NPR FOR THE DEAF: We Hear It Even When You Can’t

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FRESH AIR

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Rep. Michele Bachman officially threw her hat into the presidential ring on June 27. Since then, the Minnesota congresswoman has emerged as a Republican front-runner, riding on a wave of Tea Party support and national media appearances. New Yorker Washington correspondent Ryan Lizza spent four days with Bachmann and her staff aboard their campaign jet in mid-June. On Tuesday’s Fresh Air, he talks about his unprecedented access to the congresswoman, whom he profiles in the Aug. 15, 2011, edition of The New Yorker. The piece looks at the writers, beliefs and books that Bachmann has specifically mentioned as major influences in her life. “To understand her, you have to understand the movement that she came out of,” Lizza tells Fresh Air‘s Terry Gross. “Her early ideological roots were formed by opposition to abortion … and she’s always been concerned with social issues, the culture war issues. … She takes her Christianity very seriously. She comes out of a religious evangelical conservative movement that is very much concerned with developing a biblical worldview and applying it to all corners of one’s life.” MORE

RELATED: “For someone whose ideology is really defined by a strong dislike for government, if you look at the way she’s supported herself over the years, it’s mostly through the government. After law school, she works at the IRS, she’s there for four years, then in 1992 she starts taking in foster children and does that from 1992-1998 and is paid by the state to do that. She then works briefly for a local charter school and then she starts running for office and becomes first an employee of the state of Minnesota and then a congresswoman, an employee of the federal government. … Her husband is a psychologist [who] has two counseling clinics that like any other medical professional [clinic] takes lots of money from Medicare and Medicaid — and then on top of that, has received generous farm subsidies for a farm he owns in Wisconsin.” MORE

PREVIOUSLY: How Michelle Bachmann Got Her Right-Wing Christofascist Batshit Crazy Pants On

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