11:36am

Mon July 11, 2011
All Politics are Local

Yarmuth Escalates Bachmann Criticism

Responding to Republican presidential candidate Michelle Bachmann’s first campaign ad, U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., ratcheted up criticism of his congressional colleagues bid for the White House. In a 30-second spot that began airing in Iowa last week, Bachmann vowed to vote against an increase of the debt ceiling while touting her conservative views. She also signed a pledge that calls homosexuality a choice and a health risk in addition to stating African-American children were better off during slavery than under President Barack Obama.

Yarmuth says those statements show she is willing to tank the national economy to make a political point and her social views make former presidents Ronald Regan and George W. Bush appear like moderates.

“I don’t think there’s any chance in the world that she can win the presidency. As a matter of fact, I don’t think she can carry a state,” he says. “When the American people actually focus on what she has said, what she has done, they will recognize her for the irresponsible, reckless agenda she represents.”

The Minnesota congresswoman spent her third consecutive weekend in Iowa where she opened a campaign headquarters. Bachmann is considered a leading contender to win the GOP caucus next year and polling shows her surging past opponents, particularly in terms of name recognition.

In previous interviews, Yarmuth joked he supported Bachmann because if she were the Republican nominee then President Obama would win all 50 states in the union.

“We know that if you take all the Republican voters in the country that a fifth of them are sympathetic to her extreme positions, but that’s not nearly enough of a base to become elected president,” he says. “She’s not going to appeal to independents and she’s certainly not going to appeal to any Democrats.”