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The Gazette KCRG
Posted July 26, 2011
Bachmann: 2012 is our time; straw poll is down payment on victory

Republican presidential hopeful Rep. Michele Bachmann, right, shakes hands with Tim Countryman of Cedar Rapids at a house party sponsored by the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition at the home of Bob and Patti Klaus in Cedar Rapids July 26. (James Q. Lynch/SourceMedia Group News)

CEDAR RAPIDS – “This is our time,” Republican presidential hopeful U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann told more than 100 people at a house party in northeast Cedar Rapids July 25.

Rep. Michele Bachmann

And with their help, the Minnesota congresswoman predicted that the Iowa GOP Straw Poll Aug. 13 with be “our down payment for taking the country back.”

Bachmann, who didn’t officially get into the race for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination until a month ago, didn’t predict victory in the non-binding straw poll, but talked about it as pivotal to her campaign to win the nomination and presidency.

There is an urgency to her campaign, she said, because many Americans are worried the nation cannot continue to succeed, that their children will not enjoy the freedom and quality of life of previous generations.

“I believe that doesn’t have to be the direction,” Bachman said at a Cedar Rapids house party sponsored by the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition and hosted by Bob and Patti Klaus.

“2012 is our moment. I firmly believe that Barack Obama will be a one-term president,” she said as the crowd joined her in finishing the line.

She scolded Obama for his handling of the ongoing debt ceiling impasse. She accused him of “casting the American people aside as collateral damage” as he continues to play political games with the crisis.

“The problem with the president’s plan is that he’s operating from the wrong assumption — that we need to increase the debt limit to pay for increased spending,” she said in response to Obama’s Monday evening speech to the nation. “Despite what President Obama says, the people of this country understand what raising the debt limit means. It’s the president who doesn’t grasp the magnitude of our national debt; he compares it to ‘a little credit card debt’ when, in fact, our ‘national credit cards’ are maxed out.”

As she did over the weekend, Bachmann defended her record against the stepped-up criticism of her in-state rival, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, and emphasized her own record of results.

Bachman, according to Pawlenty, has had an undistinguished congressional career.

However, Bachmann said she’s been on “the absolute frontlines, the tip of the spear with Cong. Steve King.”

“So I get the problems. I also get the solutions,” she said.

The Minnesota not-so-nice between Pawlenty and Bachmann may continue until the straw poll. Both Bachmann, who is leading in some polls of Iowa Republicans, and Pawlenty, who is lagging in those polls, would like the non-binding state party fundraiser to propel their campaigns to the forefront of the 2012 GOP race.

Bachmann is still developing her organization in the first-in-the-nation state. Pawlenty joined the race early on and has, according to many observers, developed the strongest caucus campaign organization.

A member of the Bachmann organization said she was advised to skip straw poll because of her late entry. However, he speculated that lack of a well-developed campaign may be offset by supporters she wins over with appearances before groups like the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition and a speaking engagement at New Life Community Church in Marion Sunday.

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