Republican Presidential Candidate Michele Bachmann proclaimed “there is a 180 degree difference between the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street” during a campaign stop in San Francisco Thursday.
The Minnesota Congresswoman, who co-founded the Tea Party Caucus in Congress last year, told a crowd of businesspeople and retirees at the Commonwealth Club that the tea party favors liberty, while Occupy Wall Street supports more government intervention, which would “bankrupt” the country.
“The Tea Party picks up its trash after a demonstration,” she added.
Bachmann also declared her affection for Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, her distaste for the Postal Service, and willingness to take a strong line against the Iranian regime during a speech titled “The Revival of American Competitiveness.”
The Congresswoman, a strict social conservative, stayed away from any commentary on San Francisco’s liberal values and large gay community. Instead, she focused her opening remarks on the Bay Area’s tech industry saying San Francisco has “given much not only to this nation but for the world.”
Bachmann mentioned recently deceased Apple co-founder Steve Jobs at least five times in her speech, saying Americans should all aspire for the “Steve Jobs spirit” of innovation and focus. She then criticized the United States Postal Service for lacking Jobs’ focus on profit-making and declared that the private sector in general would do a better job than the government of delivering the mail.
She also accused the government of creating a “higher education bubble” by financing too many student loans.
In comments to reporters after the conclusion of her formal remarks, Bachmann argued that the governments of Iraq and Afghanistan should be forced to “reimbuse” America for the expenses incurred during the wars. Bachmann, who voted against U.S. military involvement in Libya, said she thought that involvement should end now that deposed leader Muammar Ghaddafi has reportedly been killed, but declared she was willing to use “absolutely everything” against Iran.
Bachmann is in town for at least two Bay Area fundraisers, a campaign spokesperson said, though she will not be meeting with any leaders of Silicon Valley tech firms during her visit.
Since June, when she polled second, behind former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Bachmann’s support as slipped, and her campaign has struggled to hold on to staffers and raise money. She told supporters earlier this month she would stay in the race through the New Hampshire in January.
When Bachmann visited the Bay Area last month, she optimistically declared at a fundraiser in San Rafael that “Marin County could go red.”
This time around, her local fundraising events are closed to the press
Video by Queena Kim