Webster City, Iowa (CNN) – Saddled with sagging poll numbers, Michele Bachmann is amping up her political rhetoric: describing opponents as "foolish," "flip-floppers" and restating the merits of her candidacy in hypermasculine terms.
"If we want to change this country up…I'm your man," Bachmann said in Webster City, Iowa, on Wednesday. "When people think of the president, they think of who is that individual. And I'm willing to 'man up,' so to speak, for the job and do what needs to be done… I'm a very strong woman."
The Republican presidential candidate has used such language before. But it could take on new meaning when coupled with fresh political attacks from her campaign.
On Tuesday, Bachmann announced the release of a hard-hitting Web ad which strikes at her GOP opponents. Among other things: the video uses old clips of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney defending abortion rights, reminds viewers that Texas Gov. Rick Perry supports in-state tuition rates for children of illegal immigrants, shows former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Nancy Pelosi together for a "global warming campaign," and swipes at Ron Paul and Herman Cain on foreign policy.
The campaign called the ad "Iowa specific" though anyone can view it on the web and it does not specifically mention anything about Iowa.
At her Wednesday appearance, a reporter asked Bachmann why she was amping up the rhetoric, even naming names?
"So many people, at various stops, have asked us about different candidates - where they stand on issues," Bachmann said. "And so we aren't trying to be personal. We're not trying to be mean. And there's no effort on our part to try to trash the candidates. We're trying to be very factual. And the fact that there are differences between the candidates."
Yet Bachmann continued to throw political elbows.
"What we see from candidates, there's been a lot of flip-flopping and changing and some real questionable action," Bachmann said. She mentioned a candidate designing the blueprint for "Obamacare" - an obvious reference to Romney - said "five of the candidates supported the financial bailout, and said Gingrich was paid to "influence" Republicans for Freddie Mac – a claim Gingrich denies.
Bachmann's criticism also extended to President Barack Obama, a favorite subject of GOP ridicule.
She labeled the president "foolish" for the administration's delay of a final decision on the Keystone oil sands pipeline until 2013.
"Last week the president made a very foolish decision," Bachmann said. "He foolishly kicked the can down the road to say, we're not going to build that pipeline, at least until after his election." The candidate said the decision would cost the U.S. thousands of jobs and valuable oil resources.
The congresswoman also reiterated her opposition to the decision to withdraw all U.S. troops from Iraq by year's end, claiming that it will allow a menacing Iran to grow its influence in Iraq.
"All these Middle Eastern countries - they laugh at us, behind closed doors, for being such knaves and fools," Bachmann said.
The congresswoman continued: "It'll be a very different face with me. That's why it's important - the nominee that we have for this party - and why I need to be the Republican nominee. There's no one in this race that is currently involved in national security and foreign affairs like I am," citing her work on intelligence issues in Congress.
–Follow Shannon Travis on Twitter: @ShanTravisCNN