Michele Bachmann tries to change the subject from health care on Larry King


President Barack Obama has asked Congress for an up or down, simple majority vote on his health care reform package -- the same process used by his predecessor to pass tax cuts. The Republicans will almost certainly lose that vote. So perhaps it's no surprise that last night on "Larry King Live," Michele Bachmann wanted to talk about something else: She's accusing the president of trading a judicial appointment for a health care vote and calling for an independent investigation.

It makes sense. The Republicans have made it clear they intend to campaign against Obama this fall by trying to spread fear about the man. And King's softball gabfest is the perfect venue for her shtick. Still, Florida Rep. Alan Grayson, who appeared with Bachmann, called her out. (Video after the jump.)

The alleged corruption is taken for a given on right wing blogs, including Michelle Malkin's, who draws on a purely speculative post by John McCormack at The Weekly Standard:

Tonight, Barack Obama will host ten House Democrats who voted against the health care bill in November at the White House; he's obviously trying to persuade them to switch their votes to yes. One of the ten is Jim Matheson of Utah. The White House just sent out a press release announcing that today President Obama nominated Matheson's brother Scott M. Matheson, Jr. to the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.

Corruption? Folks, at the very worst, this is political arm-twisting of a type that's been around as long as Congress.

Here's the transcript:

KING: Michele, why can't you come together on this?

BACHMANN: I think that we can come together. But I think a big question that has to be addressed right now, Larry, is, what in the world is going on in the White House?

Because today, the president offered a judgeship to the brother of a member of Congress. Tonight, the president has that same member of Congress at the White House, pressuring him to change his vote on health care.

We need to have an -- an independent investigation into this matter, because we've seen the Cornhusker Kickback, the Louisiana Purchase the union loophole.

And now, the big question is, is the White House trading health care votes for judgeships?

This is a pretty serious issue, Larry.

KING: Do you have to respond to that, Alan?

GRAYSON: Well, my esteemed colleague from Minnesota has just deployed another weapon of mass distraction that the Republicans use from time to time to try to change the subject away from health care.

BACHMANN: Corruption--

GRAYSON: And she's doing it again--

BACHMANN: Corruption isn't a distraction, corruption is an issue. We need to know-- GRAYSON: What's the issue here--

BACHMANN: We need to know if this is corrupt.

GRAYSON: The issue--

KING: Let him--

GRAYSON: The issue is that we need--

KING: Let Alan finish.

GRAYSON: -- affordable health care in this country that is accessible to people and that covers everyone. That's the issue. If you want to go off on a tangent, you're doing a disservice to the American people.

BACHMANN: Corruption isn't a tangent. This is a very real issue. We need an independent investigation. This is pretty serious, if you offer a judgeship to a brother of a member of Congress and the same night you have that member at the White House, where the president's twisting his arm to ask that member of Congress to switch his vote on health care?

This is very serious.

KING: Alan--

BACHMANN: We have to have an independent investigation.

Here's the video: