Huffpost Politics

Michele Bachmann, Jim Graves Debate Over Tea Party Fame, Tax 'Malarkey'

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MICHELE BACHMANN JIM GRAVES
In this Oct. 16, 2012 file photo, Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn. talks at a medical device roundtable event at Rasmussen College, in Blaine, Minn. Bachmann's tendency to cause a ruckus on Capitol Hill made her a tea party sensation. Her bulging campaign treasury and conservative district make her a clear favorite to win a fourth House term on Election Day, despite her Democratic rival's attempts to turn her won't-budge philosophy into a liability. (AP Photo/Stacy Bengs, File) | AP

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) was slammed for earning national recognition by her Democratic challenger Jim Graves as the two faced off for the first time Tuesday.

During the hour-long debate, Graves attacked Bachmann for rocketing to national fame as a tea party favorite during her presidential run. According to the Associated Press, Graves argued voters in Minnesota's 6th district "need somebody that can create jobs, not headlines."

Bachmann tried to downplay her fame, claiming "I've been in this district since I was in elementary school."

Bachmann's been criticized for her national tea party ties before. In August 2012, she was targeted by CREDO SuperPAC in its Take Down the Tea Party Ten campaign.

Graves also attacked Bachmann's claims on taxes -- which drew jeers from the crowd -- as "malarkey." The AP reports:

The feisty crowd of several hundred appeared to have more Graves supporters, with some jeering Bachmann several times, including once when she claimed that taxes would go up if Graves were elected.

"With Jim Graves, add about 50 percent to your tax bill; that's what you'd be looking at," she said before she was interrupted.

Graves called the allegation "a bunch of malarkey."

Tuesday's meet-up marked the first of three debates between Bachmann and Graves. The two will meet again on November 1 in a debate airing on Minnesota Public Radio, and once more on Nov. 4 in an event that will be televised on KSTP Channel 5.

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