Last night, Rep. Michele Bachmann was interviewed by Bill O’Reilly about the tragedy in Cottonwood, MN where an illegal immigrant from Central America killed 4 school children.
At the outset of the interview, Rep. Bachmann said that she had contacted ICE to see “where in the chain of communication” things went awry between law enforcement & ICE. She also said that this tragedy “was completely preventable.”
This morning, Bob Olson issued this statement on the interview:
ANOKAâ€”Bob Olson, a DFL candidate in the 6th Congressional District, released the following statement regarding Rep. Michele Bachmann’s Wednesday night appearance on the O’Reilly Factor:
“In the wake of the tragic accident in Cottonwood, Minnesotans had a right to expect smart and compassionate leadership from those in power. That Michele Bachmann chose instead to go on the O’Reilly Factor and play along with O’Reilly’s fear mongering is absolutely disgusting.
“It’s true that we need comprehensive immigration reform, but it’s important to remember, as John McCain reminded us recently, that we’re all children of God. This serious debate must be handled in a manner consistent with the human decency that has defined our great state for 150 years.
“Countless number of lives were forever changed after that crash. Instead of scape-goating an entire class of people, it’s time Mrs. Bachmann demonstrate leadership worthy of her office and the people of Minnesota.”
I just called Bob Olson’s office to find out what they specifically thought scape-goated “an entire class of people.” Christopher Truscott said that bringing up the English only drivers license test was playing politics. I reminded him that that isn’t the same as scape-goating. Here’s the definition for scape-goat:
a person or group made to bear the blame for others or to suffer in their place.
If Olson’s campaign thinks that that’s a politically motivated statement, then that’s what they should say. For them to say that she tried scape-goating people with that statement is over the top. Mr. Truscott said that there was a hint of politicking to the statement, which I rebutted by saying that it’s a political issue that couldn’t be extricated from a political context.
Frankly, this statement was all about tying Rep. Bachmann with Mr. O’Reilly on immigration. It’s obvious that Olson’s campaign wants to cast Mr. O’Reilly as a big, bad boogeyman & Rep. Bachmann as his lackey. The sad part is that a vast majority of people agree with Mr. O’Reilly’s & Rep. Bachmann’s position on immigration.
Mr. Truscott said that all of the presidential candidates had put forth proposals that moved the ball forward. I agree that they’ve put forth proposals but I’d strongly disagree that they move the ball forward. Sen. McCain’s attempt at immigration ‘reform’ got rejected because people saw it for what it was: an attempt for illegal immigrants to buy a pathway to citizenship.
Here’s a transcript of the interview:
O’REILLY: Feds say that they are rounding up illegal aliens at a record pace. About 200,000 are expected to be removed this year alone. But that’s too late to save 4 Minnesota kids. This woman, Olga Franco, an illegal immigrant from Guatemala, slammed her car into a school bus, killing four children, ages 9 to 13. She broke her leg in the process. Now Ms. Franco has two previous traffic beefs. Police say that she produced false identification.
It should be noted that Minneapolis & St. Paul are both sanctuary cities and the kids were killed in Cottonwood, about a hundred miles away. Joining us now from Washington is Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, a Republican from Minnesota.
Okay, what have you found out about this case, Congresswoman?
REP. BACHMANN: Well, that this was completely preventable & that it never should’ve happened. We’re just devastated by what we’ve seen, Bill, & what we’re trying to do right now is we’re writing a letter to ICE to see what happened, to find out where in the chain of communication between local law enforcement & ICE. We want to make certain that this never happens again so we want to know from ICE how this can be prevented.
O’REILLY: Because this woman was driving on sidewalks and she was caught with phony ID’s before but the small town police officers in the county & in the city of Cottonwood basically said ‘It’s not a big deal if you have a phony ID & we didn’t really do anything about it’. The locals didn’t tell ICE. I think that’s what happened.
REP. BACHMANN: Well, I think there’s a real problem, Bill, because in 2006, she drove up on someone’s yard & was given a $180 fine for not having a drivers license. No one seemed to ask why she didn’t have a drivers license. At any rate, all we know is that nothing happened. No information went up to ICE & that, just as recently as a month ago, she & her boyfriend were in a car. They were picked up & again, no
information went up to ICE. Only now is…
O’REILLY: This is the third beef on this woman.
REP. BACHMANN: This is the third beef on this woman.
O’REILLY: But Congresswoman, you know that this happens every day all across the country. You have a sympathetic…In the big cities of Minneapolis & St. Paul, they’re sanctuary cities. Their cops won’t ask, okay? Now in Cottonwood, they say they will ask if there’s a reason to ask but apparently they didn’t think that some woman driving around without a license & producing a phony ID was enough to ask about her immigration status.
Doesn’t Minnesota need a law to that says that if anybody is involved with the police, that the police have the right to check on their citizenship? Isn’t that the solution to the problem?
REP. BACHMANN: Clearly, you’re absolutely right. That needs to be done. And just as recently as Monday, Bill, the Minnesota legislature passed a $7 billion tax increase. One amendment was offered that said that drivers license tests should be in English only. And just think, this is just days after this Cottonwood accident occured and that amendment wasn’t passed. That amendment failed. It’s an outrage. it’s unthinkable. I don’t know when people are finally going to wake up
O’REILLY: Minnesota is a split state. You’re half conservative, half really far left. I mean Al Franken is running for the Senate in Minnesota. I mean, that’s insane. That guy shouldn’t be elected to run a dog kennel.
REP. BACHMANN: Bill, we’re the people that elected Jesse Ventura as governor so we’re…
O’REILLY: But Ventura is different. They were sending a message, the voters there. But there in Minnesota, there is no urgency to solve this illegal immigration problem, the crime problem.
REP. BACHMANN: Yes, this is a crime problem. This is an issue of anarchy vs. the rule of law. and the question is ‘When are we going to get serious about this & stop tinkering around the edges’? If we can get about four innocent kids, one of which will be buried tomorrow, then I don’t know what it’s gonna take, Bill.
O’REILLY: Yeah, I just want everyone around the world to look at these kids, killed on a school bus, woman never should’ve been in the country, never should’ve been driving an automobile. Three beefs before this happened.
REP. BACHMANN: That’s right. It’s tragic.
O’REILLY: Alright, thanks for coming on, Congresswoman. We appreciate it.
Let’s dissect Olson’s statement. Let’s start with this statement:
That Michele Bachmann chose instead to go on the O’Reilly Factor and play along with O’Reilly’s fear mongering is absolutely disgusting.
Where’s this supposed fearmongering? Isn’t it more accurate to say that O’Reilly is simply pointing out the tragic consequences of not dealing with enforcing immigration laws. Olson’s statement then goes from that accusation to this admonition:
This serious debate must be handled in a manner consistent with the human decency that has defined our great state for 150 years.
Since when did Minnesotans respond with “human decency” in reacting to a convicted criminal after that criminal had taken the lives of innocent children? In the few times that we’ve faced the taking of you innocent lives, most recently the taking of Dru Sjodin’s life, we didn’t respond with human decency towards the criminal. We expressed outrage with that criminal just like we’re expressing our outrage with Olga Franco right now.
Yes, we’ve responded with the utmost in compassion towards the victims, which is what we’re doing right now. That shouldn’t preclude us from expressing our righteous indignation with the criminal that ended those children’s lives.