Michele Bachmann Kicks Off Presidential Campaign
Updated at 11:15 am
Slipped into a presidential kickoff address almost exclusively devoted to her Iowa roots, Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., made clear that though she will run as the all-in-one conservative, her tea party affiliation could be her ticket to stand out in the field.
Reiterating remarks she made last weekend at the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans, Bachmann said to an overfilled lawn in Waterloo, Iowa - her birthplace and the heart of the caucus state where she is expected to play most of her campaign chips - that "we can win in 2012 and we will."
The "we," she noted, "is made up of Americans from all walks of life like a three-legged stool. It's the peace through strength Republicans, and I'm one of them, it's fiscal conservatives, and I'm one of them, and it's social conservatives, and I'm one of them. It's the tea party movement, and I'm one of them."
"The liberals, and to be clear I'm not one of them, want you to think the tea party is the right wing fringe of the Republican Party," she continued. "But it's not. It's made up of 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."