If Michele Bachmann edited Time magazine, the Republican Minnesota congresswoman would put the Tea Party on the publication’s annual Person of the Year cover.
“I want to give my nomination,” the Republican told several hundred activists Monday at an Americans for Prosperity rally on the Capitol grounds. “The Tea Party are the people of the year.”
Generating loud applause, Bachmann went on to say that the Tea Party is “recreating the spirit of 1776.”
“The reason why this movement is so extraordinary and has confounded so many people in the mainstream media is because this is reality,” she said. “This is not Astroturf. This is not a group of toothless hillbillies…these are the nicest people you’d ever want to meet.”
The feeling is mutual between activists and Bachmann, who founded the Tea Party Caucus in the House of Representatives.
Tim Phillips, the president of Americans for Prosperity, paid Bachmann a compliment at the rally by suggesting members of Congress got it wrong by not supporting her in her recent unsuccessful run for a leadership post in the House. “We know who our leader is in the House,” he said while looking at Bachmann.
Other conservatives, like South Carolina Republican Sen. Jim DeMint and Indiana Republican Rep. Mike Pence, addressed the crowd, though no one quite got the attention of those assembled like Bachmann did.
The congresswoman also had another suggestion: “I totally agree with the Democrat pundits and pollsters that are out there and are calling on President Obama to not run for a second term because I think we’ve just witnessed a referendum.”
Activists gathered, according to Americans for Prosperity, to “ensure their voice is not overridden by a cavalier Congress in a Lame Duck Session,” as this is the last time outgoing members of Congress will be able to vote. Speakers warned of retribution in 2012 for members who do not support their goals.