Rep. Michele BachmannMichele Marie BachmannBoehner says he voted for Trump, didn't push back on election claims because he's retired Boehner: Trump 'stepped all over their loyalty' by lying to followers Boehner finally calls it as he sees it MORE (R-Minn.) criticized President Obama for overspending and credit the conservative Tea Party movement for changing the tide in Washington during her Tuesday night response to the State of the Union.
Even though some Republicans voiced concern that her message could conflict with the official GOP response, the congresswoman made no direct mention of House Budget Committee Chairman Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanJuan Williams: Pelosi shows her power Cheney takes shot at Trump: 'I like Republican presidents who win re-election' Cheney allies flock to her defense against Trump challenge MORE's (R-Wis.) official GOP response and did not set a benchmark for spending cuts.
Bachmann noted that Tea Party activists loudly protested against the federal stimulus package but Obama decided not to listen, costing him dearly in the November midterm elections.
"Many of you implored Washington to please stop spending money we don’t have," Bachmann said. "But, instead of cutting, we saw an unprecedented explosion of government spending and debt at President Obama’s direction; unlike anything we have seen in the history of our country."
Her remarks centered on job creation, which was the focus of much president's address. She called on Obama to
restrict the Environmental Protection Agency's ability to enforce limits
on greenhouse gas emissions, to sign a "balanced budget
amendment," agree to an "all-of-the-above" energy plan and cut back
some new regulations that she says have squelched economic growth.
But unlike Ryan, Bachmann focused more specifically on some of Obama's past legislative accomplishments. She went after at the healthcare law, which she said overregulates businesses and will force them to cut jobs. She called on Obama to repeal the law that he considers one of his signature domestic achievement.
"The president should repeal ObamaCare and support free market solutions like medical malpractice reform and allow all Americans to buy any healthcare policy they like anywhere in the United States," she said.
She thanked Tea Party activists for sweeping out "big spending
politicians" in the midterm elections and for creating support for greater
"Thanks to all of you, there’s reason to hope that real spending cuts are coming," she said. "I believe that we are in the early days of a history-making turn here in the House of Representatives.
The Minnesota congresswoman's speech was closely watched Tuesday night by political observers for signs of dissent between her and GOP leaders, even though she and other Republicans downplayed that possibility leading up to her response.
Bachmann, the chairwoman of the House Tea Party Caucus, is viewed as an ambitious lawmaker who wants to raise her political profile and maybe run for higher office.
But her speech might not have reached the wider audience for which she had been hoping. CNN is the only cable or broadcast network that aired the speech. Tea Party Express, the group sponsoring the rebuttal, also streamed it on their website.
Her full speech was broadcast after Ryan delivers his official response, which immediately followed the president's speech.
-- An original version of this post appeared at 5:28 p.m.