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Michele Bachmann defends credentials to be US president

Her chief GOP competitors – Mitt Romney and Rick Perry – have executive experience as governors. Michele Bachmann, coming off her win in the Iowa straw poll Saturday, says 'principles' and fighting for them are what matter.

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Her plan? Assure the markets that the US will pay interest on its debt. Then pay members of the military. Then pay current recipients of Social Security. After that, she said, get down to the business of reforming entitlements.

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“This isn’t some project for 10, 15 years down the road. Right now we’re going to reform entitlements,” Bachmann said on “This Week.” “We’re going to reform them for anyone who’s currently not on them. We’re going to change them so they’ll work. Medicare, Medicaid – they have to be changed.”

She did not specify how the programs for seniors and the poor would be changed, other than to seek “efficiencies” and to “modernize” them. President Obama, too, had indicated willingness to address entitlements, but as part of a “balanced approach” to shrinking the deficit and debt balance sheet that included some new revenue and, most definitely, a higher debt ceiling.

Bachmann, a former tax litigation attorney, also slammed the corporate tax rate as too high, insisting that it is an impediment to more people starting companies and creating new jobs.

She directed most of her fire at Mr. Obama, describing him as “flailing,” and she avoided direct criticism of fellow Republicans vying for their party’s presidential nomination. She said she “would not rest” until she sees “Obamacare” repealed, and she blamed Obama for bringing the country to the edge of default, not her own tea party compatriots.

Since this summer’s debt debate, the tea party movement’s standing with the US public has dropped to a new low, a new CNN/Opinion Research poll shows. Thirty-one percent of Americans say they have a favorable view of the tea party, down from 37 percent in mid-July.

Watch this video highlighting Michele Bachmann's appearance on Sunday's talk shows, Tim Pawlenty's withdrawal from the race, and Rick Perry's entrance into the race.


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