This morning, Michele Bachmann and Jim Graves, her DFL opponent, appeared on Esme Murphy’s program. The first part of Michele’s interview focused on high gas prices, which Michele handled well. Here’s a partial transcript of that part of the interview:

ESME: Critics have said that even if we expanded production, it would not have an immediate impact at the pump. Realistically, what would it take to get gas prices down to $2 a gallon and when would that happen?
MICHELE: Well, remember that the day Barack Obama became president, gas was $1.84 a gallon so gas prices have gone up 110% since he was in office. And in the last 30 days, gas prices have gone up 30 cents a gallon…So what we can do are a few simple things. We can legalize American energy production.

The good news is that the United States is the number one energy resource-rich nation in the world. We actually have more oil than Saudi Arabia has. We have 25% of the coal in the world here in the United States. We have trillions of cubic feet of natural gas in the United States. We can convert cars to run on natural gas.

Later, the subject was Michele’s accomplishments, another topic she nailed:

ESME: This weekend, businessman Jim Graves won the endorsement to run against you in November. In his announcement, Mr. Graves strongly criticized you for essentially running for president…essentially saying that Congresswoman Bachmann just wasn’t there for the Sixth District. How do you respond to that?
MICHELE: Well, during the time that I took the voice of the people of the Sixth District to, not only to the halls of Congress but I amplified their voice, I also kept my eye on the big things in Congress that impact the Sixth District. One of those things was building the St. Croix River Bridge. That’s the longest unfinished bridge project. I brought together Democrats and Republicans alike and we got done something no one else was able to do. I actually got that done while I was on the presidential trail.

For the most part, Graves tried distancing himself from the DFL as quickly as possible. He talked about how the Obamacare bill was a start, that it wasn’t perfect but there’s more work to do, etc. On energy, he briefly touched on increasing domestic production before skipping to the DFL’s crutch of alternative energy.

When Esme Murphy talked about how the Sixth District is more conservative than the old Sixth was, Graves said that we’re all people first. He then said that he doesn’t “pay much attention to labels like Republican or Democrat.”

The thing that was most noticeable was that he tried distancing himself from the DFL label from the start without distancing himself from DFL policies.

The other thing that was impressive about the interviews was how prepared and relaxed Michele was. Her answers were sharp, especially on whether she’d been there for the Sixth District.

With Mr. Graves being a relative unknown, it’s impossible to predict if he’ll put together a great campaign or if he’s just the next sacrificial lamb for Michele.

It’s understatement to say that he’s got an uphill climb against Michele.

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10 Responses to “Mismatch: Michele Bachmann vs. Jim Graves?”

  • Chad Q says:

    Only thing I have heard about Graves (besides this) is that he wants everyone to earn a livable wage. What the heck is that? I’d like to live like a king but can’t on what I earn. Does he pay his employees a livable wage or is he just giving lip service to the DFL base?

  • Mr. D says:

    Gary, I think the only reason Graves got the nod is that he can self-finance if needed. The money that went after Bachmann in the last cycle is going to be directed at Chip Cravaack, as you’ve already ably documented.

  • eric z says:

    A bozo vs a job creator.

    And you favor the bozo?

    Gary, Gary, Gary.

  • Gary Gross says:

    Eric, Shame on you for calling Michele a bozo. She’s anything but that. Your ideological blinders prevent you from seeing that. She’s schooled plenty of people on tax- & banking-related issues.

    As for Graves, it isn’t as much about whether he’s a job creator as it is about whether a) he’ll genuflect in front of Pelosi or b) he’ll worship at the altar of the militant environmentalists.

    Jim Graves won’t rein in the EPA, the FCC or the NLRB.

    No Thanks.

  • walter hanson says:


    Um the bozo is either Obama or Graves so thank you for saying that Michelle Bachmann is a job creator.

    Walter Hanson
    Minneapolis, MN

  • Tony says:

    Hi – excuse me, but your ideological blinders keep you obsessively focused on Bachmann, who is rude, crude and has created no jobs. She’s just a little attack dog who doesn’t know how to have a normal conversation because just talks and talks and talks but says nothing.

    Michelle Bachmann is also so fantastically negative. She can’t open her mouth without hurling something negative at someone. She actually great at her job, which is to continually throw red beat at her rabid base. She keeps them energized. She’s symbolism over substance and her extreme followers want that. Sad, indeed, but true.

    You need to vote in Jim Graves who is a proven job creator and intends to work with everyone, not just a segment of congress. Plus, Bachmann is a national embarrassment, Jim would raise the bar there and again attract respect and jobs.

    Thank you.

