Rep. Michele Bachmann was grilled by the hosts of several Sunday morning talk shows about her views on gay and lesbian Americans. When pressed about her past statements about LGBT issues, she repeated “I am running for the presidency of the United States,” several times in lieu of answering the question. “I’m not anyone’s judge.”
On Meet the Press, host David Gregory played Bachmann’s now-famous quote from 2004 where she said, “You’re involved in the gay and lesbian lifestyle, it’s bondage. It is personal bondage, personal despair and personal enslavement. And that is why it’s so dangerous. It’s a very sad life. It’s part of Satan to say this is gay. It’s anything but gay.”
Bachmann responded to her own quote by saying, “Well, I am running for the presidency of the United States. I’m not running to be anyone’s judge.”
Gregory pressed her. “But you have judged them.”
“I don’t judge them, I don’t judge them. I am running for presidency of the United States,” she said.
Gregory asked, “Is that the view of gay Americans that President Bachmann would have?”
Bachmann changed the subject: “My view on marriage is that marriage is between a man and a women. That’s what I stand for, but I ascribe honor and dignity to every person no matter what their background. They have honor and they have dignity.”
Gregory tried yet again to get an answer from Bachmann. “Do you think gay Americans hearing quotes like that from you would think that’s honor and dignity coming from you about their circumstances?”
“I’m not anyone’s judge,” she responded.
Gregory asked, “Do you think anyone hears that and thinks you haven’t made a judgment about gays and lesbians?”
“That’s all I can tell you is that I’m not judging.”
Again Gregory pressed her. “So your words should stand for themselves.”
Bachmann repeated, “I’m running fr the presidency of the United States. That’s what is important.”
Later, Gregory changed the subject slightly and Bachmann again balked on answering the question.
“Can a gay couple who adopts children be considered a family?”
Bachmann said, “When it comes to marriage and family, my opinion is that marriage is between a man and a woman. i think that’s been my view. All of these kind of questions are not really about what people are concerned about right now.”
TAPPER: One last question I wanted to ask about. You once characterized homosexuality as, quote, “personal bondage, personal despair, and personal enslavement.” Do you believe that?
BACHMANN: Well, I am running to be the president of the United States. I am not running to be any person’s judge. And I give — I ascribe dignity and honor to all people, no matter who they are. And that’s how I view people.
TAPPER: So you would appoint an openly gay or lesbian person to your administration?
BACHMANN: I would look, first of all, will they uphold the Constitution of the United States? And, number two, are they competent to do what they need to do? And are they the best at who they are? That’s my criteria, nothing more.
And on CNN’s State of the Union host Candy Crowly asked if Bachmann would reinstate the Armed Forces’ ban on openly serving LGBT Americans.
“The ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy has worked very well,” Bachmann said. “I would be in consultation with our commanders, but I think, yes, I probably would” reinstate the ban.
Crowley also asked about Iowa and same-sex marriage.
“I think it’s more important that people have the right to weigh in on the laws they choose to live under,” Bachmann. “What I don’t like is judges legislating from the bench and as President of the United States, I will appoint judges who uphold the constitution and who don’t see themselves as a super legislature. That was the problem here in Iowa. That’s why people here in Iowa did not retain their three judges. They were very offended that three judges substituted their opinions for the will of the people.”
She added, “I think that sent a very loud and clear signal.”