Bachmann Kicks Off Presidential Campaign
WATERLOO, Iowa - Rep. Michele Bachmann, a favorite of Christian conservatives and anti-tax Tea Party activists, kicked off her presidential campaign Monday in Iowa where she hopes home field advantage will give her a boost of credibility as a serious challenger to President Barack Obama.
"I want to bring a voice, your voice, to the White House, just as I brought your voice to the halls of the United States Congress," said Bachmann. She added that her bid was not motivated by "vanity."
Bachmann, a three-term congresswoman from neighboring Minnesota, held a rally in Waterloo, Iowa, her birthplace. Iowa holds the first Republican nominating contest, conducted through meetings around the Midwestern state known as caucuses.
"Everything I need to know, I learned in Iowa," said Bachmann. "It's these Iowa roots and my faith in God that guide me today."
The Iowa Poll released Saturday night by The Des Moines Register showed her in a statistical tie with the perceived Republican front-runner, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, among likely caucus-goers.
In an interview with The Associated Press Sunday, Bachmann accused of Obama of having wrongheaded policy making.
"I don't have anything personal about our president. But he's just wrong. But his policy prescriptions have been wrong."
The nothing-personal message was a departure from her 2008 comments questioning whether Obama had "anti-American" views. She has said she wishes she framed her criticism differently.
At Monday's event, Bachmann told the crowd, "We cannot afford four more years of Barack Obama." She added that he will be "a one-term president."
The congresswoman continued, "I believe that the great people of this country are longing for a president who will listen to them and who will lead from the front and not from behind."
In an appearance Sunday on CBS television, Bachmann said she found the poll results gratifying but noted that the race for the nomination was just beginning.
The poll showed Romney with 23 percent support and Bachmann with 22 percent among those who said they were likely to vote in the nation's first Republican nomination contest.
They were followed by former pizza chain CEO Herman Cain, another Tea Party favorite, with 10 percent; former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and libertarian-leaning Rep. Ron Paul of Texas with 7 percent each, and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty with 6 percent.
The results are based on telephone interviews with 400 likely Republican Iowa caucus-goers from June 19 to 22. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.
A strong finish in Iowa for Bachmann could launch her as the key challenger to establishment Republicans in later nominating contests, most notably Romney.
Romney, who sought his party's presidential nomination in 2008, already faces questions from Bachmann and other rivals about his record of changing positions on social issues including abortion and gay rights, shifts that have left conservatives questioning his sincerity. In addition, Romney championed a health care law enacted in Massachusetts that is similar to Obama's national health overhaul, which conservatives loathe. >>>CLICK HERE TO READ MORE
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