Top of the Ticket

Political commentary from the LA Times

« Previous Post | Top of the Ticket Home | Next Post »

Michele Bachmann's migraines are infrequent but caused by 'trigger factors,' doctor says

July 20, 2011 |  2:42 pm

Michele Bachmann's migraines are infrequent says doctor

Michele Bachmann released a letter from the attending physician of Congress on Wednesday, intended to clear the GOP presidential hopeful of any doubts that her admitted migraines would not be an issue if she were to become the commander in chief.

Dr. Brian Monahan wrote to the congresswoman telling her that "your migraines occur infrequently and have known trigger factors of which you are aware and know how to avoid."

That account is much different than those being published by Politico and the conservative website the Daily Caller, which both reported that Bachmann's migraines have caused her to miss congressional votes and forced her office to literally go dark as she recovered.

"One former top Bachmann staffer, who denied being a source of the Daily Caller report, told Politico the congresswoman’s migraines were so prevalent that the entire office and campaign staff — even interns — knew about the problem," Politico reported early Wednesday morning.

"For the Bachmann campaign, this is the first big challenge," Republican strategist Karl Rove told Fox News. "It's evidence of what happens when you jump up into the top ring of these polls, and the kind of scrutiny that you get."

Fellow Republican Congressman Ron Paul, who is competing against Bachmann for the GOP presidential nomination, happens to also be a medical doctor and expressed sympathy for his rival Wednesday on a Washington, D.C., radio show.

"I have taken care of a lot of patients with migraines, and it is pretty rough. I mean, it is a tough problem … so I have great empathy and sympathy for her if she is suffering from that," Paul said.

"But I think it’s probably legitimate to know, and I don’t think that disqualifies somebody from running for office," Paul stated.

Tim Pawlenty, who like Bachmann is currently campaigning in Iowa, also took the high road, but planted the seed that the president needs to be healthy at all times.

"I certainly would defer to the judgment of the medical professionals, but setting that aside, all of the candidates, I think, are going to have to be able to demonstrate they can do all of the job all of the time," Pawlenty said to reporters. "If you're going to be president of the United States you've got to be able to do the job every day, all the time. There's no real time off in that job."

Brian Ross, the ABC News journalist who was allegedly roughed up by Bachmann's security detail, went on "The View" on Wednesday and told Whoopi Goldberg and the rest of the ladies that it wasn't as violent a scuffle as was originally reported.


The Marcus Bachmann hypocrisy

Michele Bachmann's clinic accused of trying to straighten out gays

Michele Bachmann's security uses 'unusual force' to rough up journalist

Bachmann, Santorum only GOP hopefuls to sign controversial 'marriage vow'

John Wayne to John Adams: Michele Bachmann stands by her (mis)statements

 -- Tony Pierce

Photo: Republican presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) boards her bus after speaking at a backyard chat with residents in Norwalk, Iowa. Credit: Charlie Neibergall / Associated Press