CEDAR RAPIDS – Terry Larson still isn’t ready to commit to supporting Michele Bachmann in the Iowa Precinct caucuses, but the Cedar Rapids conservative admitted to being “more impressed than I expected to be” after attending the GOP presidential hopeful’s noon rally in Cedar Rapids Sept. 26.
Larson was part of a small, but responsive crowd that applauded what has become Bachmann’s new battle cry: Don’t settle.
“Every four years conservatives are told that we have to stand next to the wall, sit in the back of the room and get around a candidate that we’re told is electable,” Bachmann said. “We’re told only the moderate candidate is the one who is electable.”
This year, that’s not the case because President Obama’s approval ratings are a so low – “and they aren’t at the basement yet” – that conservatives and tea party supporters don’t have to settle for the more mainstream Republicans, she said.
“The American people are looking for their champion,” Bachmann said. “They’re looking for a fighter.”
Larson thinks Bachmann might be that fighter, but the Cedar Rapids woman attended the rally “to find out more about our choices.”
“I’m not happy with how much government has its hands in our lives,” said Larson, who said the rally was a field trip for both and her 10-year-old, Drew, who she home schools.
She’s looking for a candidate who has integrity, values life, believes in God and isn’t afraid to rock the boat, Larson said.
So when she heard Bachmann pledge to support prolife efforts, traditional marriage and traditional families, it made Larson want to “hoot and holler,” she said.
Pete Burnett of Mount Vernon liked Bachmann’s plans to rein in spending and reduce the national debt, and reform the tax code.
Bachmann said she’s been fighting out-of-control spending as long as she’s been in Congress because of her Iowa upbringing taught her you can’t continue to spend more than you take in.
“You couldn’t live like that in Iowa,” she said. “If you did, the sheriff would knock on your door.”
That puts Bachmann “high on my list,” Burnett said. However, despite the “Bachmann 2012” pin on his shirt collar, Burnett said he hasn’t committed to any candidates.
Bachmann’s poll numbers have fallen off since her victory in the Iowa GOP Straw Poll, but she told reporters she’s “positioned perfectly” in the race.
Her constituency wants to know who has the core set of convictions and will “stand up against the government takeover of health care, stand up on the life issue, the family issue. They want to know who their champion is,” Bachmann said.
She’s demonstrated her viability and that she is a fighter by winning the Iowa GOP Straw Poll, Bachmann said. Now the “layers are being peeled back” and “people are seeing what the candidates stand for.”