Rep. Michele Bachmann, the winner of the Iowa straw poll, said she would reinstate the ban on gay service members if elected to the nation’s highest office.
“The ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy has worked very well,” Bachmann said on CNN’s State of the Union.
Her comments come on the coattails of the certification by Defense secretary Leon Panetta, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen, that the ban was ready to be lifted. Congress passed the repeal of the measure in December and the law will no longer be enforced on Sept. 20. The law was also ruled unconstitutional by a federal court.
Bachmann also visited NBC’s Meet the Press where she refused to answer questions about her stance on gay rights. When host David Gregory asked her about a previous statement where she called gays ‘barbarians’ who were enslaved, Bachmann refused to address it.
When Gregory asked her whether a family with two gay parents and children should be considered a family, she again skirted the question.
“All these kinds of questions aren’t about what people are concerned about right now,” Bachmann said.
Bachmann has come under fire from queer-rights groups for her strong opposition to gay rights. She has signed multiple pledges where she promises to appoint only judges that would support marriage as a union between one man and one woman, overturn gay marriage in Washington, D.C., support an amendment to the constitution that would define marriage, and establish a religious commission that is designed to investigate threats against people who oppose marriage equality.
Bachmann has avoided questions about her stance on queer rights in the past, and when asked by an Iowa TV news station about a clinic her husband used to run that practiced so-called reparative therapy techniques, she slammed the reporter saying she was running for president, not her husband.
Bachmann took first place in the Iowa straw poll with 28 percent of the vote. Texas Rep. Ron Paull came in second with 27 percent of the vote and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty finished with 13 percent of the vote. He later dropped out of the race.
Former Gov. Jon Huntsman finished second to last in the poll and Mitt Romney finished in seventh of 10, however, Romney did not campaign for the poll after a poor performance in Iowa in 2008.