Representative Michele Bachmann suffers from migraine headaches so intense that she has sometimes sought emergency medical treatment, but the congresswoman said Tuesday that the condition would not preclude her from serving as president if elected.
“Let me 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,” Mrs. Bachmann, Republican of Minnesota, said in a statement. She described the headaches as “easily controlled with medication.”
Mrs. Bachmann, who is seeking the Republican presidential nomination and was campaigning Tuesday in South Carolina, was responding to a report in The Daily Caller, which published an article about the migraines on its Web site Monday night. It cited unnamed advisers, including one who said the congresswoman “carries and takes all sorts of pills” for migraines that at times rendered her “incapacitated” — an assertion her campaign and family strongly disputed.
“She would not in any respect meet the definition for not having capacity in one of these episodes,” Dr. Lucas Bachmann, the candidate’s son and a medical resident at the University of Connecticut, said in a telephone interview. “She is probably not going to run a mile, but in terms of being able to engage, she can comprehend and assess information — without a doubt.”
The American Migraine Foundation, a nonprofit group devoted to research, says 36 million Americans, or about 12 percent of the population, suffers from migraines, a neurological disorder characterized by severe-to-moderate headaches and often nausea. The headaches, which the group says can be “extremely disabling for sufferers, painful enough to cause work loss” typically last 24 hours; most people have only a few attacks per month, but chronic sufferers can have many more.
The last line will not be helpful to Rep. Bachmann.