Representative Michele Bachmann is an embarrassment to her constituents, according to Democrat Jim Graves, who lost narrowly to the controversial Minnesota lawmaker in the 2012 election.
Bachmann won by just over one percent last fall, in what was considered one of the closest House races during election season.
Graves, her opponent, is angling a rematch in 2014, and believes that Minnesota voters will go his way now that Bachmann has seen increased criticism from members of her own party just months into her new term.
“People are tired of her antagonistic, propagating gridlock,” Graves told The Huffington Post Friday. “A lot of people come up to me and say we’re kind of embarrassed by our representation in Washington.”
Graves attributes his loss to joining the race too late, and not being able to beat Bachmann’s campaign spending power.
Since winning re-election, Bachmann has made headlines numerous times.
She is currently the center of an ethics investigation over her failed 2012 presidential bid, and conservatives have criticized her for recent comments about Obamacare, as well as her questioning of the president’s personal expenses.
Graves says that Bachmann’s “outrageous statements” convinced him he’d have a better chance against her in 2014, saying that her constituents are “sick of the showmanship” and opining that Bachmann chases headlines instead of doing her job.
Bachmann’s campaign spokesman Dan Kotman responded to Graves’ claims Friday, saying: “It’s 19 months away from the election, and Jim Graves is already stooping to personal attacks and slinging mud — how sad and desperate. No amount of multimillion-dollar smear campaigns can hide the fact that Jim Graves is out of touch with the 6th District because he supports the Obama-Pelosi agenda of higher taxes and runaway government spending.”
After Graves announced his campaign Thursday, the Republican Party of Minnesota released the following statement: “Democrat Jim Graves said during the last campaign ‘If we’ve ever had a chance to defeat Bachmann, this is it.’ Congresswoman Bachmann prevailed in 2012 and she will again in 2014.”
Graves said that he plans to draw on his experience as a businessman and hotel executive to focus on job creation, and is already reviewing Bachmann’s voting record for weak points. One entry is particularly appealing to Graves – Bachmann’s vote against the Violence Against Women Act.
“You alienate yourself from your own people,” Graves said. “If you’re an island, how are you going to get things done for your district?”
Do you think that Jim Graves can beat Michele Bachmann in 2014?