On The Road

December 17th, 2011

Bachmann’s Husband: “Santorum Can’t Win”

Michele Bachmann’s husband Marcus played an active role during day one of the Minnesota congresswoman’s 99-county tour of Iowa. During each of the campaign’s seven stops in northwest Iowa, Mr. Bachmann chatted with attendees and advocated on his wife’s behalf. He went even further during the last event of the day, telling an Iowa voter he should not support Rick Santorum for president because he is not viable.

“Santorum can’t win,” Marcus Bachmann said to Andy Wobbema of Storm Lake. Wobbema had just finished grilling Michele Bachmann about an interview she did three months ago with Jay Leno. During that appearance on late night television, Bachmann was asked several questions about her stance on gay marriage. Many conservatives were dissatisfied with her responses.That includes Andy Wobbema.

So, when Michele Bachmann visited a coffee shop in Storm Lake Friday evening, Wobbema decided to discuss the issue with her. He told Bachmann that it seemed like she did not defend her position on marriage very well.

“It was a completely different show than what I was told it was going to be,” Bachmann said. “To get into that, it takes more than three or four minutes… That’s really what the issue was… I’m not afraid of the subject. I’m not afraid to talk about the subject. I wasn’t expecting that this is what we were going to talk about.”

Not satisfied with that response, Wobbema tried a follow-up question. “Why didn’t you stand up to Jay Leno?” he asked.

“If I could turn the clock back, I would do that,” she said. “It was very different from what I thought it was going to be…To get into a deep answer takes longer.”

Those statements also failed to mollify Wobbema. “I understand she didn’t have a lot of time to respond, but at the same time she should be ready to defend her position on things like that,” he told TheIowaRepublican.com. “I would have liked her to say that she was sorry that she didn’t take a stronger stance on her position.”

Following the event, Marcus Bachmann made his way over to Wobbema to try to appease him. TheIowaRepublican.com overheard part of their conversation. Mr. Bachmann was clearly trying to earn Wobbema’s vote for his wife in the Iowa Caucus. At the end of the conservation, Marcus Bachmann said, “So, you’re undecided between us and Rick Santorum?” Wobbema said yes. Bachmann then said, “Santorum can’t win.”

For confirmation, TheIowaRepublican.com asked Wobbema what Marcus Bachmann said about Rick Santorum. “He said, ‘He can’t win.’”

That attempt to sway Andy Wobbema’s vote failed. “He’s entitled to his opinion. I’m not necessarily looking for the person who can win, I’m looking for the best candidate,” Wobbema said.

The Storm Lake resident remains undecided on who will vote for on January 3. However, he believes Rick Santorum’s defense of one-man, one-woman marriage is stronger than Michele Bachmann’s.

“I can’t say it’s a defining thing, but I feel like when Santorum speaks he conveys his message a lot more clearer than her,” Wobbema said.

Coincidentally, another attendee at a Bachmann campaign stop on Friday brought up the Jay Leno interview to TheIowaRepublican.com. We spoke with several people following her events. Almost all the responses were positive. However, Grant Diekevers of Sibley had a different take.

“I’ve always been a fan of Michele’s, but she disappointed me a few weeks ago on Jay Leno’s show,” Diekevers said. “If you can’t stand up for marriage to Jay Leno, what are you going to do in the White House?”

It is interesting that an interview from three months ago still haunts Michele Bachmann on the campaign trail. Bachmann talks tough on the issue of marriage in front of friendly audiences. However, the GOP presidential hopeful’s defense was less than stellar when she was confronted on national television by someone with a different view. Her husband’s attempts at advocacy for the campaign by tearing down an opponent might also backfire.

Photo by Dave Davidson, Prezography.com

About the Author

Kevin Hall
Kevin Hall brings almost two decades of journalistic experience to TheIowaRepublican. Starting in college as a radio broadcaster, Hall eventually became a television anchor/reporter for stations in North Carolina, Missouri, and Iowa. During the 2007 caucus cycle, Hall changed careers and joined the political realm. He was the northwest Iowa field director for Fred Thompson's presidential campaign. Hall helped Terry Branstad return to the governor's office by organizing southwest Iowa for Branstad's 2010 campaign. Hall serves as a reporter/columnist for TheIowaRepublican.com.

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