DES MOINES, Iowa — Michele Bachmann may be polling at the very bottom of the pack of Republican presidential candidates, but you wouldn’t know it by the crowd she attracted as she mingled with voters on the eve of the Iowa caucuses along Elm Street.
Dozens of reporters on Monday followed the Minnesota congresswoman and her husband, Marcus, as she shook hands and signed autographs at Paula’s Restaurant and at the Diggity Dog shop. Iowa Republicans will caucus Tuesday night, the first contest of the 2012 race for president.
Speaking with reporters afterward, Bachmann didn’t hesitate to attack her opponents, including former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
“If you want a distinguishing feature between me and all the candidates, let me give it to you. If you look at Mitt Romney, Mitt Romney is the chief author and the creator, the only governor in the history of the United States, to create a socialized medicine program for his state called Romney care,” she said.
“It’s highly unlikely that he will ever truly repeal, the number one duty of the next president of the United States. We have to repeal it. We have one chance. That’s it. I don’t think Mitt Romney will do it.”
“Why? Because he is the originator of the idea of the individual mandate,” she said.
Bachmann also denied speculation that a poor finish in Iowa on Tuesday would leave her no choice but to drop out of the race.
“We’ve already bought and paid for our tickets to South Carolina,” Bachmann said.