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.