Michele Bachmann leaning towards spending limit pledge

Michele Bachmann is on the GOP presidential campaign trail in South Carolina Monday. Michele Bachmann's campaign says she will sign the 'cut, cap, and balance' pledge.

Michele Bachmann Campaign/AP
This photo provided by the Bachmann campaign shows Republican presidential candidate, Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., flying in a light plane over flooding from the Missouri River, near Hamburg, Iowa, Monday, July 18, 2011. Bachmann said the magnitude of flooding along the Missouri River this summer warrants a presidential visit. Bachmann and a fellow Republican House member, Steve King, R-IA, took an aerial tour of the flooding on Monday morning.

Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann is campaigning Monday in South Carolina, where she's expected to sign a pledge opposing any increase in the U.S. debt limit unless certain conditions are met.

Bachmann's campaign says the GOP presidential hopeful will sign the "cut, cap and balance" pledge, which says government should not borrow more unless there are big, immediate spending cuts to reduce the deficit, enforceable spending caps, and Congress passes a constitutional amendment to balance the federal budget.

Bachmann has avoided signing the pledge for several weeks, saying it didn't go far enough.

Last week, she told Sean Hannity of Fox News that the pledge was a step in the right direction but should also include cutting off funding to the health care law Congress passed last year.

"I want it to go a little further, because I also think it needs to defund ObamaCare," she said on Tuesday night's program.

U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint said on CNN on July 6 that he was disappointed in Bachmann for not signing. DeMint has turned the pledge into a threshold test for 2012 presidential hopefuls seeking his support. Bachmann's campaign spokeswoman said that's one of the reasons she's signing the pledge here.

Bachmann would be the ninth GOP presidential candidate to sign the pledge. Five Republican governors have signed it, including South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.

Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman said last week that he won't sign because he opposes that type of pledge.

The U.S. House is expected to vote on the tea party-backed "cut, cap and balance" plan on Tuesday, though it's sure to stall in the Senate.

Bachmann will talk later Monday with religious leaders gathering at a Renewal Project event.

The group tries to keeps a low profile with meetings that are closed to the media, giving politicians a chance to share their views away from cameras and reporters.

Oran Smith, who runs the Palmetto Family Council in Columbia, said he's been trying to figure out who is behind organizing the events he's attended for years.

"All of the speakers that I've heard seem ? to be almost like teaching or lecturing," Smtih said. "They want to be able to communicate, probably, in an unvarnished way."

Bachmann won't be alone among Republicans addressing the group in Columbia. Freshman Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is speaking Monday night and presidential hopeful and former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich will speak Tuesday.

The group held a similar gathering in Iowa in March attended by Bachmann, Gingrich and then-hopefuls Alabama Gov. Haley Barbour and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.

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