Something remarkable just happened in Washington. In an ironic twist, Rep. Michele Bachmann -- who's made a name for herself by peddling the politics of division and polarization -- actually managed to bring people from both sides of the aisle together. That is to say, Democrats and Republicans came together this week to denounce Rep. Bachmann's McCarthy-like witch hunt, in which she accused, among others, Huma Abedin, a top aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, of being complicit in a grand scheme to institute Sharia law here in America.
Rep. Bachmann's accusation represents "an unwarranted and unfounded attack" with "no logic, no basis, and no merit" against " an honorable woman, a dedicated American and... an intelligent, upstanding, hard-working and loyal servant of our country and our government, who has devoted countless days of her life to advancing the ideals of the nation she loves and looking after its most precious interests."
Those are the words of Sen. John McCain's from the floor of the Senate yesterday. I stand with him. And I stand with Rep. Bachmann's former presidential campaign chief, Edward Rollins, who said in an editorial published by Fox News that what Rep. Bachmann has done is "outrageous," "false," "extreme," "unsubstantiated," "downright vicious and reaches the late Senator Joe McCarthy level." I use their words because, in this political culture, such strong condemnations from members of the same party are rare. It's proof that Rep. Bachmann has gone way too far this time and that is why I'm asking people to join me in demanding that she end these McCarthy-style attacks.
Rep. Bachmann's hateful rhetoric -- her use of fear to promote her own political agenda -- is aimed at dividing our country and it weakens our ability to take on the biggest challenges we face as a nation.
This is exactly why I decided to take her on in this election -- she has gotten away with these stunts for too long. They distract from the economic issues that hard-working families across Minnesota are concerned about. They make public servants afraid to reach across the aisle to get work done for America.
I have never been afraid to bring people together to get the job done. I grew up as one of six siblings in an ordinary working-class family in St. Cloud, Minnesota. After teaching elementary school for two years, I launched my own family business while working out of my basement office with little more than a typewriter and a plan.
That company grew into a successful hospitality business that has employed thousands of people throughout Minnesota and across the country. According to Rep. Bachmann's definition, I am a "job creator." But I know that the true job creators are the hard working middle-class families across the country, whose demand for American products and services fuels the economy. Today, families are suffering under the weight of home mortgage payments, skyrocketing medical costs, tuition fees, unemployment and underemployment. It is time to address issues that really matter -- not chase wild conspiracy theories in a self-interested attempt for fame and publicity.
The people of Minnesota's 6th Congressional district realize that Rep. Bachmann is more interested in promoting her own celebrity than working to improve the lives of American families. Recent polls show that voters are tired of it and they're not going to put up with it anymore, which is why we are now within just a few points.
Rep. Bachmann's recent antics are part of a much broader pattern of behavior. It is
unlikely that she will stop on her own. However, we can bring her destructive politics to an end by closing the book on her career in Congress this November. We've never had a better opportunity.
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