Michele Bachmann is candidate at GOP Debate

“Obama is a one-term president” – Michele Bachmann declared at CNN’s Republican presidential debate in New Hampshire, where she formally announced her candidacy.
It was no big surprise to hear Bachmann, a U.S. Representative from Minnesota, announce her presidential campaign at last night’s Republican debate. Everyone knew she planned to run for the White House, and it was only a matter of time before the Tea Party darling made it official.
Still, watching Bachmann on stage with other candidates (including Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Tim Pawlenty), the 55-year old appeared less inflammatory than she has in the past and resembled an actual candidate, rather than a side show. But she was by no means flawless, and readily deployed the dramatics that have made her most famous.
Discussing President Obama’s health care reform, for example, Bachmann insisted Obamacare would ‘kill’ 800,000 jobs, even though the Congressional Budget Office describes those ‘losses’ as people retiring earlier than anticipated.
And on the subject of the Tea Party, Bachmann repeated her frequent lie that the right wing movement is bipartisan.
“The media has tried to wrongly and grossly portray the Tea Party” – Bachmann insisted. “The Tea Party is really made up of disaffected Democrats, independents, people who’ve never been political a day in their life.”
“People who are libertarians, Republicans. It’s a wide swath of America coming together. I think that’s why the left fears it so much. Because they’re people who simply want to take the country back. They want the country to work again.”

Michele Bachmann is candidate at GOP Debate
Michele Bachmann.

Bachmann (55) was born Michele Marie Amble in Waterloo, Iowa. Her father’s engineering job led the family, including Michele and three brothers, to Minnesota when she was in elementary school. By high school, her parents had divorced. She stayed with her mother, who later remarried.
Michele Amble married college boyfriend Marcus Bachmann, a clinical therapist. The youngest of their five children will soon head off to college.
Religion has always factored heavily into Bachmann’s life. She was in the last class to graduate from Oral Roberts University’s now-defunct Coburn School of Law, a school dedicated to educating lawyers with Christian values. Anita Hill, later involved in the scandal that nearly sank Clarence Thomas’ Supreme Court nomination, taught a couple of Bachmann’s classes.
Until about two years ago, the Bachmanns were members of the Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church in Stillwater, Minn., part of a conservative denomination that adheres to strict doctrine and excludes women from church leadership roles. The pastor there, the Rev. Marcus Birkholz, told the AP that the family stopped attending regularly when they moved to another Twin Cities suburb.
“Our church body is very pro-life, and that has come out in Michele’s position all the way along” – Birkholz said. “I would say not everybody would be as outspoken as she is.”
A fellow parishioner encouraged the Bachmanns to consider providing foster care. Teenage girls from troubled families – 23 in all – cycled through the Bachmann house, some as briefly as a couple of weeks and others as long as a couple of years.

Political activists who attended an Iowa Tea Party event here Monday night gave mixed reviews to seven Republican candidates who participated in a presidential debate in New Hampshire.
In a show of applause after they watched the debate on television at the Elks Club here, the loudest clapping went to Texas Rep. Ron Paul, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann and businessman Herman Cain. No one applauded for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
In interviews, several people praised Bachmann, while some singled out Romney for criticism.
A sampling of comments -

Lenny Scaletta, a retired engineer and leader of the Tea Party Patriots in Council Bluffs – “I like Michele Bachmann. She is the most passionate on the issues that I like, and I think she is the strongest on illegal immigration.”
Linnea White, a retired college instructor from Treynor – “My top ones are Herman Cain and Michele Bachmann. I think that both support and would live within the Constitution. They believe strongly in states’ rights and the 10th Amendment.”
Edward Lewis, a livestock producer from Council Bluffs – “I don’t believe any of them. They don’t want to say anything negative. They just want to keep smiles on everybody’s faces.”

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