In an exclusive interview with The Daily Caller, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, Minnesota Republican, ripped detractors of her potential presidential bid saying her decision on whether to run, coming “early summer,” is a “serious” one.
“This isn’t a game for me – this is a very serious decision, a momentous decision and I’m not making a rash decision,” Bachmann said. “I’m working with my advisers and my family. This is a very prudent, thoughtful, deliberate decision and a lot is going into this.”
Bachmann said what sets her apart from other potential candidates is that she’s got a “spine made out of titanium,” and she’s a “fighter.”
“If I tell people I am going to do something, or fight for them, I do it,” Bachmann told TheDC. “Even if means the mainstream media comes after me, I’m willing to stand and fight for them. That’s one thing, I think, that really sets me apart. People know that I’m authentic, I’m sincere, they can count on me. I’m not going to lie to people or tell them something that they want to hear. I don’t put my finger in the wind to test the political winds to see which way we should go. I’m strong and I’m principled.”
A problem she might run into is finding quality campaign staffers. The Minnesota Independent reported three former Bachmann staff members have signed onto former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s potential presidential bid. Ron Carey, a former chief of staff, Gina Countryman, a former congressional campaign manager and Tim Gould, her 2010 constituent services officer, each have announced vocal support for Pawlenty.
Bachmann told TheDC she’s not that worried about her staffers heading over to Pawlenty’s team, though, as each side knows each other well. “In Minnesota, we’re very connected politically between various campaigns and various people that work in offices,” she said. “And, we have friends on either side, so, I’m just looking forward to going forward and making a decision about my candidacy.”
For examples of success in her Congressional career, Bachmann points to getting the national spotlight on Obama’s healthcare reform – and publicly challenging Obama on the deficit and spending. “I tried very hard to bring national focus and attention on why we needed to make sure Obamacare didn’t pass,” Bachmann said. “We had a wildly successful press conference where about 20,000 Americans attended our press conference – and we had a rally where about 35,000 people came.”
Since then, Bachmann said even more Americans have rallied their support for repealing the healthcare overhaul. “There hasn’t been one week since the passage of Obamacare where less than a majority of Americans didn’t want to see Obamacare repealed,” she said. “We know, without a doubt, we’ve been very effective in our messaging and I’ve been very proud to be a part that.”
WATCH: Congresswoman Michele Bachmann talks to TheDC about her possible presidential candidacy:
Bachmann said something Americans generally don’t know about her is that she “worked for years as a federal tax litigation attorney.” Also, she and her husband of 33 years raised 23 foster children in addition to 5 of their own kids – which she said is “the most intellectually challenging job I’ve ever had.” She said she also has a “strong business background,” and her family’s company employed about 50 people.
Fresh off getting criticized for being off on her geography by saying the Revolutionary War battles of Lexington and Concord were fought in New Hampshire, not Massachusetts, though, Bachmann misstated the title of Secretary of Defense Robert Gates to TheDC while ripping the president on his Libya policy, calling him the “Secretary of State.”
“I do not believe the United States should be engaged in Libya – Secretary of State [sic] Gates said as much, that Gaddafi did not pose a problem, a threat to the United States, nor is there a vital American national interest in Libya,” Bachmann told TheDC, adding that she thinks the U.S. shouldn’t arm Libyan rebels. “They very likely could be, they could contain elements of al Qaeda in North Africa. Why would the United States empower al Qaeda? That would not help our interests here at home. So, on any number of fronts, I think people deserve so much better than what the president has given them.”
Bachmann said the Obama administration’s claims of transparency are “bogus.”
“Remember during the healthcare debate, we were told that all of the debates would be on C-SPAN. Nothing was on C-SPAN,” Bachmann said. “Probably the biggest revelation that’s come out in the last month is the fact that hidden in plain sight was $105,464,000,000 to implement Obamacare between now and 2019.”
Bachmann said she’s called on Obama to “give the money back to the American people,” because using that money is “reprehensible.”
Bachmann thinks the Republicans’ chances of beating Obama in 2012 are “terrific” but acknowledges it’s difficult to beat an incumbent president. “I think right now, the country’s challenges are so steep that we need to have a leader who is a locked-down, solid Constitutional conservative that will fight for the principles that America wants us to stand for,” Bachmann said. “Because I stand for not increasing taxes, I believe that government shouldn’t be spending more money than they take in and I believe that government needs to act within the Constitutional jurisdictional limits we were given initially.”