Cedar Rapids, Iowa (CNN) – On the same day that tea party darling Michele Bachmann lost out on the first big tea party presidential endorsement, the Republican presidential candidate continued to swing against those things menacing her campaign.
On Monday, the Minnesota congresswoman suggested that front-runners Rick Perry and Mitt Romney are "compromised" candidates, put a positive spin on her falling poll numbers – and even outright dismissed a closely-watched straw poll in Florida.
All of it happened at a rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Bachmann, speaking to a small group of supporters, began her comments by re-stating a warning to Republicans: don't compromise.
"We can't settle, this time, on our candidate," Bachmann said. "We need a fighter, this time. We need a champion, this time. We need someone who's been in Washington, who's actually seen what these problems are and who's actually fought against these problems."
While she did not mention names, her political targets were clear.
Perry has publicly blasted the idea of building a fence along the U.S.-Mexican border, instead favoring a "boots on the ground" approach. The Texas governor also stands by his state's law that provides in-state tuition assistance to the children of illegal immigrants. At her rally, Bachmann told reporters: "We…need to make sure that we have a candidate who is committed to securing the border in the United States all across the border. And we can't have a candidate that is anything less than committed to taking away the magnets and the inducements at the federal level – and at the state level – that are drawing illegal immigrants into the United States."
"I will build the fence and I will not have the mandates, the taxpayer-supported mandates, to bring illegal aliens into the United States," Bachmann added.
Perry has defended his decision behind his 2007 executive order that would have required young girls to get an HPV vaccination against cervical cancer. The Texas governor has since apologized for how he tried to enact the measure – and staunchly denied any claim he did it for political gain or campaign contributions.
And yet Bachmann continued to launch political missiles.
"We're finding out that there are candidates that are compromised when it comes to political donors," she said. "That political donors have given them money and then a lot of political appointments and a lot of deals have been given back to those political donors. And our candidate can't be compromised when it comes to owing political favors to political donors."
Meanwhile, Romney has stood by the health care law passed in Massachusetts during his term as governor. It includes an individual mandate that requires state residents to purchase health care or pay a tax penalty.
At her rally, Bachmann said: "In 'Obamacare,' there's an unconstitutional mandate. So whether it's at the state level or at the federal level, we cannot have our nominee compromised on the issue of healthcare."
And apparently blasting both Perry and Romney, who've both said they'd repeal the nation's health care law by issuing an executive order if they become president, Bachmann said: "Our nominee needs to understand that we cannot deal with 'Obamacare's' problems simply by issuing an executive order or by a waiver. We can only deal with 'Obamacare' by repealing it, root and branch."
The Minnesota congresswoman was asked about her falling poll fortunes. The latest CNN/ORC International poll puts her in seventh place – with a paltry four-percent – even behind undeclared candidate Sarah Palin.
Bachmann was asked: is she concerned that her campaign is flagging?
"No, not at all. We're very grateful with where we're at right now," Bachmann said. "I think what we're seeing is that other candidates, at this point, are making changes in their campaigns."
"We think we are positioned perfectly right now."
The candidate also addressed her last place finish in a Florida straw poll – by outright dismissing it.
"We did not participate in the Florida Straw poll," Bachmann told reporters. "We put our effort and our money and our time here in Iowa, in the [Ames] straw poll, because this straw poll here in Iowa was crucial. This most reflects a general election, a general caucus or a general primary. Because here, anyone with an Iowa driver's license had the ability to come out and vote in the straw poll."
Bachmann continued: "In Florida, there was a select pool of individuals who had to pay to be in that poll and it was not reflective of the general population of Florida."
Bachmann asserted that she's been warmly received in Florida as she's recently campaigned there.
Bachmann was asked about losing the first big endorsement from an influential tea party figure. The congresswoman is the head of the House Tea Party Caucus and frequently pushes the movement's message.
"The marvelous thing about the tea party is that it is not a central organization," she said. "There are many tea party organizations…so I anticipate what you will see are numerous endorsements that come from around the nation to various candidates."
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