MSNBC’s Chris Matthews became so frustrated by Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) repeating talking points during their Tuesday interview that he asked her if she had been “hypnotized.”
Matthews began the interview where he left off two years ago when she told him that she wanted members of Congress investigated for being “anti-American.”
“Will you use the subpoena power, which you will have as majority, if you claim the majority of the Congress — it looks like you will — will you use subpoena powers to do what you said on my show you’d do — investigate the Democratic members of Congress for un-American activities?” Matthews asked.
“I think the first thing we’re going to do is try to set the economy in order, because jobs is the big issue,” she replied. “What people want to make sure is that no one’s taxes are going up. So I’m calling on Speaker Pelosi during the lame duck session to listen to the American people. They’re speaking overwhelmingly tonight: ‘Don’t raise our taxes. Stop the out-of-control spending.’ That’s how we’re going to get jobs back.”
Bachmann repeated the same talking points when Matthews asked again if she would use subpoena power to investigate fellow legislators.
“Are you hypnotized tonight?” Matthews pressed.
“I think the American people are the ones that finally are speaking tonight,” she said as Matthews’ co-hosts Keith Olbermann and Eugene Robinson chuckled.
Following the interview, Matthews explained his line of questioning. “The important question is that Michele Bachmann has become a very successful sort of troubadour for the tea party by going around and making these extreme statements. On our program she said she thought her colleagues right across the aisles should be investigated McCarthy-style for anti-American attitudes. That was a strong statement. She either means it or she doesn’t. Or she’s irresponsible,” Matthews said.
“I tried to hold her account to that,” he continued. “And she didn’t answer the question and she did seem trance-like. Every question I put to her was almost irrelevant to this sort of thing she was talking, moronically looking directly into the camera and repeating over and over again the same words.”
“I think you gave her the benefit of the doubt with the word ‘hypnotized,’” added Olbermann.
But in July, speaking to the GOP Youth Convention, Bachmann did say she would use subpoena power if Republicans won the House.
“I think that all we should do is issue subpoenas and have one hearing after another,” Bachmann said. “And expose all the nonsense that is gone on. And it’s very important when we come back that we have constitutional conservative leadership because the American people’s patience is about this big. So we have to make sure that we do what the people want us to do.”
This video is from MSNBC’s Decision 2010, broadcast Nov. 2, 2010.