Columbia, South Carolina (CNN) - Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann says she is seriously considering a presidential bid, but it doesn't sound like she plans to share a stage with the rest of the early 2012 field at the first Republican debate in May.
The debate, sponsored by the South Carolina Republican Party and Fox News, is scheduled for May 5 in Greenville.
Bachmann is currently making her second swing through South Carolina, one of four key early primary states, as she mulls a White House run.
But speaking to reporters after an event in Bluffton this weekend, she downplayed the prospect of participating in the debate.
"We haven't made the announcement yet about running for presidency, and so I think it may be premature to be part of the debate," she told CNN. "We are trying to determine if this is the right time."
The South Carolina GOP recently issued several guidelines for presidential hopefuls to be included in the debate. Candidates must pay all South Carolina primary filing fees, garner at least 1 percent of the vote in five national polls and have filed federal paperwork to create an official campaign or exploratory committee.
Bachmann pointed out that she has yet to create a campaign committee and may not do so before the debate.
"We haven't filed the exploratory committee yet," she said. "We asked if that was a requirement, and we were told that it was."
Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer, Texas Rep. Ron Paul and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum have agreed to take part in the debate.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has created an exploratory committee but has not committed to attend.