Share & Connect
Michele Bachmann, the newly emerged frontrunner in the Republican presidential field, is trying to broaden her base in order to win the nomination. Often thought of as a tea party candidate, the congresswoman from Minnesota appears to be trying to appeal to all Republicans and not just those on the fringe.
“Fiscal conservatives – I’m one of those. National security conservatives – I’m one of those. Social conservatives – I’m one of those. And the tea party – I’m one of those,” Bachmann said repeatedly in South Carolina this past week.
Although Bachmann has always regarded herself as a social conservative, the economy is the number one concern among voters at this time. Bachmann has to try to appeal to moderates and independents as well as the socially conservative in her party.
She has had a 100 percent rating from the influential American Conservative Union during her nearly five years in Congress, based on her voting record. She frequently appears on television and has been a favorite among the tea party. During a recent debate, she skillfully handled a question about a past remark citing the Bible as instructing wives to be “submissive to your husbands.” In a measured tone, she explained it was about showing mutual respect. Although, that is not at all the definition of submission.
In Florence, South Carolina last week, she began her remarks with her views on cultural issues. However, she quickly moved to jobs. “You cannot spend more money than what you take in. It’s a simple fact of life, right?” Bachmann told a receptive crowd in South Carolina. She promised to submit only balanced budgets as president even though critics say that’s impossible.
To national security conservatives, she said: “I won’t step one toe out of this country and apologize for the United States of America,” the rap that Obama’s foreign policy approach gets from conservatives. Bachmann has also been emphasizing her role on the House Intelligence Committee, stressing how she’s trusted with the nation’s secrets and apprised of the most pressing threats.
Bachmann has also been reminding voters that her hometown is in Waterloo, Iowa in an attempt to appeal to Iowa voters and paint the picture of a down home woman from Middle America. But, even if Bachmann wins Iowa, she will have a much more difficult time in New Hampshire.
“I see very little oxygen left for Michele Bachmann in New Hampshire. Though she has some appeal, it is not very broad,” said GOP strategist Jamie Burnett, a former Romney backer unaligned with a candidate this time. “To win here, she is going to need to attract support from beyond the tea party in order to compete.”
Image Courtesy of http://www.facebook.com/teambachmann