'This Week' Transcript: Tim Pawlenty and Michele Bachmann

TAPPER: You talk about your leadership on the debt ceiling issue, but Rick Santorum, who came in fourth in the straw poll, called your position on just refusing to raise the debt ceiling, he said it was not only irresponsible, but outrageous, since immediately the government would have to cut 40 percent of the government. What cuts would you make?

BACHMANN: Well, it's not outrageous at all. What's outrageous is turning us into the biggest debtor in the history the world. No nation has ever been in debt to the level that we are. And it wasn't that long ago that we were the world's largest creditor. We have to get our house in order. This year alone, we've brought in $2.2 trillion in revenue from all the taxes we pay in, and then we spent not only every penny of that, but we spent $1.5 trillion more.

TAPPER: Right. So what would you cut?

BACHMANN: That's a problem.

TAPPER: What would you cut?

BACHMANN: Well, immediately, I think what we need to do is recognize that we will tell the markets that we will pay the interest on the debt, don't worry about default. Number two, we will pay our men and women in military. It'd be irresponsible not to. And anyone who's currently on Social Security, you get paid. But beyond that, I would bring all members of Congress together. And this isn't some project for 10 years and 15 years down the road. Right now, we're going to reform entitlements. We're going to reform them for anyone who's currently not on them. We're going to change them so that they'll work, because...

TAPPER: Medicare, Medicaid?

BACHMANN: Medicare, Medicaid, they have to be changed. Why should we continue to run these program the way we did 45 years ago? Systems have changed. We can -- we can make these far more efficient than what they are. Social Security is another program, 80 years old. Why would we continue to run it in the same way we did 80 years ago? Let's modernize it so it's there for people who depend on it.

TAPPER: One last question I wanted to ask about. You once characterized homosexuality as, quote, "personal bondage, personal despair, and personal enslavement." Do you believe that?

BACHMANN: Well, I am running to be the president of the United States. I am not running to be any person's judge. And I give -- I ascribe dignity and honor to all people, no matter who they are. And that's how I view people.

TAPPER: So you would appoint an openly gay or lesbian person to your administration?

BACHMANN: I would look, first of all, will they uphold the Constitution of the United States? And, number two, are they competent to do what they need to do? And are they the best at who they are? That's my criteria, nothing more.

TAPPER: Last question, and that is, does Pawlenty leaving the race and Rick Perry coming into the race change your strategy at all?

BACHMANN: Well, I think every day going forward we'll take a look at what's happening with strategy, but our main strategy is to win. Obama is my strategy. I intend to be the nominee of the Republican Party and to take him on and to defeat him in 2012, because we have to turn the economy around and create jobs. That's what I'm going to do. And I'm committed to not resting until we repeal Obamacare.

TAPPER: All right. Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, thanks so much for joining us, and congratulations again.

BACHMANN: Jake, thank you.

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