Charleston, South Carolina (CNN) – Rep. Michele Bachmann was firing on all cylinders Thursday evening, dismissing competitors' management experience and laid out, in dire terms, how the 2012 presidential race is a "last chance election" and why she's the only candidate who has the chops to make the U.S. "the big dog" in the world.
The congresswoman from Minnesota, who secured a first place finish in a crucial Iowa straw poll two weeks ago, trails Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Texas Gov. Rick Perry in the latest national Gallup poll sizing up the Republican field.
She told hundreds gathered at a Charleston town hall that her proven record of standing up to special interests trumps a background of governing that Perry and Romney bring to the table.
"That's the experience you want to have," Bachmann said, referring to her stand-up record. "Not someone who's going to just manage all of this big government. Because you can put a Republican in there to manage big government but you're never going to have the United States as a big prosperous, big-dog-in-the-world again if you do that," she said.
Bachmann stressed the need to repeal President Obama's health care reform law, or so-called Obamacare, before it "metastasizes" like a cancer and "we will not be able to get rid of it."
"You can't put socialized medicine into a country and think that ever again you can elect a Republican as president – or a conservative or even a tea partier as president – and think that somehow we're going to get back to limited government," Bachmann said. "It won't happen because socialized medicine is the definition of big government."
The three-term congresswoman believes her time inside the Beltway, challenging Democrats and rank-and-file Republicans, is how she can change how Washington works.
"I'm so absolutely concerned because I've been there. I've been on the front lines," Bachmann said, comparing her legislative experience to a battlefield. "I have wept in Washington, D.C. watching what's happening to our country. This is real."
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, a fellow Republican, showed up at the town hall and asked a question about a labor dispute as "an undecided voter" from Columbia. Bachmann was also asked about "reigning in" federal agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency and the Energy Department. In another answer, she said she would support a federal amendment to define marriage as between a man and a woman.
Bachmann, who was also asked about her position on illegal immigration, told the audience she thinks it is possible through legislation to stop the "anchor baby" problem of children born to mothers living illegally in the United States. When that happens she said, "A whole new set of implications arise for the United States. I do not believe that the American taxpayer should be paying benefits to people who are in the United States illegally."
Bachmann wrapped up questions from the 90-minute town hall, hosted by South Carolina GOP freshman Rep. Tim Scott, with a heartfelt pitch to back her candidacy.
"I think it's a last chance election if you ask me," Bachmann said. "So think about it very carefully. We need a miracle right now. I'm a praying woman, a believing woman, and I believe we need a miracle but I also believe that there's a God big enough to give us that miracle."
I'm a Minnesotan, and I've never voted for, nor will I ever vote for, Michelle Bachmann. I was very unhappy when she won her last election in our state. It's embarrassing to have her running for President as the Congresswoman from MN. I hate that we have to be connected to this idiot in any way. She, like Palin, Perry, and the rest, are TeaP's. favorites and are very dangerous to our country. Any Teabagger is dangerous, in my opinion.
Please don't tell Bachmann to come back to MN. Maybe we should have "shuttled" her and Palin as well as some others to outerspace on the last shuttle mission and left them there. (Not in the space station...out there, just like their minds are.
That's the experience you want to have," Bachmann said, referring to her stand-up record. "Not someone who's going to just manage all of this big government. Because you can put a Republican in there to manage big government but you're never going to have the United States as a big prosperous, big-dog-in-the-world again if you do that," she said.
Hey Michelle you and your husband are what we would called big government. Your husband received from his patient Medicare and your family received money from the governments farm funds. You are big government.
What is wrong with this woman?? How long has she been a member of congress and still doesn't know how things work? Don't she think that if all it was is for the president to say it to be so that President Obama would have did what he wanted to do with that debt-ceiling mess? And pushing her own moral or personal agenda on all Americans, that's not big government??? What is her record? She didn't state one thing she accomplished, just said to look at her record. I'm from Minnesota and other than all the hot air she spreads around while she's campaigning, you don't hear a damn thing from her!!! Wing-Nut is right!! Please go back to Waterloo!!!!!
sorry Bachmann...the Nation does not like you and does not need you. You will never become President. Ever
I just wonder how long it will take for the gullible GOP partisans to realize that there is a REASON the "mainstream media" is mainstream. It's because they report on what ACTUALLY happens rather than tabloid fantasy driven by raving lunatics...like Bachmann, Perry, Palin, Huckabee. And, to a lesser extent, by wannabe opportunists who pander to idiots to sell books and gain power...like Gingrich, Perry, Palin. The most qualified and credentialed candidate in the GOP field is Romney – who could win it for the GOP, because he is MODERATE, and has actual experience running a health care system, reviving Olympic games that had become corrupted and an embarassment, a business leader, and, potentially, the most qualfied Presidential candidate since who knows when. But bigots (on whom the GOP depends) don't like his religion. And partisan idiots (on whom the GOP depends) don't like his Republican plan to reduce health care expenses (even though it HELPED business in his state), because if sounds like the plan adopted nationally. So they are doomed to lose in 2012.
Michele Bachmann is a deep thinker. Why, just last week she was thinking about the Grand Canyon, and how she could put everyone she doesn't like in it.
"You can't put socialized medicine into a country and think that ever again you can elect a Republican as president – or a conservative or even a tea partier as president – and think that somehow we're going to get back to limited government,"
Now that's the type of message that will play well to the type of people who are attracted to Bachmann. Long on hyperbole and very short on facts. Just use the word "socialized" and the uninformed immediately go into fetal position. I would love to see this alleged candidate debate with the Head of the Department of Health and Human Services. I'd pay to watch that.
I wonder what kind of "chops" she is talking about. Now, I think is the point that we don't need to be the top dog but be able to maintain the country and the citzens we have here. She certainly doesn't show that she understands the environment or care about science or understand how it is done. I guess she would be willing to accept dirtier water, ground and air so that we can be like China; producing cheap crap at low prices with little regard for the workers making it. We need to make things but need to show leadership in how to do it well with little pollution and a livable wage.
Thank goodness this freak will NEVER be president! Michelle Bachman is one of the most self righteous nutcases in Washington and the American people, at least the sensible ones will never afford her the opportunity to be president, NEVER!
Anyone else notice the immense overtones of desperation in this article? She's sinking in the polls and knows it, and she's scrambling for HER last chance, not ours =)
Nexxxxxxxxxt! Bring Down Perry. He's every bit as destructive as Bachmann.
"Submit to reality, Michele, and then go back to Minnesota."
Rather she returns to Iowa myself. Perfect fit for her - Minnesota, not so much. Good luck with the Bachmann reality check, though. Apparently she only submits to her husband (and God – when she's not trying to BE God, that is).
Maybe we should elect her to office. After four years of her crazyness, the rest of this country will finally wake up and learn to come together to use our own power as citizens to fix our government.