  • Gary Gross says:

    I knew Jim Graves in high school. He isn’t a hater like you but he’s progressive as the day is long. More importantly, he’d be a reliable vote for Nancy Pelosi.

    Your bull$hit about Michele being “symbolism over substance” exposes your blinders. Michele is one of the foremost experts on banking regulations and taxes in the nation. Your hating blinded you to that. Then again, that’s what I’d expect.

  • walter hanson says:


    I think the reason why you don’t like Bachmann is because she takes it to the person who is trying to destroy jobs Obama.

    Obama wants killer tax hikes.

    Obama is spending the country like it’s Greece.

    Obama is trying to regulate coal out of business.

    Obama doesn’t want us to drill for oil and despite his regulatory barriers takes credit for the increased production they have done.

    Obama created Obamacare.

    Obama thinks government creates jobs.

    Obama thinks the private sector is doing just fine.

    Jim Graves will support the job killing agenda that Obama wants.

    I guess you’re lying when you said you want to create jobs.

    Walter Hanson
    Minneapolis, MN

  • Jack Doe says:

    Gary Gross says:
    April 16, 2012 at 1:08 pm
    Eric, Shame on you for calling Michele a bozo. She’s anything but that. Your ideological blinders prevent you from seeing that. She’s schooled plenty of people on tax- & banking-related issues.

    As for Graves, it isn’t as much about whether he’s a job creator as it is about whether a) he’ll genuflect in front of Pelosi or b) he’ll worship at the altar of the militant environmentalists.

    First, he says ideological blinders prevent the subject from seeing how Michelle Bachmann is anything but a “bozo”. Following this statement he turns on high gear ideological views in assuming Jim Graves will either bow to Pelosi or support “militant environmentalist”, and to support his statement he brings in the fact Jim Graves would not harm the EPA (the same agency that protects “Gary Gross’s” drinking water from intoxicants and alerts his family when hazardous pollution is nearby the same loved ones).

    So by automatically turning on your ideology to target him, you’ve essentially collapsed your initial argument in accusing him of being “ideologically blind”.

    1. Obama wants to raise taxes on people who earn more than 250,000 a year by about 7%. This is on their income, meaning the stuff they bring in AFTER business expenses. Meaning their actual business taxes remain the same.

    2. Obama has suggested reasonable plans backed by the Pentagon itself to cut over 2 trillion dollars from the deficit over 10 years (effectively projecting a surplus budget and bringing down the debt).

    3. Obama supports clean coal, look to 2008. He still supports coal. The problem is, he doesn’t support coal polluting things like Virginia’s water supply and destroying mountains that would harm people’s property. Don’t conservative values emphasize individuals rights? Well, Obama is protecting the rights of individual’s property by allowing the EPA to regulate “dirty” coal tactics.

    4. Obama’s Obamacare is projected to reduce the deficit by the same Congressional Budget Office that is under a House which opposes his every move. Even his opponents can’t deny the truth, well legally they really can’t when it comes to the CBO.

    5. Government is proven to create jobs. If you’re speaking of the effect of government on private business jobs, well why are you politically active? To get candidates who will take the leash off business so they can create jobs, government de-regulating business. Thus, by the simple transitive property using your assumed logic government deregulation=business freedom to make more jobs= more jobs thus government deregulation=more jobs.

    6. Considering the disparity between rich and poor in the country has actually increased in the past 3 years, I agree. Now you may be upset about class warfare, but I’m just upset the people who already have money have even more money while there are so many people suffering even more.

  • walter hanson says:


    Your response kind of shows the lack of reality of the world you life in.

    On point one, a husband and wife making just $125,000 each qualifies. Are you saying that somebody who makes $125,000 a year should have a tax hike just because they have a spouse making $125,000.

    Not to mention Obama is for taxing to death investment income. John I make less then $50,000 a year. I have regular investments that total about 9,000. If dividends are tax so companies don’t have the incentives to pay them (part of the bush tax cuts those dividends go away). Stock prices for me won’t go up if they don’t go up for the rich.

    On point four, it only reduced the deficit besides the gimmick benefits didn’t begin for four years which you won’t have in future budget projections because the CBO was given a bunch of false assumptions. Now that CBO has to start accurately showing the costs it is increasing the deficit.

    On point five, so government creates jobs. Wow the US government created Mcdonalds, Microsoft, Yahoo. No government doesn’t create jobs it only can slow job creation. Look at the mine situation.

    On point six, the best way to reduce that gap you complain about is to rise everybody like Reagan did. Obama wants to reverse Reagan and wants to add to that gap.

    I can go, but I don’t have time now.

    Walter Hanson
    Minneapolis, MN

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