Thursday, February 17, 2011

Bachmann on 2012: "I'm not there yet"

In an interview with GMA, Michele Bachmann employs a useful, new deflection when talking about why she's frequenting Iowa and New Hampshire -- "my focus is really to keep the voters' focus on the issues."

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: You've been to Iowa several times. You're heading to South Carolina this weekend -- another early contest. You're going to New Hampshire next month.

I know you haven't made any decisions yet, but why are you interested in the presidency?

BACHMANN: I'm interested, primarily, in making sure that for the next year we're talking about the issues that the country is facing, and so I want to make sure that -- in the midst of looking at all the individual candidates, which must be done -- that we continue to focus on the issues of overspending, debt, national security. So that's really what I'm doing.

.... I'm trying to set the table, if you will, because these voters are vital in these early states. They're going to make a very important decision about our nominee.

So my focus is really to keep the voters' focus on the issues.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Those issues are being raised by all the potential candidates -- Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Tim Pawlenty. So what do you bring to this potential race that the others don't.

BACHMANN: Well, I think what I bring is the perspective of being here on the front lines of Washington DC where all of the decisions have been made over the past four years that have radically changed our country.

.... I want to take that information out into these different, early primary states and to listen to people.

[Later]

STEPHANOPOULOS: What's the trip-wire for you to get into this race? If Sarah Palin decides not to run, are you in?

BACHMANN: I'm not there yet. I haven't made a decision about whether or not I'm going to engage, so we'll see. I really just want to talk to the people that are in these early primary states and listen to them.