Washington (CNN) – Minnesota Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann, chair of the Tea Party Caucus in Congress, delivered a Tea Party-style, red-meat conservative rebuttal sharply criticizing President Barack Obama's State of the Union Tuesday.
Bachmann's remarks followed the official Republican response to the president by Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, but the Minnesota Republican told CNN after the address that the Tea Party Express invited her to give a response the State of the Union last month, and denied that her response was meant to compete with Ryan's.
"Unfortunately, this last weekend, the media decided to create a fiction to make it look like we were in competition with one another. We aren't at all," Bachmann said. "Actually what's happened is, in the last election, we saw that the Tea Party supported many Republican candidates. And we had a very large coalition. So the Tea Party and the Republican Party have actually worked together in many different occasions. Although the Tea Party is neither Republican or Democrat, they came alongside the Republicans in the last election."
The speech was aimed at issues dear to the hearts of Tea Party activists including government spending, the economy and the health care reform law signed by Obama. Armed with charts tracking the national debt and unemployment, Bachmann blasted Obama for adding $3.1 trillion to the national debt, a figure critics would argue is the result of efforts to prop up the economy.
"Unfortunately, the President's strategy for recovery was to spend a trillion dollars on a failed stimulus program, fueled by borrowed money," she said, pointing to a national unemployment rate that continued rising through the president's first two years in office.
"But, instead of cutting, we saw an unprecedented explosion of government spending and debt, unlike anything we have seen in the history of our country," Bachmann said.
She focused on the health care reform law that she continually referred to as "Obamacare."
"In the end, unless we fully repeal ObamaCare, a nation that currently enjoys the world's best healthcare may be forced to rely on government-run coverage that will have a devastating impact on our national debt for generations to come," Bachmann said.
According to Bachmann, the Obama administration's economic policies are so bad that a miracle is needed to turn the situation around. She then added that "the creation of this nation was a miracle." She equated the famous Marine assault on Iwo Jima during World War II to the effort required to get the national debt under control.
"The perilous battle that was fought in the pacific, at Iwo Jima, was a battle against all odds, and yet the image of the young GIs in the incursion against the Japanese immortalizes their victory. These six young men raising the flag came to symbolize all of America coming together to beat back a totalitarian aggressor," she said. "Our current debt crisis we face today is different, but we still need all of us to pull together. We can do this."