Washington (CNN) - Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minnesota, defended Social Security on Friday, continuing what has become a steady drumbeat of Republican presidential hopefuls differentiating themselves from Texas Gov. Rick Perry's position on the program.
In an interview with CNN's John King, Bachmann characterized the program as "a safety net that many Americans have paid into their whole life."
"I think that America needs to keep its promise to senior citizens," Bachmann said. "I talk with them all the time. I love senior citizens. I care about them. My mom is 80 years old. My dad is 87. And I know right now we have trouble."
On Monday, Sept. 12th, CNN will broadcast the "Tea Party Republican Debate," live from Tampa, Florida at 8 p.m. ET. Follow all the issues and campaign news leading up to the debate on CNNPolitics.com and @cnnpolitics on Twitter.
Social Security ignited as a hot topic in the Republican presidential race this week when Perry referred to it as a "Ponzi scheme" at the GOP debate in California on Wednesday.
While Bachmann didn't directly comment on Perry's statement, she said the program needs to be protected and reformed.
The presidential candidate also took the opportunity to slam President Barack Obama on Medicare. Bachmann frequently campaigns against the president's sweeping health care reform, arguing that it steals money from Medicare.
"This is at a time when Medicare is grossly short on money coming in, because we know that nine years from now, that possible trust fund for Medicare could be flat broke," Bachmann said.
Since Perry entered the race in mid-August, Bachmann has seen her poll numbers dropping and her campaign struggling to keep up with two front-runners in the race: Perry and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
Earlier in the week, Bachmann's team experienced a shake-up when her campaign manager, Ed Rollins, stepped down into an advisory role, while her deputy campaign manager left altogether.
But Bachmann maintained that her campaign is a "lean, mean machine moving forward with gusto," while Rollins still serves as her "chief champion."
She added that poll numbers don't indicate much this early on, noting that 2008 presidential candidates Fred Thompson and Rudy Giuliani were early front-runners who dropped out in the early primaries.
But Bachmann highlighted her first-place finish in the Ames Straw Poll in Iowa, a test of organizational strength in the state.
"And it was a stunning victory - even more than people realize because I had been in that race a shorter period of time than any of the other participants in that race," Bachmann said. "Campaigns aren't settled in one day. This is a marathon."
Watch the interview? Maybe, if there's no football, or soccor, or tennis. . . . .
now its social security ok-health care no-she says she was just talking to some seniors she told them the dumpster be hind mcdonalds would be a better pick
Just watched Bachmann on John King, yikes!! Can you say Stepford Wives? I'm not sure if she is listening to anyone at this stage, as she is in big trouble even within the GObTP! Keep going Michelle, show us how to waste money, throwing good money into a burning pit. Show us how NOT to run your own business or A COUNTRY!
What a totally ignorant woman. The only people more stupid than her is anyone that supports her or her party.
I am almost 65 and I can't tell you how reassured I am that Rep. Bachmann and her Tea Party buddies want to "protect and reform" Social Security. I guess I don't have anything to worry about now.
But Michele, isnt SS part of BIG GOVERNMENT ?
It`s an "entitlement" – – Republican CODE for a UNDESERVED FREEBIE - isn`t it?
And, as a member of a group whose mantra is "Taxed Enough Already", don`t you support me being refunded my 27 years of FICA contributions? The only problem is, if you support that, how do you fund that senior safety net you just endorsed / pandered to?
this women scared the hell out of me. not that I think she would be president when u look in her eye it"s like she dont have a soul. look like she is full of evil spirts I know a lot of people say the same thing that I"m saying. scary
No one really takes her serious. All it really is, is a platform for her to speak her mind(it willl be short speach)
Michele, you twit, you are toast. Give it up and go back to being a Christian. Or perhaps start being a Christian.
perry need to tell her that clinic that her and her husband run is a phonzi scheme and he would be telling the truth.
It has been four years, since the first time this crazy woman came to my attention,.. this is the first sane thing she has uttered,.. out of desperation mind you, since Perry has relegated to an also ran, and she has nothing to loose at this juncture. Next i expect her to declare that Obama Care is good for the people, at which time, hockey games will be played in hell, and Rush Limbaugh will fly.
The reality is ALL of them, including Bachman, want to do away with SS. It is a GOP goal to get rid of it.
Bachmann for President! She stands against everything Obama is for!
Democrats against Obama! Voting Republican in the upcoming election.
She blows in the wind just like Romney.. Just tell them what they want to hear at the moment.
Yet she voted for Ryan's destruction of the safety net, and now supports senior's programs? Go home Michele, submit to the Kochs.
Doesn't this ditz realize that we also pay into Medicare? That education is also something people fall back on after paying taxes? She is nothing more than an opportunist that hears something she thinks others like and then repeats it.
Michele Bachmann and her husband are both very far out. Not good for the U.S. She is running on her own “gay agenda” platform. We are closing schools, laying people off. Families are being foreclosed on and being put out in the streets. And all this Republican running for President and her husband can do is talk about is “praying away the gay”. It is a good money maker for her, but we have bigger things to do, and I am hopping God has too. If you or your church has the gay agenda on your mind, all the time you may need to set down and talk with someone. We need to start looking at what is best for the country. Not our own religion’s views, that blow in the wind.
Finally something that's too crazy for even Bachmann to embrace!
Bachmann is desperately trying to stay relevant after being overshadowed in the most recent debate.
lol to litttle to late Michele. YOU WONT BE ELECTED!!
Baby Girl, can't keep up when running with the Big Boys!
Crazy Lady , got Punked by Perry !
The Tea Bag people want a Guy !
WOW, next thing you know Manic Michelle will be flip flopping on her support for gay marriage!
Her best hope is from senior citizens too senile or too bigoted to make decisions in this modern world. The folks who stayed glued to Fox News and actually believe the outlandish lies and ridiculous conspiracies are perfect for Michele Bachman's campaign. These are the people who believed the "swift boat" liars and the same individuals who talked about "death squads coming to get granny". Anybody else would see this moron as a total bimbo – unfit to serve as a den mother for cub scouts much less the POTUS with the keys to a nuclear arsenal.