Happy Birthday!

Seventy-nine years ago today President Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law, marking a new page in our nation’s history that attempted to rid the widespread problem of Americans spending their golden years trapped in poverty.

Fast forward forty five years later. David Koch runs for Vice President on a Libertarian ticket that calls Social Security – already at that time a wildly successful program that has helped millions – “the most serious threat to the future stability of our society next to the threat of nuclear war.”

Today? The Republican Party, fully embracing a hard right, extreme Tea Party, Koch-fueled agenda, runs a docket of Senate candidates who would make cuts to or have otherwise attacked Social Security. While Americans old and young continue to cherish the promise of retiring with some stability, Republican Senate candidates have made their priorities clear — and protecting their Koch cash-flow comes long before protecting your retirement.

These GOPers are coming at it from every angle. Some, like Tom Cotton and Cory Gardner, have voted to raise the eligibility age from 65 to 70, because what’s five more years of work when you’re sitting pretty in your taxpayer-funded job? Some candidates, like David Perdue, Mike McFadden and Monica Wehby, have offered nebulous support for cuts, because plans and details are hard (and voters clearly might not like to hear what they really think). Terri Lynn Land and Joni Ernst haven’t spent time in Congress yet, but they sure are keen on privatizing the program. Mainstream? Not hardly.

Supporting research after the jump.

American Bridge Launches English/Spanish Websites Linking GOP To Steve King

American Bridge today launched AllSteveKingsMen.com and vocesintolerantes.com (in Spanish), research-based websites demonstrating that Rep. Steve King is the GOP’s leader on immigration reform.

Earlier this week, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) demonstrated just how clueless he is by attempting to fundraise off offensive remarks he made comparing immigrants to dogs (and foolishly linking to American Bridge tracking footage to do so). This was what he deemed an appropriate response to a more recent controversy in which he claimed “For everyone who’s a valedictorian, there’s another 100 out there who weigh 130 pounds–and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert.” Those remarks prompted Speaker John Boehner to argue that King’s comment “does not reflect the values of the American people or the Republican Party.”

Unfortunately, Boehner is only half-correct. While the American people are deeply opposed to the bigotry espoused by King, the Republican caucus is solidly aligned with King’s worldview. Last week, American Bridge released a report showing that when the House votes on immigration legislation, the majority of King’s Republican colleagues follow his lead 9 out of 10 times. And today, American Bridge launched AllSteveKingsMen.com to show voters that the Republican Party has plenty of followers of King’s extreme anti-immigrant rhetoric.

Read more after the jump.

The Bachmann Files

Michele Bachmann’s presidential ambitions ended with the Iowa Caucus, where she just barely tallied as many votes as she had in the Ames straw poll five months earlier. Bachmann’s campaign left her with little more than debt, but it left American Bridge with a treasure trove of tracking footage. For all of her Minnesota constituents who suffered the indignity of her performance on the national stage, we present: The Bachmann Files.

Read more after the jump.

MEMO: The Consequences of Crazy, Volume 1: Michele Bachmann’s Presidential Bid

“There’s a woman who came up crying to me tonight after the debate. She said her daughter was given that vaccine. She told me her daughter suffered mental retardation as a result of that vaccine.”

– Michele Bachmann, FOX News, September 12, 2011



On August 13th 2011, Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann secured a victory at the Ames Straw Poll in Iowa, temporarily vaulting her to frontrunner status in the Republican presidential race. Almost exactly one month later, following a debate with her fellow primary contenders, Bachmann claimed in an interview that the HPV vaccine caused mental retardation.

Michele Bachmann is no stranger to controversial statements. She rose to national fame by calling for an investigation into her congressional colleagues to determine which Members of Congress were “anti-America.” But her decision to run for President moved her from fringe political bomb-thrower to one of the preeminent members of the Republican Party. And with that came an increased scrutiny which she was unable to withstand. These are the consequences of being crazy.

Read more after the jump.

POLITICO’s Arena: Why Did Michele Bachmann implode?

Michele Bachmann’s campaign imploded for exactly the reason that political experts in D.C. never took her campaign seriously to begin with and why many were so surprised by her victory at Ames.

As people who follow politics closely already knew, while her bombastic rhetoric may be ideal for riling up a crowd, her propensity for gaffes leaves her vulnerable once one stops and actually thinks about what she said. This is a candidate that actually told a crowd in South Carolina that the reason that she worked for the IRS is “because the first rule of war is ‘know your enemy.'” These type of outlandish statements and unforced errors may have helped her raise money as a backbencher congresswoman, but couldn’t hold up against the scrutiny of a national campaign.

Read more after the jump.

VIDEO: 12 Days Of Christmas, American Bridge Style

From gaffes to flip flops to crony capitalism, this has been a fun year to be involved with politics at American Bridge 21st Century. As 2011 draws to a close, we thought it would be fun to take a look back at just a few of the stories that have made headlines over the last 365 days.

“Between the Republican Presidential, Senate and House candidates, this has been a year of bountiful flip flops, gaffes and just outright craziness. As the year comes to a close, we at American Bridge would like to wish you a happy holiday and leave you with some of our favorite moments,” said Rodell Mollineau, President of American Bridge 21st Century.

Happy holidays from American Bridge! We hope you enjoy our take on the 12 Days of Christmas.

Read more after the jump.

Bachmann Proposed a Livable Wage in 2004

Our researchers combed through footage from Michele Bachmann’s time in the Minnesota State Senate and found this gem from 2004.

On April 13 of that year, Bachmann proposed increasing minimum wage to $9 per hour, which she described as a livable wage. “I actually wanted to make this $20 an hour if we’re realistically talking at having people purchase a home or being able to provide for themselves in a better way,” she said.

That perspective stands in stark contrast to Bachmann’s current desire to eliminate the minimum wage.

Read more after the jump.

Des Moines Register: Michele Bachmann’s ‘tax the poor’ plan won’t be flat or simple

On November 3, 2011, the Des Moines Register reported:

Michele Bachmann wants everybody to pay taxes — even the poorest Americans.

[…]

Bachmann didn’t offer many details about her proposal, but it seemed she was suggesting she’d accomplish this through the income tax. But she didn’t explain how she’d charge an income tax on people who have no income.

Read more after the jump.