Michele Bachmann Expected to Form GOP Exploratory Committee

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 24, 2011   |   11:12AM   |   Washington, DC

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, a pro-life advocate from the state of Minnesota, will reportedly form an exploratory committee in June, or perhaps earlier, to consider a potential bid for the GOP nomination for president.

Bachmann is a conservative lawmaker who has burnished national credentials because of her involvement with Tea Party groups and her outspoken views on pro-life issues. According to a CNN report, she may form the committee — the first official step before a formal candidacy is declared — earlier than June in order to participate in some of the early Republican presidential debates media outlets and interested organizations are already organizing.

“She’s been telling everyone early summer,” a source close to the congresswoman told CNN. “If you [debate sponsors] come to us and say, ‘To be in our debates, you have to have an exploratory committee,’ then we’ll say, ‘Okay, fine…I’ll go file the forms.'”

There are already three Republican presidential debates planned for before June — including  one on May 2 at the Ronald Reagan Library in California, a May 5 debate in South Carolina, and CNN will host its own debate in early June.

The CNN report indicates Bachmann is making moves as if she will be running for president, as she hired Iowa Republican state Sen. Kent Sorenson to serve as her political director for the state. Bachmann aides have indicated she hopes to have a team of staff committed to helping her in Iowa put together by this weekend.

“I should have state directors in all those states within a week,” Bachmann Chief of Staff Andy Parrish indicated.

A Bachmann bid for the GOP nod would be interesting given that former vice presidential candidate and former Alaska governor Sarah Palin appears to have the support of conservative women sewn up should she decided to launch a candidacy. Bachmann would also likely become the second candidate from the state of Minnesota as pro-life former Governor Tim Pawlenty announced earlier this week that he has formed an exploratory committee for a likely presidential bid.

Bachmann would have a difficult time becoming the nominee if only because no member of the House of Representatives has become president since James Garfield in the mid-1800s, because House members typically lack the national standing and stature to mount a campaign.

Some political observers suggest the talk of a Bachmann bid is an effort to raise her name as a potential vice-presidential running mate for one of the potential candidates currently seen as leading the field — such as pro-life former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, pro-life former Speaker Newt Gingrich, or Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who shifted to the pro-life position before the last presidential election.

Bachmann has been a consistently strong pro-life advocate and has pressed for the new Republican-controlled House of Representatives to pass an amendment to de-fund the Planned Parenthood abortion business.

“Well, I think one thing that we can do, quite simply, is to withhold funding from Planned Parenthood,” Bachmann said when asked by CNS News about what Congress can do to protect unborn children.

“It wouldn’t mean that Planned Parenthood would go out of existence, because they do have their own independent funding, but what it would mean is that the taxpayer would no longer be funding that,” she said.

Bachmann also talked with CNS News about the latter point — ObamaCare and abortion funding — as a reason Republicans should pursue de-funding ObamaCare as well.

“For the first time in American history under Obamacare–socialized medicine–under President Obama, we have federal funding of abortion,” she said. “President Obama denies that, but we know that it’s already happened in the state of Pennsylvania. And so, therefore, it’s imperative that we in the House completely defund Obamacare so that we no longer force Americans to violate their moral conscience and pay for other people’s abortions.”

Bachmann was referring to the $160 million the federal government gave the state under ObamaCare to set up a high-risk insurance pool, but the terms of the pool allowed for the money to pay for elective abortions. That was also the case in New Mexico and Maryland until the National Right to Life Committee blew the whistle and both the Obama administration and officials in the three states backed down.

Bachmann also told CNS News that Congress should de-fund the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), an agency that has worked hand-in-hand with the China population control officials who have used forced abortions and other human rights abuses to enforce its one-child policy. It has also promoted abortions in nations with pro-life laws.

“I think it is incumbent upon us as the members of Congress to let people know–not for the purpose of scaring them–but to let people know the stark fiscal realities that we’re facing right now as a nation,” she said. “And can’t we at minimum start with defunding things like Planned Parenthood and paying for other’s people abortions that are highly controversial and are violating our principles of the Declaration of Independence, our inalienable right to life. That we can at least agree on, that we should defund that.”

According to the National Right to Life Committee, Bachmann has a 100 percent pro-life voting record in Congress on 10 votes she has cast since 2007.