Bachmann Vows to Shut Down Federal Department of Education and EPA

By Elizabeth Harrington | October 10, 2011 | 12:08pm EDT

Republican presidential hopeful Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minn., gestures during a speech at the Values Voter Summit on Friday, Oct. 7, 2011, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

(CNSNews.com) - Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), a Republican presidential candidate, vowed Friday as president to “lock the doors and turn off the lights” at the U.S. Department of Education and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

“We have a tremendous opportunity before us for reduction. And this is how I want it to have reduction: I will permanently shut down the Department of Education,” Bachmann said in a speech delivered at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C.

She added: “And as soon as I lock the doors and turn off the lights to the Department of Education, I will get in my car and get to the department of EPA to do the same to them.”

Bachmann’s remarks drew cheers and applause from the conservative crowd that came to the 3-day summit held by the Family Research Council, a policy group dedicated to traditional family values.

“It may be a long day, but there’s a few others that are also going to get their lights off. Trust me, it will be done,” Bachmann said.

“In other words, this is our chance," she said. "This is our chance, men and women. We have the chance to once again choose greatness. And as Charles Krauthammer wrote in his great essay, we are privileged to choose. Choose greatness or choose decline.”

The summit also featured speeches by fellow presidential nominee candidates Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum.

Bachmann outlined what her priorities would be if elected president, including reining-in government spending and maintaining America’s status as an economic superpower.

“I have no interest in managing an unmanageable, dysfunctional, lethargic bureaucracy. My goal is to dismantle it,” she said.

“Because, you see, these decisions we’re about to make will determine whether we move forward under a federal government of enumerated powers that acts within its constitutional limitations -- what a concept! -- or instead if we accept an absolutely uncontrollable government monster whose reach is only limited by the imagination of those who hold power," she said.

Bachmann also said “the stakes [are] as high as they have ever been in our lifetimes,” and then made references to some of her GOP nominee competitors.

“You won’t find YouTube clips of me speaking in support of Roe versus Wade," said Bachmann. "You won’t find me equivocating or hemming or hawing when I’m asked to define marriage as between one man and one woman.  And you won’t find me tagged as a crony capitalist, paying off big political donors with big political favors."

Bachmann tied for fourth with Rick Perry in the Values Voter Summit straw poll won by Texas Congressman Ron Paul who took 37 percent of the vote. Herman Cain finished second with 23 percent.

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