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U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann’s 2012 team has gained a reputation for hostility on the campaign trail.In the two months since Bachmann launched her bid for the 2012 Republican nomination, the Minnesota congresswoman’s security staff has gotten into at least five tussles with reporters, some of which turned into physical altercations. A foreign reporter even claims that a Bachmann staffer threatened to break his arm if he got any closer to the candidate.
“The campaign makes no apologies for its physically aggressive approach to media management, asserting that it is simply doing what it has to do to protect a popular, controversial candidate. The most aggressive aide — a tall, silver-haired man according to reporters — a spokeswoman said, is a former Secret Service agent who has guarded presidents. He and an advance woman frequently make physical contact with reporters.”
But police and news reports from Bachmann’s career as a Minnesota state senator and congresswoman indicate that Bachmann had campaign security concerns long before she achieved her status as a Tea Party celebrity.
According to an account published today by MinnPost, at the 2006 Minnesota Republican nominating convention, Bachmann reportedly got into an altercation with a female Republican activist who had supposedly raised questions about whether Bachmann was fit to be the nominee for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.
According to a reporter who witnessed the incident, Bachmann, who had already locked up the nomination, repeatedly said to the woman “You will pay, you will pay.” The woman grew “increasingly upset at the nonspecific threat and began to weep while still demanding to know how Bachmann was going to make her pay.”
The woman, who is not identified, went on to lose the endorsement she was seeking for a seat in the Minnesota State House of Representatives. She subsequently lost two jobs in politics and government, although there is no evidence that Bachmann had any influence over her employment situation.
As we have previously written, Bachmann and her staff have filed at least eight police reports requesting investigations into incidents they perceived as security threats. The most startling is the now-infamous Bachmann in the Bathroom story of 2005, in which the candidate panicked when two female constituents approached her in a public restroom after a campaign event. The two voters, who wanted to learn more about her position on same-sex marriage, told police Bachmann had accused them of holding her against her will before fleeing “in a crouched position.”
The Bachmann campaign did not respond to Business Insider’s request for comment about the above-mentioned incidents.