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Michele Bachmann Said What?!

Facing a campaign finance investigation, the tea party firebrand announces she won't run again. Here are 32 of the craziest things she's said.

| Mon Jun. 6, 2011 6:00 AM EDT

2009: Explaining her opposition to a bill that expands the scope of AmeriCorps, the Peace Corps' domestic equivalent, Bachmann warned Minnesota's KTLK that it could be the gateway to a mandatory brainwashing program: "I believe that there is a very strong chance that we will see that young people will be put into mandatory service. And the real concerns is that there are provisions for what I would call re-education camps for young people, where young people have to go and get trained in a philosophy that the government puts forward and then they have to go to work in some of these politically correct forums."

2009: Picking up on Sarah Palin's debunked warning abut "death panels" in the Affordable Care Act, Bachmann declares: "If you are a grandmother with Parkinson's or a child with cerebral palsy, watch out."

2009: Bachmann goes on Glenn Beck's Fox program to discuss the specter of "One World currency" and delivers what historians may later dub her "I am not a kook!" speech. "Glenn, I have experienced that throughout my political career being labeled a kook. It just happened again in a big story in the Minneapolis Star Tribune. But all we have to do is point to the treasury secretary on tape, on camera. This is not Michele Bachmann being a kook. This is our treasury secretary on tape and on camera." A visibly confused Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner had told Bachmann he was not aware of any plan to replace the dollar.

2009: As the nation (aided, perhaps, by Vice President Joe Biden) freaks out over Swine Flu, Bachmann implies—while stressing that she isn't—that this whole thing might have been Obama's doing: "I find it interesting that it was back in the 1970s that the swine flu broke out then under another Democrat president, Jimmy Carter. And I'm not blaming this on President Obama, I just think it's an interesting coincidence."

2009: Bachmann warns the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. health care reform) would include a loophole permitting grade-schoolers to go on abortion field trips: "Does that mean that someone's 13-year old daughter could walk into a sex clinic, have a pregnancy test done, be taken away to the local Planned Parenthood abortion clinic, have their abortion, be back, and go home on the school bus that night? Mom and dad are never the wiser. They don't know any different."

2009: Bachmann frets that Democrats' cap-and-trade legislation, which proposed using the powers of the free market to create carbon exchanges, posed an existential threat to all Americans: "I want people in Minnesota armed and dangerous on this issue of the energy tax because we need to fight back. Thomas Jefferson told us 'having a revolution every now and then is a good thing,' and the people—we the people—are going to have to fight back hard if we're not going to lose our country. And I think this has the potential of changing the dynamic of freedom forever in the United States."

2009: With health care reform coming ever closer to becoming a reality, Bachmann sounds the Horn of Gondor: "What we have to do today is make a covenant, to slit our wrists, be blood brothers on this thing. This will not pass. We will do whatever it takes to make sure this doesn’t pass."

2009: In an interview on Fox News, Bachmann warns that the Obama administration could potentially use Census data to round up Americans and put them in camps: "Between 1942 and 1947, the data that was collected by the Census Bureau was handed over to the FBI and other organizations at the request of President Roosevelt, and that's how the Japanese were rounded up and put into internment camps. I'm not saying that that's what the administration is planning to do. But I am saying that private personal information that was given to the Census Bureau in the 1940s was used against them to round them up in violation of their constitutional rights."

2009: Bachmann argues that abnormally large emissions of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide can't be regulated because if we did, birds would lose their natural habitat—air: "Life on planet Earth can't even exist without carbon dioxide. So necessary is it to human life, to animal life, to plant life, to the oceans, to the vegetation that’s on the Earth, to the, to the fowl that—that flies in the air, we need to have carbon dioxide as part of the fundamental lifecycle of Earth."

2010: After former President Bill Clinton tells reporters Bachmann's "armed and dangerous" remarks could send the wrong message to fringe groups, Bachmann accuses Clinton of celebrating the Oklahoma City Bombings—by speaking at an event honoring those who died in the attack. "He gave a speech, and he called me out in his speech, and he was talking about the anniversary—now, only Democrats would do this. The anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing by Tim McVeigh. I mean, we don’t celebrate these things. This is not what we celebrate."

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