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Michele Bachmann Candidate Profile

Reason has profiled the major Republican presidential hopefuls and devised a scientific* survey to help readers find true love among the 10 top contenders (Herman Cain, Michelle Bachmann, Rick Santorum, Rick Perry, Gary Johnson, Sarah Palin, Jon Huntsman, Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul). 

Click here to take an eight-question quiz and find the candidate of your dreams.

* We're using "scientific" in the Republican sense of the word. So we really mean "made up."

Name: Michele Marie Bachmann (b. Amble)

DOB: April 6, 1956 (shares a birthday with Frank Black, Billy Dee Williams and Raphael)

Aliases: Crazy Eyes, Palin 2, the folksiest GOP candidate from the second folksiest state in America

Brief Bio: Born in Waterloo, Iowa, hometown of noted clown and serial killer John Wayne Gacy -- not middle-America's old timey movie star of choice John Wayne. Grew up in a Democrat family. Received a J.D. from Oral Roberts University. Represents Minnesota's 6th congressional district. Represented the Minnesota State House's 52nd and 56th Districts from 2000 to 2006. Founded the House Tea Party Caucus and is a long-time supporter of the movement. First GOP Congresswoman from Minnesota. Beat Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) by less than two points in the Ames, Iowa Straw Poll and soon after struggled to regain poll numbers, money, and campaign workers. 

Religious? Oh yes. Formerly attended a Lutheran Church that believed the Pope was the anti-Christ. Now attends an Evangelical one. Self-proclaimed "100 percent pro-life" thanks to a miscarriage and the 1976 Christian, anti-abortion documentary How Should We Then Live?  Studied tax law at her husband's suggestion because "the Lord said, 'Be submissive. Wives, you are to be submissive to your husband" which she claimed in the Ames debate merely meant "respect." Unimpressed by evolution. Seems pretty trusting of stories involving suspicious Muslims on airplanes. Husband of 30+ years, Marcus Bachmann, runs a Christian counseling service that has been accused of urging "de-gayification" or "conversion therapy." 

Hangups: Sand on her Mises book, sitting in her own chair, the gays, the Census, historical facts, anyone ever forgetting about her 23 foster children, the HPV vaccine

On the issues: 

Spending/Size of government/entitlement reform: Talks the the Tea Party talk but doesn't downplay her chewy social conservative center. Said she wants transparency for earmarks. Opposed TARP and opposed the auto bailout. Introduced a bill to repeal Dodd-Frank. Laid into former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty during the Ames, Iowa debate and compared him unfavorably to Obama, due to Palwenty instituting cap and trade and his expression of support for the idea of a state-wide individual healthcare mandate. Utterly opposed to raising the debt ceiling. Hates and would repeal Obamacare, which is just one point of her 11-point economic plan.

Economic Policy: A fan of Ludwig Von Mises, Milton Friedman, Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams. Talks small government but owns a heavily-subsidized family farm. Co-sponsored legislation to repeal the death tax, the estate tax and to reduce capital gains. Supports abolishing minimum wage and a massive overhaul of the tax code. Said in 2008 of the financial markets post-crash, "The problem is not necessarily a lack of regulation, it is hyper-regulation." When talking about the Federal Reserve in June, she said "What has gotten us into deep trouble and has people so perturbed is the debasing of the currency." An early October Washington Post/Bloomberg poll of GOP voters and sympathetic independents  suggested out of all the GOP candidates, voters are convinced Bachmann is most likely to break the U.S. economy. 

Foreign policy: Touted Heritage Foundation research when she wrote "Defense spending is not the culprit when it comes to our nation’s debt, like some want you to believe" and it deserves a "high priority" in the American budget. Voted "no" on 2007 vote to oppose President George Bush's Iraq war surge. Support for Israel is "critical" because American and Israel are "two sides of the same coin." Wouldn't rule out using nukes in Iran. Blames Obama's "weakness" for the Arab Spring.

Drug war: In '08 she voted "no" on continuing to fund the Mexican drug war. Apparently did not applaud Ron Paul's 2009 speech when he approvingly mentioned ending the drug war after appearing to support him on other points.

Personal Freedom: Co-sponsored a bill to prevent Minnesota from recognizing gay marriage; Pro-light bulb choice (Introduced Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act). Said in June she would support a federal amendment to ban gay marriage, even if "the states have the right to pass the laws they want to." Staunchly pro-Second Amendment. Signed Iowa Christian group FAMiLY LEADER'S pledge which included opposition to pornography. Got a lot of attention in September for her particularly staunch opposition to Texas Gov. Rick Perry's executive order which led to "innocent like 12-year-old girls" getting "a government injection" of HPV vaccine. Said in October that she wants to bring back Don't Ask, Don't Tell because "the United States military, it's not a social experiment." 

Immigration: Wants to police the border, "not reward" those who came in illegally. Vaguely defends the right kind of legal immigrants on her congressional website. Concerned enough about Shariah Law to sign the FAMiLY LEADER pledge.

Education: Opposes No-Child Left Behind. Started in politics because the charter school she helped found and served on the board of started to go Christian, which violated state law. Bachmann resigned from the board after six months but said this was a sign of federal intervention in state and local school issues run amok. Believes that states should make their own education policy with help from the Department of Education, which she calls "unconstitutional." Supports teaching creationism in schools.

Energy: Supports ANWR and off-shore drilling. Wants America to have "energy independence" because it is "a national security issue."

Horoscope for 2011: Aries are going to be working hard this year, suggests Horoscope.com. "Relationships with friends and family members could become strained...Your finances will be stable as long as you keep working as hard as usual. But don't drive yourself too hard. Eat right and exercise when you can. Get plenty of rest...Take good care of yourself, and it can all be done."

Campaign site: www.michelebachmann.com

Reason on Bachmann

*In this context, we're using scientific in the Republican sense of the word. So we really mean "made up."

The Candidates

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