Michele Bachmann made good on her promise to the Polk County GOP, this time. Two and a half months ago, the Minnesota Congresswoman skipped a county fundraiser due to a vote on the Patriot Act. The no-show turned the high dollar fundraiser into a disaster. Sunday night, Bachmann headlined a free picnic for the Polk GOP, with much different results.
“I think she did a nice recovery tonight for us,” said Dave Funk, co-chair of the Polk County Republican central committee. “She helped us get a bunch of volunteers, so I wouldn’t say there was a rift there, but you have to live up to your commitments and she did tonight.”
Bachmann’s campaign reimbursed the county party $10,000 for lost revenue from the May 27th event. She has rebounded nicely from that early setback and is now considered the frontrunner for the Iowa Caucus. Bachmann’s Sunday night appearance attracted 100 attendees, plus a dozen local and national media members, to the Fort Des Moines museum.
She opened her speech by apologizing for not being able to make the May event. Bachmann then launched an onslaught of verbal attacks on the Obama administration. “You will not see teleprompters in the Bachmann White House,” the Congresswoman exclaimed. “You won’t see President Bachmann step a toe out of the United States and apologize for the United States. That will not happen. And you will never see a czar in the Bachmann White House. Those days are over.”
Bachmann frequently criticizes Obama for his constant use a teleprompter, but the line seemed a tad disingenuous Sunday because early in her speech, Bachmann pulled out a two sheets of paper and read a prepared statement calling for Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner to resign. “For the sake of the media that are here, please indulge me, I want to read a statement,” Bachmann said. “This is my response to the President’s retention of Tim Geithner as our Treasury Secretary.” Bachmann spent over a minute reading her prepared statement.
The Waterloo, Iowa native also made sure every knew she was from Iowa. She mentioned Iowa 17 different times during her 37 minute speech. Other topics included promises to complete a fence along “every inch of our southern border” and reduce the nation’s dependence on foreign oil. “I want to put a stranglehold on OPEC, instead of OPEC having a stranglehold on us,” Bachmann said.
The speech was very well received by the majority of the crowd. Bachmann was interrupted by applause over a dozen times. “I thought that her speech was very forceful and clearly in tune with what the people in Iowa want to hear,” Funk said.
John and Janice Eich, from Des Moines, attended the event together. John was already a Bachmann supporter prior to the event. Janice was undecided. They are now both solidly behind her. “Right now, I’m voting for her,” John Eich said. “I don’t see anybody better coming along.”
Bachmann is the second of three presidential candidates to hold fundraisers for the Polk County GOP within one week’s time. Newt Gingrich did a back yard event at Greg Ganske’s home last week. Mitt Romney will headline a house party this Wednesday. “Has the county party ever taken advantage of the presence of the GOP candidates the way we have this year?” Funk asked. “We get them an audience and they get us volunteers. We’ve done the right things and put the right people in place to take on the other party in the next election.”
Bachmann concluded her speech by asking the crowd to join her in praying for the 30 Navy Seals killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan on Saturday. Perhaps taking a page from Texas Governor Rick Perry’s prayer rally, Bachmann also prayed for President Obama, the Congress and the Supreme Court. During Perry’s weekend event in Houston, he asked the crowd to prayer for Obama, the nation and our soldiers. Perry is seriously considering a presidential bid and is viewed as a legitimate contender if he runs.
Photo by Dave Davidson, Prezography.com
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