Ed Rollins signed on this week as campaign manager for Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) ahead of what is presumed to be the official announcement of her presidential campaign, to take place in her birthplace of Waterloo, Iowa in the coming weeks. Rollins, a seasoned campaign operative and political analyst, had to explain some of his past unflattering comments about Bachmann.
Mother Jones confronted Rollins about some of his less than charitable remarks about his new boss, including telling Chris Matthews on “Hardball” after Bachmann began teasing at presidential aspirations, “At the end of the day, you know, we’re going to have a candidate who has been a governor, I assume. There’s no Washingtonians in this mix. It ain’t going to be Donald Trump. I don’t think it’s going to be Congresswoman Bachmann.”
After the State of the Union and Bachmann’s “tea party response,” Rollins essentially said that Bachmann did not represent Republicans, and dismissed her speech on CNN.
“Michele Bachmann obviously is a member of Congress and a representative of the tea party,” Rollins said. “But at the end of the day, we have to get our serious players out front and talking about the things that matter to be the alternative to the president and Democrats.”
In response to Mother Jones‘ email asking for explanation of his comments, Rollins wrote back that “That was before she hired me!” He said she “now has a campaign team and a more open field” and is not the marginal figure he dismissed her as last winter.
“My comments regarding the [State of the Union] rebuttal wasn’t meant that she wasn’t serious, it [was] just she wasn’t part of the leadership or a committee chairman and for that reason the mainstream media wasn’t going to carry her message,” Rollins wrote.
On a radio show Tuesday, Rollins called Bachmann “probably the best communicator [in the GOP field] now that Mike Huckabee’s not in there.”
In the same radio appearance, Rollins said of Sarah Palin, a fellow conservative female with possible presidential aspirations who is constantly compared to Bachmann, “Sarah has not been serious over the last couple of years.”