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Bachmann’s response sounds more like a campaign speech

By CATALINA CAMIA
January 26, 2011

Rep. Michele Bachmann said her response to President Obama‘s State of the Union was just fulfilling a request to speak from the Tea Party Express.

But there’s no mistaking that her six-minute speech, carried on CNN, highlights a divide within the Republican Party and adds to the buzz that the third-term lawmaker is planning to run for the White House.

The Des Moines Register reports that Bachmann will make her second trip to Iowa, to speak to a group of evangelical voters — a bloc that’s been key to winning the state’s GOP presidential caucuses.

This comes on the heels of Bachmann’s trip last weekend to speak to Iowans for Tax Relief, where the congresswoman told our Gannett colleague Tom Beaumont that she was “encouraged” by the level of support she received for a possible presidential campaign.

Bachmann said at the start of her Tea Party Express chat last night that she was there at the group’s request and not speaking “to compete with official Republican remarks” that were delivered by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis.

But as the conservative Daily Caller pointed out this morning, Bachmann’s tone was more combative than Ryan’s and the Tea Party favorite chided Obama for not reducing the deficit, curbing federal spending or creating more jobs.

“She was very much the schoolteacher, slapping Obama on the wrist for not solving these problems, and speaking as if the difference of opinion was the result of a lack of awareness of the reality of the situation,” wrote Alexis Levinson in The Daily Caller.

A headline on a web story published by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says “Bachmann speaks for tea party.”

Bachmann will attend home-school day in Des Moines on March 23, at the invitation of the Network of Iowa Christian Home Educators.

Home-school advocates, by the way, helped former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee win the 2008 Iowa GOP presidential caucus.

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