (whose political knowledge is not that great and I don't associate politics with him) was being too passive on Loesch.