— Republican presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann believes she can create millions of jobs for struggling Americans if elected president.
Bachmann appeared on TODAY Friday to talk about the controversy surrounding her rival, Herman Cain, but instead steered the conversation toward her plan to jumpstart America’s economy.
“I intend to create millions of jobs,’’ she told Matt Lauer. “Just by legalizing American energy production, you create 1.4 million jobs, (and) if you have everyone pay something on the tax code, you get fairness, and if you repeal Obamacare, you create millions of jobs as well. Mine is a pro-job plan. That’s what people want, and that’s what they’re excited about in Iowa.’’
Bachmann has made a point not to weigh in on Cain, who has been dogged by reports that at least three women accused him of sexual harassment in the 1990s when he was the head of the National Restaurant Association. He has vehemently denied the claims.
“I don’t have any comment on this particular issue,’’ Bachmann said. “I don’t have any inside information. There’s nothing I know. The one thing I can tell you is that you won’t find any surprises with me and my record. I have a very consistent, conservative background and record on policy, and there won’t be any surprises.’’
Bachmann also dodged commenting on whether she believes race is a factor in the situation involving Cain, who is African-American. She declined to take any shots at Cain.
“That’s not for me,’’ she said. “I’m focusing on Iowa. I’m focusing on turning the economy around and creating millions of high-paying jobs.’’
While Cain has outlined his 9-9-9 plan and Rick Perry has proposed a flat tax, Bachmann did not detail a specific reform strategy.
“Tax rates are only one piece of the puzzle,’’ she said. “I want them flatter, fairer, simpler. Taxes are extremely complicated. They can’t be reduced just to a sound bite.
“The principles are what’s important. Only 53 percent of the American people pay any federal income tax, (and) 47 percent of the people pay zero federal income tax. That’s not fair. Everyone benefits from this magnificent country. Everyone needs to pay something, even if it’s only 10 dollars. Everyone needs to be invested. I believe we have to broaden the base to include every American. It’s about time, and it’s only fair.’’
Bachmann also touched on her plan to repeal President Obama’s healthcare program. “I talk to the job creators all the time in Iowa,’’ she said. “They aren’t hiring because of Obamacare, because of all the tax increases that are involved. I just talked to a doctor who said to me, ‘Michele, I sat on the phone waiting 2 hours and 15 minutes to get ahold of someone at the IRS to get a number to fill out a Medicare certificate for one of my patients.’ That’s because of Obamacare, because it’s enforced by the IRS.’’
Bachmann’s poll numbers have steadily declined, leaving her near the back of the pack of Republican candidates. There also have been reports that her fund-raising has dramatically lagged behind her competitors', and several members of her campaign team have recently quit.
“We are working very hard, and we’re every strong,’’ she said. “We’re hiring people on our campaign every single day. We’re announcing more new people that we’re hiring. Not one person has ever asked me about who we’re hiring and who our staff is. What they say is, ‘I really like your plan.’’’