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GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Well, it’s been a big day for Governor Mitt Romney, former presidential candidate Representative Michele Bachmann officially endorsing her former rival.
Congresswoman Bachmann joins us. Good evening.
REP. MICHELE BACHMANN, R-MINN./FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Good evening, Greta. Good to talk to you this evening.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, well, things certainly have changed. So I know that it’s no surprise that this candidate — that this next phase of the election gets rolled out, you are going to see every sound bite you ever made saying something about Governor Romney. You’re going to have to answer to it. It’s going to be in every ad. And you’re going to do it to the other side.
So tell me, you called him a frugal socialist. Now what are you going to do? How do you — how do you support him now?
BACHMANN: Well, of course I can support him. Two words, Barack Obama. That’s our alternative. We have President Barack Obama or we can have President Mitt Romney. It’s very easy for me to come forward and support Mitt Romney because we simply have to win the election. He is our nominee.
This week, we saw Newt Gingrich drop out of the race. And what I’ve said from the very beginning, Greta, is that I want to be a unifying voice to bring our party together at the right time. I’ve spent a long time working behind the scenes, trying to draw in people from the Tea Party, evangelicals, social conservatives. We all have to come together.
Everything’s at stake right now. It’s far bigger than the differences between the primary candidates. Now it’s about the country and getting the country back on the right track.
VAN SUSTEREN: But — but how do you inspire the — you know, the evangelicals or the Tea Party, who are the people who have been very loyal to you, for instance, in this — how do you inspire them when, essentially, it seems that I hear from you and from Speaker Gingrich is that — that your support for Governor Romney is, Well, he’s not as bad as the other guy?
I mean, that doesn’t seem particularly inspiring, like, you know, Go out, he’s going to change things and fix things (INAUDIBLE) going after him, it’s, like, how inspiring is it to say he’s not as bad as the other guy?
BACHMANN: Well, the process of the primary makes the candidate so much stronger. And of course, when each one of us were running in the primary, we had our differences. They were legitimate differences.
But now they pale in comparison to what Barack Obama has done to the country for the last three-and-a-half years. I have full confidence in Mitt Romney’s ability to be able to be our standard bearer for our party.
And more than just the Republican Party, I truly believe that he will appeal and reach out to independents and disaffected Democrats because, after all, they don’t want to pay 110 percent more for a gallon of gas at the pump, either. And they want a job for their kids that are graduating from college, too.
This is far more than partisan differences, and I think it’ll be very easy for all factions to come together and get behind Mitt Romney. He’s the guy that we can trust to put the economy back on track.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, Jonathan Karl of ABC reported that you told him that — that Governor Romney can’t beat — this is prior — obviously prior to today — that Governor Romney can’t beat President Obama and it’s because of the Massachusetts health care.
Has something changed since you told him that? Or do you have — have you rethought it? I mean, because that seems like a pretty strong statement.
BACHMANN: It was a very strong statement. And when I said that to Jonathan Karl, of course, it was during the primary election. And something did change, and let me tell you what it is.
On Wednesday night, Bill Maher lit into presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney for spending $122 million dollars to win the GOP nomination. “#MittRomney spent $122 mil to win nomination,” Maher tweeted. “Remember when rich dicks had a midlife crisis and just flew a balloon around the world?”
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After President Obama took a jab at the Huffington Post during the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, Arianna Huffington fired back criticizing the president on CBS about his politicizing of the Usama bin Laden raid.
She said, “I don’t think there should be an ad about that. I think it’s one thing to celebrate the fact that they did such a great job. It’s one thing to have an NBC special from the Situation Room … All that to me is perfectly legitimate. But to turn it into a campaign ad is one of the most despicable things you can do.”
Bob Beckel said on The Five, “Give her credit, she built I think it’s the biggest site now, blog site in the world to go to and she made a lot of money at it. But the fact is she’s gotten a lot of reporting from linking to people who get paid to do it for other outlets and something is wrong with that.”
Dana Perino doesn’t think Huffington was reacting to President Obama’s joke because, “She wasn’t the only one across the board, liberals through conservatives, you have people saying the exact same thing [about Obama] … She’s a confident enough woman that she can speak her mind. She’s not worried about currying favor with the White House.”