CEDAR RAPIDS – A run of five debates in six weeks will let voters vet the 2012 Republican presidential hopefuls and see her as the “consistent conservative” best positioned to challenge President Obama, Rep. Michele Bachmann said today. (Sept. 13)
The debates “allow for the unfolding and peeling back of who the candidates are, what they stand for, how they act under pressure,” Bachmann said in a phone call the morning after an eight-candidate CNN-Tea Party debate in Florida. “That’s part of the vetting process.”
She welcomes the examination and believes that voters will learn to see her as a “consistent conservative … (with) a core of convictions … a champion for the values and principles people believe.”
The debates also give her a venue to share on a national level the personal message she shared with Iowans in the run-up to her Iowa GOP Straw Poll victory Aug. 13.
Bachmann, who will be back in Iowa Monday and Tuesday, stopped short of saying it’s all about Iowa for her campaign, but plans to spend considerable time in her native state before the first-in-the-nation precinct caucuses.
Bachmann vaulted to top-tier status with her straw poll win and is glad Iowa is where the nomination process starts.
“Iowans have a reasonable, down-to-earth view of life,” she explained, adding that she’s not taking a caucus win for granted. “My strategy going forward is to be on the ground in Iowa.”
Her strategy in the Monday night debate was to re-establish her campaign presence. Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who entered the race the day of the Iowa straw poll, has shaken up the field and stolen attention from Bachmann.
Describing her attacks on Perry as “one woman’s assertiveness,” Bachman said she believes she was successful in gaining momentum.
Perry’s late entry is not unlike 2007 when Fred Thompson and Rudy Giuliani joined the race late and “jumped to the front,” Bachmann said on WHO Radio’s Jan Mickelson Show.
“But then voters got a good look at the candidates and they made a different decision,” Bachmann said.
“I think as people pull back the layers and find out who the true conservative is, who the one is who is fighting, who has compromised, who’s not compromised, who will be the best champion for people in Iowa to carry forward the common-sense, reasonable solutions that Iowans want to see, I feel very confident they will see I am their candidate.”
She she’ll continue to deliver that message when she joins the other GOP presidential hopefuls for a debate Sept. 22 sponsored by Fox News and Florida Republican Party. To submit questions, click here.
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