Rep. Michele Bachmann’s (R-MN) speech at the Values Voter Summit Friday couldn’t have come at a better time for the firebrand Republican. Standing before a room of supporters and in the midst of a Middle East crisis, Bachmann led a master class in conservative fears about President Obama and Islam.
The thrust of Bachmann’s speech: Obama and his administration are appeasing — possibly even aiding — Muslims who want to dictate what Americans can say about Islam, and prioritizing Muslims’ feelings over the safety of the country.
Bachmann has been on the fringes of her party since she left the presidential race earlier this year, drawing rebukes from Republican leaders over her accusation that a top aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has ties to radical Muslim groups.
Bachmann never backed down, and with the nation’s focus on the embassy attacks in Egypt and Libya, she let her flag fly.
“It is my belief and my opinion that Barack Obama has been the most dangerous president we have ever had on American foreign policy,” Bachmann said.
Most of the fears Bachmann expressed are squarely within the Republican mainstream — the belief that Obama is appeasing Muslims and apologizing for American foreign policy. That’s a view that’s driving Mitt Romney’s attacks on the Libya and Egypt response this week.
“The fact is this administration is virtually outlawed understanding who the enemy is and at every turn the enemy the president is persistent on apologizing for who we are as Americans,” she said. “Now I’m no master war strategists but I do know enough that when we refuse to acknowledge who the enemy is and what he believes and when we shame Americans for standing up for who we are, then President Obama is following a strategy of complete defeat.”
On specifics, there wasn’t much new — Bachmann again claimed the White House was granting visas to terrorists, and attacked the administration for “a complete purge of any federal training materials from references to the ideology of Islam, to ensure that all trainers in our U.S. military, our FBI and other U.S. security agencies be retrained, so they would be brainwashed in political correctness toward Islam.”
But the news of the week gave her fuel to amp up the old attacks.
“In light of the attack this week on our embassy in Cairo, we need to tell the Muslim Brotherhood-controlled government in Egypt, if you continue to inflame sentiment against the United States, we will immediately put an end to the United States taxpayer gravy train that we are sending your way,” Bachmann said. She called on Obama to cancel campaign fundraisers and an appearance on David Letterman next week and “instead, agree to meet with the prime minister of Israel.”
The social conservatives gathered at the Values Voter Summit hung on her every word, and rose to their feet on more than one occasion. It’s an old song for the most part, but Bachmann’s playing it at just the right time.