Bachmann breaks silence on re-election decision - FOX 35 News Orlando

Bachmann breaks silence on re-election decision: 'I'm not retiring'

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Last week, U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann dropped a political bombshell when she announced she won't run for re-election -- and on Thursday, she explained why she's leaving Capitol Hill to Sean Hannity.

The Tea Party darling has been MIA since she released her decision through a video posted to YouTube, but in an interview on FOX News, she explained she is leaving because she believes Congress needs continual turnover.

Bachmann has represented the state's 6th District for eight years, as long as presidents are allowed to serve in their post.

"I feel like I've done a lot in the eight years I've been there," she told Hannity.

The congresswoman certainly saw her share of controversy in that time period, but she said that's not why she's stepping down. Instead, she said she feels it's time to move on.

"I'm not retiring," she insisted. "I'm not going silent. I'm not quitting my public involvement. In fact, I may run for another public office. That could happen."

But Bachmann also told Hannity -- who contributed $10,000 to her political action committee three years ago -- that another campaign may not necessarily be in the cards.

"Sometimes, you can be more effective on the outside than on the inside," she said. "I've done everything I possibly could on the inside, but I still intend to be in the fight."

As for what she has planned for her future, Bachmann said she has "no definitive plans right now."

"But, I'm wide open and looking," she added.

Bachmann posted the video explaining her decision in the middle of the night before flying off on a congressional trip to Russia, and she used that as a platform to quell rumors she may have stepped down because of an ongoing congressional ethics probe.

"Rest assured, this decision was not affected in any way by the recent inquiries into the activities of my former presidential campaign," she said in the recording.

In her interview with Hannity, she explained why she believes she became a lightning rod in Congress because she challenged Democrats and the president's policies.

"I was fearless in exposing what not only Nancy Pelosi was doing what Barack Obama was doing, and I thought it was important to get to the nub of -- and the premises that -- they were trying to bring forward," she explained.

Yet, Bachmann still has a year and a half left in her term -- and she insists leaving Washington doesn't mean the public has seen or heard the last of her.

"I will continue to be a strong voice. People won't see me go away. It's just, 'Where will I be weighing in from?'" she insisted. "That's what I'm looking at right now."

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