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####2010-09-21 00:00:00 SENATE FLOOR // 16:10 TO 18:11 // US Senate floor, crossroll  NOTE: HD signal was lost somewhere around 17:00, switched to SD version on rx 134 at 17:04##
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Story highlights

Bachmann says she's wary of becoming a target of false claims if she runs

The comments come on Democrat Al Franken's final day in the Senate

CNN —  

Former GOP congresswoman and presidential candidate Michele Bachmann says she is considering running for Democratic former Sen. Al Franken’s Minnesota seat.

Bachmann, who was a member of Congress representing Minnesota until 2015, told “The Jim Bakker Show” in an interview that aired last week that she’s mulling over whether she should run. Franken announced he would leave the Senate following accusations that he had groped several women, and his final day as a senator is Tuesday.

“I’ve had people contact me and urge me to run for that Senate seat,” Bachmann said. “The only reason I would run is for the ability to take these principles into the United States Senate,” she said, later adding, “The question is should it be me? Should it be now? But there’s also a price you pay. And the price is bigger than ever because the swamp is so toxic.”

“We’re trying to be wise,” Bachmann continued, suggesting that Franken was dropped by Democrats because the party wants to be able to hurl false accusations against Republicans in coming elections.

“I’m not saying that he didn’t do some bad boy things. I think he did. But he didn’t do what Harvey Weinstein did. … But the Democrat party, they even admit they threw Al Franken under the bus because they wanted to look pure,” she said.

Bachmann has been accused of employing gay conversion therapy at her Counseling Care clinics over the years, and the clinics have been hit with health inspector violations in 2005, 2009 and 2017, according to NBC News. In her interview with Bakker, she referenced the clinics, claiming that false allegations had left her clinics nearly bankrupt twice.

“My husband and I aren’t money people,” Bachmann said, suggesting that political candidates are now even larger targets for “frivolous lawsuits.”

“If you’re a billionaire, you can maybe defend yourself,” she said, later adding, “If you’re trying to go against the tide in DC, if you’re trying to stand for biblical principles in DC and you stick your head up out of the hole … the blades come whirring and they try to chop you off.”

Franken’s temporary replacement in the Senate is Lt. Gov. Tina Smith, D-Minnesota. She is expected to run in November’s special election.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story misstated when Bachmann spoke with Bakker.