Michele Bachmann Likely to Run for GOP Presidential Nod

Politics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 17, 2011   |   3:30PM   |   Washington, DC

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, a pro-life, conservative U.S. representative from Minnesota, is likely to run for the Republican nomination for president, according to “insiders” speaking with media outlets.

With Mike Huckabee, Donald Trump, and Haley Barbour all announcing in recent weeks they would not be running for the GOP nomination to take on pro-abortion President Barack Obama, the potential Republican field is considerably smaller than many suspected.

Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, and Newt Gingrich are the only top-tier candidates currently considered serious presidential candidates and they are joined by Ron Paul, Rick Santorum, Jon Huntsman and Herman Cain as others who are seeking a chance of securing the right to challenge the pro-abortion president in 2012. Gary Johnson and Buddy Roemer are two other GOP hopefuls at the bottom of the list of likely nominees.

But Bachmann, should she mount a bid, could inherit some of the support pro-life former vice-presidential running mate Sarah Palin has if the former Alaska governor decides not to run herself. Although Bachmann is not well known outside of Minnesota and conservative circles, she is a prodigious fundraiser and has attached her name to a number of conservative causes that have endeared her to activists who could form the nucleus of a campaign.

Carl Cameron of Fox News reports that calls to Bachmann’s office in the wake of Huckabee’s and Trump’s recent announcements “have been burning up our lines,” according to one source close to the congresswoman. He indicates Bachmann is expected to make a decision by June and she unveiled a new web site on Monday that touts Team Bachmann as opposed to Rep. Bachmann.

Also, Bachmann told Fox News herself that she talked with Huckabee since he announced he wouldn’t be running for president, but she would not divulge the content of the conversation.

She said she has raised $3 million for her political action committee and has had an “outpouring of interest” for a potential campaign.

It’s “important to know that there is grassroots support out there for a meaningful race,” she said. “I’ve spoken to thousands of individuals in Iowa and the support has been overwhelming coming from grassroots individuals who will be making that decision.”

“That has been gratifying, but again there will be a cost, and there’s a plan to be put together so that this will be a successful run. I wouldn’t want to do this unless we plan to be successful,” she said told Fox News, adding that Obama can be defeated.

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. But 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.

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 18 votes she has cast since 2007.