Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minnesota) formally announced her bid for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. Bachmann, the only woman in the race so far, said that she is not running for president out of vanity, but because “voters must make a bold choice if we are to secure the promise of the future.” Her announcement comes just a couple of days after she came in a strong second in a Des Moines Register poll, with 22 points and just one point behind frontrunner Mitt Romney.
Speaking from Waterloo, Iowa, where she was born, the Tea Party favorite touted her conservative bona fides, and said that her voice “is part of a movement to take back our country” and that she wants to bring the voice of Republicans, fiscal and social conservatives and the Tea Party movement to the White House.
“We’re practical people who want the country to work again. This is a powerful coalition the left fears and they should because make no mistake about it, President Obama is a one-term president,” Bachmann said, adding that the Tea Party includes “disaffected Democrats, independents, people who’ve never been political a day in their life, libertarians, Republicans. We’re people who simply want America back on the right track again.”
According to the Minnesota lawmaker, the United States cannot afford four more years of Obama’s policies, which she said are racking up debt for future generations, keeping millions of Americans unemployed or in inadequately paying jobs and demonstrate failed leadership here and abroad.
Despite her strong start, Bachmann faces many challenges ahead. One of them will be to remain on point and avoid making statements that are untrue, exaggerations or incendiary remarks. Her propensity for doing so led Fox News host Chris Wallace to ask Bachmann during an interview Sunday if she is a “flake.” Bachmann said that she is a “serious person” and that insinuations that suggest otherwise are “insulting.” Wallace later apologized.
Bachmann has surprised detractors in recent weeks, however. She has hired seasoned professionals to help guide her, and she performed well in a presidential debate earlier this month. She also is a strong fundraiser and if she does not make it all the way, she could at least have an influence on who will.
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