Bachmann for president? Tea Party darling blames media
Minnesota Republican Michele Bachmann, champion-in-chief of the House Tea Party caucus, blames the media for all the recent chatter about her status as a potential presidential candidate.
“I’m not concerned about my own personal ambition,” she tells NBC News. “Right now, too many people in the media are concerned about who will be the nominee in 2012.”
That’s a wee bit odd given that the speculation began after her office announced a trip to the presidential field of frolic known as Iowa, with guidance that a White House run is not off the table.
Her denial has a putting-the-country-first sort of ring: “What I’m serious about is focusing on the issues.” Those would be unemployment and rising energy costs.
But then that four-digit number pops right back up: “I’m speaking about the issues that I believe will be important for 2012. That’s why I’m going to Iowa.”
Important for 2012. That’s why she’s going.
Bachmann, who was born in Iowa, will be keynote speaker at a fundraiser in Des Moines on January 21. Some of those dang media reports have quoted sources close to her as saying she’ll also meet with party elders to seek their advice about the state’s early presidential caucus.
On the whole, it sounds like she really is one of more than a dozen Republicans — including rock stars like Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney — who show every sign of chafing at the bit for a chance to contend against President Barack Obama in the next election.
And what about those issues again?
Well, first up is the repeal of healthcare. Why? Because during last year’s midterm campaign: “That’s the issue that people really reacted against.”
In fact, if Obama fails to heed that voter disaffection, she says: “I think we will also see a rollback and a repeal of President Obama in 2012 as well.”
There’s that number again.
And the debt ceiling? She doesn’t want to close the government, but… “I don’t think it’s good to see the shutdown of government. I don’t think that’s good for anyone. But at the same time, in the last 10 years, we’ve raised the debt ceiling 10 times.”
So? “That’s what people asked us to do in this last election: stop the spending because we can’t continue to raise the debt ceiling.”
As for spending cuts, she’s identified $450 billion worth that don’t include vote-repelling reductions in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid — though defense is a target.
Photo Credits: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque
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