MARION – In front of a Baptist congregation Sunday morning, presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann testified to her faith in a living God, and later to reporters, confidence that her campaign will overcome weak poll numbers before the Iowa precinct caucuses.
Bachmann, whose poll numbers have fallen since winning the mid-August Iowa GOP Straw Poll, sidestepped questions about a new Kiowa Poll showing that twice as many likely caucusgoers name her as the candidate they are “least likely” to back as identify her as their first choice.
“The polls are a snapshot in time,” Bachmann said after worshiping and sharing a fellowship meal of barbecue pork and beef with members of Grace Baptist in Marion. “The poll we’re looking at is Jan. 3” when Iowa will have it first-in-the-nation precinct caucuses.
In the meantime, “We’re doing exactly what we have to do. We’re here meeting Iowans,” she said.
And most Sundays that means finding a church where she can “worship and to meet and connect with people on the level of faith,” she explained.
Bachman testified for nearly a half-hour, sharing stories of her childhood in the Waterloo-Cedar Falls area, including watching Dr. Max and Mombo the Clown on KGAN, and how she accepted Christ into her life as a teenager.
Bachmann, the founder of the congressional tea party caucus, talked about God calling her to be a “continual advocate for the cause of liberty” while she was attending law school. It came to her when she read Second Corinthians 3:17: “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”
“I know that is true in all life,” Bachmann told about 150 people at Grace Baptist’s service. “When Jesus came into my heart, I received liberty like I never had received before. I know that is true in all our lives.”
“That’s my life’s work to stand for liberty, to stand for freedom, to stand for what Jesus Christ has done for us all,” Bachmann said. The United States enjoys liberty “like no other nation.”
Her testimony was received “amens” several times and applause when she talked about providing a home for 23 foster children.
Afterward, Larae Wenzel of Cedar Rapids said Bachmann’s testimony gave her confidence there is someone in Congress she can trust.
“I see her as a person. The same as me,” she said.
Wenzel hasn’t followed Bachmann’s campaign, “but I’ll follow her now more that I know her as a person of true convictions.”
Phil Teaney of Cedar Rapids has been “definitely leaning” toward backing Bachmann’s presidential campaign and he found her testimony encouraging.
“It means so much to Christians to see someone who has the same belief, the same biblical values,” he said.