Rep. Bachmann meeting with GOP officials before Iowa speech

Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) is in Iowa Friday for meetings with top Republicans and a speech to a key advocacy group.

The visit has prompted speculation she's mulling a presidential bid.

Ahead of her speech Friday night, Bachmann is set to meet with Matt Strawn, chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa, at his office, a party official confirmed.

The Des Moines Register reported she also will meet with Gov. Terry Branstad (R) and Tea Party activists. Bachmann founded the House Tea Party Caucus, which she heads.

Her main event is the keynote speech to an Iowans for Tax Relief PAC fundraiser at the downtown Des Moines Marriott. Tickets to the "Watchdog Reception" were $25 per person. A spokeswoman for the group said the crowd of some 200 is expecting to hear Bachmann address tax and spending issues. A large press contingent -- 50 media credentials were issued -- will cover the event, said the spokeswoman.

Bachmann was coy with the Register about her 2012 aspirations.

"Whether I am there as a candidate or whether I am there as someone who wants to contribute to the conversation for 2012, the people who are part of the caucus system are really there for the right reason," Bachmann said. "And I really want to meet with these people because they want to turn our country in a positive direction."

In an earlier exchange with The Ballot Box, Bachmann didn't seem surprised by the flurry of speculation her visit set off. 

"I'm headed to Iowa," she said. "I think that's why" there's speculation.

Bachmann was born and raised in Iowa. She now represents a suburban Minneapolis district.

--Updated at 12:38 p.m.

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