CNN's Erin Burnett argued that, according to a Pew study, tax hikes and spending cuts together would be more effective in trimming the deficit than spending cuts alone, and asked Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) if tax hikes weren't "part of a rational independent strategy here?"
Burnett also pressed the conservative presidential candidate as to why she stuck to her positions on social and fiscal issues. "Why are you so adamant on that?" she asked Bachmann on her opposition to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
Ironically, Burnett did herself no favors when she mentioned CNN's "Strike Team" of 20 fiscal gurus – seven of who agreed with Bachmann in opposing the Dodd-Frank bill, and only five of who supported the legislation. More of the members held Bachmann's position than the alternative, and yet the CNN host still pressed the congresswoman over her stance.
As she did with Donald Trump, Burnett also questioned Bachmann over her conservative stand on social issues. "Some Republicans feel social issues are too dominant on the Republican Party platform," she posed to Bachmann, before asking if she was worried about turning off potential Republican voters on the issues of abortion and gay marriage.
"And I'm wondering even aside from your personal beliefs, do you worry that you're alienating potential Republican voters by making issues like abortion or gay marriage such a key part of your candidacy?"
A transcript of the segment, which aired on October 12 at 7:05 p.m. EDT, is as follows:
ERIN BURNETT: But I wanted to ask you something, especially about the whole focus on cutting spending at all costs. Pew did a study that I thought was very interesting that said starting in 2015 – so we get a little bit of time to recover now without doing anything – but at that time, if we raise taxes by seven-and-a-half percent and we cut spending by seven-and-a-half percent, we'd get back to our historical norm of a debt ratio.
But if we did it by cutting spending only we'd have to cut it by 43 percent, which is basically the equivalent of eliminating the Department of Defense. So doesn't that mean that some sort of tax increases are part of a rational independent strategy here?
BURNETT: You were – I read your economic plan, which you released just in the past day that talked about a couple of things that you would do on day one. You would want to repeal President Obama's health care plan. You'd also want to repeal Dodd-Frank, which is the financial reform bill. We have a group here of 20 CEOs, investors, entrepreneurs we call our "Strike Team," Congresswoman Bachmann. They vote on the plans that you all put forth in our economy. They – seven of them agree with you that it should be repealed. Five of them though do not. And even a banker said that he would not repeal it. Why are you so adamant on that?
Rep. MICHELE BACHMANN (R-Minn.), GOP presidential candidate: Are you talking about repealing Obamacare or repealing –
BURNETT: Repealing Dodd-Frank.
BURNETT: And we have some news on Bank of America later on in the program on that ATM fee. I wanted to ask you about something, though, Congresswoman. You've been consistent on social issues and talked about yourself as a social conservative. You've said you support a constitutional amendment making a marriage between a man and a woman. Some Republicans feel social issues are too dominant on the Republican Party platform. And I'm wondering even aside from your personal beliefs, do you worry that you're alienating potential Republican voters by making issues like abortion or gay marriage such a key part of your candidacy?