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Bachmann Has Cold Shoulder for Tough Questions

Bachmann Has Cold Shoulder for Tough Questions


Rep. Michele Bachmann really doesn't want to answer questions about her husband's Christian counseling clinics or about why her district has been dubbed a "suicide contagion area" by Minnesota officials.

Bachmann has an increasing amount to answer for. Mother Jones broke a story this week about the "teen suicide epidemic" in Bachmann's district. Nine teenagers have died during the last two years, and some parents are directly assigning blame to Bachmann.

"I feel if I hadn't moved to this district my daughter wouldn't have died," one mother told Mother Jones.

So far Bachmann has said nothing about the problem, although she wasn't shy about opposing antibullying measures proposed in her state in 2006.

A photojournalist with TV station WQAD in Moline, Ill., said his station has evidently been cut off from Bachmann in retribution for an anchor just asking about whether so-called reparative therapy, aimed at turning gay people straight, is offered by her clinics.

"I'm here today to talk about job creation," Bachmann told the anchor during an on-air interview when the story first broke. "We're very proud of the business that we have created."

As Bachmann dodged the question, behind the scenes, WQAD staff members say, her representatives were threatening to end the interview if the anchor asked follow-up questions. Six minutes into the interview, raw video posted by the station appears to show the feed being cut off.

And when WQAD photojournalist Chuck McClurg tried to get an interview with Bachmann this weekend, he says he was told by a staffer that "due to the interview last week WQAD would not have an interview."

Instead, he tried taping answers as Bachmann talked with other reporters.

"I started to tape something off of that interview and a staffer pushed me aside and stood in front of my camera and said that this was for the other station only," McClurg says.

It got worse when the reporter asked a question about Bachmann's clinic, he said. A staffer removed the microphone and declared the interview was also over.

Representatives at GOProud, a group of gay conservatives, claim they will soon meet with the candidate. But if no one can get a word out of Bachmann, the next chance to press her will come during a debate in Ames, Iowa, August 11.

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