Michele Bachmann thought the event was over. Apparently, that was the plan all along – after the main political event was over, approach the microphone, make your statement, then exit the stage to extremely loud music, loud enough to drown out any questions reporters might toss your way.
The plan was in effect. Bachmann approached the podium and made her statement. It was a response to a piece on the Daily Caller about the migraines she often gets. The migraines that sometimes leave her “incapacitated” for days. Bachmann made her statement: “I’m prescribed medication that I take on occasion whenever symptoms arise and they keep my migraines under control, but I’d like to be abundantly clear, my ability to function effectively has never been impeded by migraines and … will not affect my ability to serve as commander in chief.”
She turned away from the microphone as the music started blasting. The plan was in full effect. Reporters were shouting questions to no avail, the music was doing its job.
But Brian Ross wouldn’t take the hint. The ABC News investigative reporter just wanted to get one question answered, “have you ever missed a house vote because of your migraines?”
The following recollection is from Time correspondent Michael Crowley as he described, to CNN’s Lisa Sylvester, the drama that unfolded next:
“As soon as she finished the statement, they turned the PA system on really loud with the music playing so loud that it was really hard to even try to ask her a question if you wanted to,” Crowley said. “But Brian [Ross], you know, started asking, you know, in a kind of dogged voice, ‘Have you ever missed a house vote because of your migraine – have you ever missed a roll call vote.’ And she ignored him and walked away quickly.”
Crowley continued: “Brian started to chase after her, you know, just repeating the question the way a reporter does … but there was nothing particularly unusual about it. And then at one point, she kind of went behind the stage she was on – her car was parked there – and Brian sort of went around behind the stage as well.”
Then the account turns especially dramatic: “A couple of guys really just came at him [Brian Ross],” Crowley said. “There were a few cops there and there were what looked to me like two bodyguards…and their hands were on him. They were…sort of manhandling and pushing him and you know at one point it looked like they were kind of holding him back, pulling him away from her as he was just trying to ask her this question. And she just ignored the question…And got in her car and drove away.”
Crowley’s account of what happened was confirmed by ABC News.