Despite the fact that she has spoken against loan insurers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the Washington Post discovered that Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) took out a mortgage totaling $417,000 to help finance her golf course home — backed by Fannie or Freddie.
Weeks later, the woman who would become the voice of the tea party and a serious contender for the 2012 GOP nomination railed against the federal home loan program.
A member of the House Financial Services Committee, Bachmann played a role in the federal government's handling of the housing crisis.
"I think what we need to do now is take a deep breath and get all of the information on the table," Bachmann said in a 2008 Fox News appearance prior to the decision to bail out the loan programs. "Where does this all end?...Everyone thinks that's ok, that the federal taxpayer will be the chump who at the end of the day will pay the bill."
Of course, Bachmann's loans were part of the burden she was worried about taxpayers having to shoulder. In addition to the $417,000 mortgage — the maximum the programs would lend in her area at the time — she took out a $249,999 secured line of credit backed by the same house.
In a 2010 statement, Bachmann called Fannie and Freddie symptoms of American's "spending addiction."
One thing we know about Fannie and Freddie is that they cost the already overburdened and financially strapped taxpayer a pretty penny," the statement reads. "Why should Fannie and Freddie be able to run up these numbers without the President having to reflect this risk in his budget? It just doesn’t make sense, and we owe it to the taxpayers to be transparent and forthcoming on the commitments we’re making with their credit card."
Fannie and Freddie-backed loans aren't uncommon — the two companies, along with a few other federal bodies such as the USDA, own more than 90 percent of all loans, according to CBS' Moneywatch. However, in her speeches disparaging the lenders, Bachmann did not disclose that her own debt was included in the programs.
Bachmann's team declined to comment on the Post's findings.