Bachmann Vows GOP Will Win Big in 2012
Michele Bachmann, a Minnesota congresswoman and GOP presidential hopeful, brought supporters her own message of hope last week as she campaigned in Pinehurst.
Bachmann was in the area Thursday and Friday to help raise money for the Moore County Republican Party, as well as her own campaign.
A popular conservative, Bachmann is seeking the Republican presidential nomination, with hopes of facing President Obama in the 2012 presidential election.
On Friday morning, she held a “meet-and-greet” event at Country Club of North Carolina before heading off for a round of golf on the country club’s Dogwood Course with a few supporters.
Wearing a pink CCNC visor, she greeted supporters as she stepped onto the course. Bachmann said she could understand why so many of her fellow Minnesotans come to Moore County to retire.
“It’s a slice of heaven and paradise,” she said. “It’s absolutely beautiful. It’s beauty, but it’s also graciousness. This is really part of the best that America is — to come here and see what America has been able to build up. So, it’s fun to come here with like-minded people and to share their joy.”
Though she has recently dropped in the polls as one of the GOP front-runners, Bachmann said her campaign continues to remain strong and grow with support.
“We have so many small donors who have been contributing to our campaign, and when you put that massive number of donors together, continually contributing, that really makes for a successful effort,” Bachmann told The Pilot in an exclusive brief interview. “Every day, we’re adding more and more as far as voters are concerned, volunteers as well as donors. We’re very thrilled.”
When she announced her candidacy for president in June, Bachmann’s popularity among tea party supporters and conservatives, along with her victory in Iowa’s Ames Straw Poll in August, gave her a strong lead in the polls over other Republican candidates.
Recent national polls have shown Bachmann falling in the race behind candidates Texas Gov. Rick Perry, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and emerging candidate Herman Cain, who recently won the Florida Republican straw poll.
On Thursday evening, supporters enthusiastically welcomed Bachmann during a fundraiser dinner for the Moore County Republican Party, held in the main dining room in the Member’s Club at Pinehurst Resort.
Initially, local organizers of the event said the Bachmann campaign insisted that the media be excluded. Later that evening, media were allowed to cover the fundraiser. Bachmann’s media coordinator, Alice Stewart, claimed Friday that the campaign never intended to keep the media out and that there had been some sort of mix-up.
After an introduction by Congresswoman Renee Ellmers, Bachmann said she expects big wins for the Republican Party in 2012 and urged supporters to mobilize now to secure that success in all election races.
The crowd erupted into applause when Bachmann said that the American people have already decided that Obama will be a one-term president.
“We might as well fire up the inauguration party because it’s going to be one sweet night taking the country back,” she said. “If we play this election right, if we make a decision that we aren’t going to settle in this election, we are going to run with the gusto in everything that’s within us. I have no doubt that we are going to sweep into office a wave of election.”
Bachmann blamed the Obama administration’s passage of ineffective legislation, especially the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which conservatives call “Obamacare,” for the lack of job creation and a continually weak economy.
She emphasized that Americans are looking for a president who understands how to get the country moving in the right direction again.
“When you look around North Carolina, there are people who are hurting and truly suffering in this state,” she said. “They know that Mr. Hope and Mr. Change is no Mr. Hope and Mr. Change.”
Bob Levy, chairman of the Moore County Republican Party, said after Bachmann’s speech that even though the local party does not endorse any candidates in the primary, Bachmann is someone he can see in the Oval Office.
“She is wonderful,” he said. “I can tell you that I can imagine her as the president of the United States, and while our county party does not endorse any particular candidate for president, I would be very, very proud if she were elected president of the United States.”
He added that Bachmann’s appearance helped make the event one of the most successful for the Moore County Republican Party, and her popularity is because of her wide appeal to various voter demographics.
“I believe it speaks to her viability as a candidate with people in areas beyond the cities,” he said. “I believe that she is a person who really speaks to the workings of America, the people of America. [She came here because] Moore County is the central focus of the Republican Party in the state of North Carolina.”
Lois Mitchell, a member of the Moore County Republican Party’s Executive Committee, was quick to point out that the strong presence of local tea party supporters helped the event’s attendance.
“These are not Republicans,” she said during the dinner. “There’s a difference. We have the same core principles, and we get along with the tea party, but the success of this dinner tonight is really credited to the tea party folks.”
She said she believes that Bachmann can help bridge the apparent divide between Republicans and tea party members, as well as appeal to independents, in an election that will rely heavily on moderate voters.
“I think she is very well-received here by both the Republicans and the tea party,” Mitchell said. “She’s a strong Republican, and that’s great. And she also appeals to [the tea party]. If we’re going to win any election, we’re going to have to bring in independents and all the tea party folks.”
Neil Godfrey said he thought Bachmann’s speech was informative and inspiring. He said he believes Bachmann is a top contender for the Republican nomination and is a “very viable candidate” because her “excellent personality and past experience speaks for itself.”
While Godfrey wouldn’t say Bachmann was his primary choice for the nomination, he did say that she was “toward the top.”
“She’s a very good candidate,” he said. “She’s very straightforward, very open.”
That straightforward approach also appeals to Pauli Curl, who called Bachmann a “true conservative.”
Curli especially appreciated Bachmann’s opposition to the federal health care reform pushed by Obama.
“I liked what she said about ‘Obamacare,’” she said. “As a baby boomer, I don’t want 16 people making decisions for me. I think that she’s got the right stuff, and I found her to be very inspirational.
“She was not about fluff. She was about substance, and her presence and speech here tonight — a lot of what she had to say was love of country. It wasn’t about her. It was about our country and what we need to do to go back to being that beacon on a hill.”
Curl cited Bachmann's experience as a tax attorney and her reputation as a “woman of substance” as the reasons she supports her, though she wouldn’t say that she has made a decision to support a single Republican candidate.
“I see her as one of the top choices, but I think that right now, it is too early in the race,” Curl said. “One thing that is very important to me is that people speak the truth, and I believe she speaks the truth. She’s not telling me what I want to hear. I believe that she’s telling me the truth. There’s no easy road ahead, and she let me know that. But she also let me know that we could do it, and that really gave me hope.”
Contact Hannah Sharpe at email@example.com.
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